Thursday, February 28, 2013


“Get a double-barreled shotgun. Have the shells in the 12 gauge shotgun. And I promise you — as I told my wife — we live in an area that’s in the woods and somewhat secluded. I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you whoever is coming in is not going to.’ You don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use and in fact, you don’t need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun.”

So spoke Vice President Joe Biden during an online town hall meeting February 19 sponsored by Facebook and Parents magazine in response to an emailed question about self-defense for women.

Obviously, Biden does not know guns from excrement! He must have watched too many Dirty Harry-type movies. Actually a woman is more likely to get blown away by the recoil of a 12 gauge shotgun than an intruder she is shooting at getting blown away if she even hits him.

Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, says Biden showed his “complete ignorance about the nature of shotguns and AR-15s. A shotgun is much more difficult to fire, much more difficult to hold and withstand its recoil than an AR-15, and for the vice president to suggest that a woman would be better off using a shotgun than an AR-15 shows that frankly, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Unfortunately, despite Biden’s ignorance, Obama’s gun control proposals seem to be gaining some traction. A group of senators from both parties led by New York Democrat Chuck Schumer and Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn, and including West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Illinois Republican Mark Kirk, are close to an agreement on a measure that would expand criminal background checks to most private gun sales.

And despite the fact that California already has some of the country's toughest gun controls, a Field Poll conducted February 5-17 shows that, by a wide margin, Kookfornians believe it is more important to put new controls on gun ownership than to protect Second Amendment rights.


California gun control laws already are among the country's toughest

By a wide margin, the Filed Poll shows that Kookfornians favor even stricter gun controls.

By Josh Richman

San Jose Mercury News
February 26, 2013

Fueling the Golden State's gun-control debate, a new statewide poll says a wide margin of California voters favor beefing up what already are among the country's toughest gun laws.

They back tighter controls and taxes on ammunition sales and outright bans on more weapons, according to the new Field Poll, and strongly reject training teachers to carry concealed weapons at schools.

In record numbers, California voters now say it's more important to put new controls on gun ownership than to protect Americans' rights to own guns, the poll says.

The findings amplify resurgent national support for gun control in the wake of last year's mass shootings in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater and a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. While the country debates adopting measures already on the books in California, most voters here are looking to Sacramento for even tighter restrictions.

"California compared to the rest of the nation is much more supportive of the gun control side," poll director Mark DiCamillo said Monday. "And it's not just that we have more Democrats in California. ... It's that the Democrats, Republicans and nonpartisans are all somewhat more supportive on the gun control side than they are nationally."

The poll, conducted Feb. 5-17, found California voters strongly support several specific gun-control measures proposed by the state Legislature and Congress. An overwhelming 83 percent of voters support providing more money for efforts to take guns away from convicted felons; 75 percent support requiring anyone buying ammunition to first get a permit and undergo a background check, none of which is required now; and 61 percent support putting higher taxes on ammunition, with proceeds going to violence prevention programs.

The 61 percent of California voters favoring more gun controls to the 34 percent more concerned with Second Amendment rights is a wider margin than the Field Poll has found in three previous surveys dating back to 1999.

Poll respondent Christine Williams said she favors "background checks on the front end but also not allowing people to stockpile things that lead to the potential for some kind of great tragedy."

"Think about what happened in Newtown, Conn., what happened at the movie theater in Colorado -- none of these things would've happened if we had much stricter gun laws across the country," said Williams, 28, an administrative assistant and Democrat from Palo Alto.

California already requires background checks for all firearms purchases and has banned the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and detachable magazines that hold more than 10 bullets -- all measures that some in Congress now want to impose nationwide.

Majorities of Californians still support these bans, the poll found: 58 percent support a ban on possessing large-capacity magazines, which goes further than the current ban on their manufacture and sale in the state. And 57 percent support a new bill in Sacramento that would add all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the state's assault weapons ban.

Significantly larger majorities of women than men support the proposed reforms. The partisan divide is sizeable, too: 80 percent of Democrats prioritize imposing greater controls on gun ownership, while 65 percent of Republicans feel it's more important to protect gun owners' rights.

Voters by a more than 2-1 margin rejected a Republican-authored proposal to let specially trained teachers or other personnel carry concealed weapons in school; women oppose that idea almost 4-1.

Chuck Michel, a civil rights attorney and California Rifle and Pistol Association spokesman, said the poll shows "a distinct preference for criminal control over gun control," in that proposals such as taking guns away from felons score high while banning certain kinds of guns has less support.

He also noted the poll lacked any questions testing the public's understanding of recent Supreme Court decisions protecting Second Amendment rights or about existing state and national laws.

"What 'controls' are they talking about 'adding' if they don't know what we have?" Michel asked, also noting support for gun control tends to spike after calamities and then declines as people start to see the disconnect between proposed laws and their intended goals.

Devina Deo, a 28-year-old Democrat, said her desire for new gun controls is rooted not in recent mass shootings but in her own Hayward childhood, where "wannabe gangsters" with firearms were all too common in and around her high school.

"It's always been something I thought was kind of strange, that there aren't more controls," said Deo, now a small-business owner pursuing a master's degree in advertising. "We're not in a war zone, so why do kids have guns?"

Robert Lewis of Oakland said he's OK with raising taxes on bullets if the money is spent on stricter enforcement of gun laws we already have, but he prioritizes Second Amendment rights above any new gun controls.

"You can't penalize the honest people for what the dishonest people are doing," said Lewis, 67, a retired security guard and sheet metal worker who's also a military police veteran. "That's what these gun controls would be doing.''


Ex-cop cop-killer Christopher Dorner’s manifesto leads fired LA cops to seek review of their cases

Dorner’s manifesto was all about getting even with LAPD and those involved in his firing. Since LA Police Chief Charlie Beck felt compelled to review the Dorner case, then why not the same for other cops who feel they were fired unjustly by LAPD?

Bob Walsh says, “LAPD Chief Charlie Beck opened a can of worms when he said he was going to review the firing of former (now dead) officer Christopher Dorner.”

The decision to reopen Christopher Dorner’s case is unprecedented and ‘has left many of our members in absolute limbo’

By Tami Abdollah

Associated Press
February 26, 2013

LOS ANGELES — At least six fired police officers want their disciplinary cases reopened after the Los Angeles Police Department began reinvestigating the termination of a former officer who left a trail of violence to avenge his firing.

Police Protective League President Tyler Izen wouldn't provide details on the former officers who asked to have their cases revisited, but he said the decision by Chief Charlie Beck to reopen Christopher Dorner's case is unprecedented and "has left many of our members in absolute limbo."

"If the department does investigations and they're satisfied with those investigations, then what do they hope to learn from this review?" Izen said. "And if they are not satisfied with those investigations, why are they doing them without being satisfied in the first place?"

Beck reopened Dorner's case and ordered a review of the LAPD disciplinary system after the black ex-cop's online manifesto accused the department of racism and bias in his firing and vowed to get even with officers and their families.

Dorner killed four people, including two police officers, in his rampage before he apparently committed suicide during a fiery shootout in a mountain cabin two weeks ago.

Beck has said the review is being conducted to ensure public confidence. The department has worked hard in recent years to overcome a bad image after multiple investigations into racism, corruption and abuse, including the Rampart Scandal and the 1991 beating of Rodney King.

The review of the allegations and overall disciplinary system will take months, Beck said at a Police Commission meeting on Tuesday. It will look at perceptions of fairness when dealing with race, gender and rank, and will involve input from officers and command staff.

Beck said the department will review other requests for review, but said many are old cases.

Dorner's case brings up a significant issue about what to do when allegations of police misconduct are unfounded, said Commissioner Richard Drooyan. Dorner was dismissed for filing a false report alleging his training officer kicked a mentally disabled man.

"How do you make sure that you are punishing anyone who makes a false allegation or makes a false statement, while also at the same time not discouraging people from bringing potential misconduct to the attention of the department?" Drooyan asked.

Deputy Chief Bob Green, who oversees the South LA area, which is predominantly black and Latino, said the Dorner case has reopened "old wounds of trust" in the community.

About 100 people showed up at a community meeting last week and many spoke of negative experiences with police officers. Officers have reported disturbing public support for Dorner, including the message "Dorner lives" scrawled on walls.

About a dozen protesters at Tuesday's meeting demanded an independent review of Dorner's claims.

"We refuse to be able to continue to be duped that Bonnie can investigate Clyde," said David Dang, an organizer for Occupy The Hood Los Angeles.

The incident has also led officers to question whether they've been punished by an unfair system.

"What we're seeing is that a lot of folks (in the department) who have not been successful are looking for a rationale, now they go to the Dorner incident and say, 'Why am I not getting promoted? Is there racism in the LAPD?'" Green said.

The union's legal team is reviewing requests to reopen cases, Izen said. Those could add up. In 2012, there were 48 Board of Rights hearings and 30 resulted in termination, according to Officer Bruce Borihanh.


The Unconventional Gazette
February 27, 2013

Manure has been used as fertilizer for centuries. In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship. Since that was before the invention of commercial fertilizers, large shipments of manure were quite common.

Manure was shipped dry because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet. But once water (at sea) hit it, not only did the manure become heavier, but the process of fermentation began. It so happens that a byproduct of fermentation is methane gas.

Because the manure was stored below decks in bundles, you can see what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern ….. BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening (Lloyds of London).

After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction 'Stow high in transit' on them. That meant for the sailors to stow the manure high enough off the lower decks so that if any water came into the hold, it would not touch this volatile cargo, thus preventing the production of methane.

That’s how the term 'S.H.I.T.' (Stow High In Transit) evolved, and it has come down through the centuries to this very day. Today, the term is used all the time, often preceded by the word ‘oh’.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sounds like a load of shit to me.


The Onion
February 24, 2013

LOS ANGELES—In one of the most devastating tragedies in the history of the Academy Awards, 240 attendees were killed in a deadly stampede at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater Sunday after a bucketful of Oscars was just dumped onto the stage, triggering a frenzied rush for the statuettes by every audience member in attendance.

According to eyewitness accounts, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Howard Koch carried a large plastic tub filled with Academy Awards to the center of the stage halfway through the ceremony and wordlessly overturned the container, sending 120 of the highly prized trophies tumbling into a pile on the floor and causing screaming audience members to abruptly vault from their seats and charge toward the stage to reach the scattered Oscars.

Sources confirmed that over 1,000 guests suffered serious injuries from the stampede of actors, directors, producers, screenwriters, makeup artists, costume designers, dates, and cinematographers.

“There was this moment or two of eerie silence right after he dumped out the Oscars, and then all hell broke loose,” said actor Mark Ruffalo, bleeding profusely from a head wound and wincing in pain from an apparent dislocated shoulder. “Christ, people just went crazy while scrambling to get those trophies. I saw people out there—people I’ve worked with and know well—do terrible things. Just terrible things.”

“I’m lucky to be alive,” Ruffalo added. “And lucky that I was able to get out of there with an Oscar for Best Production Design, too.”

Early reports have confirmed that Jack Nicholson, Amy Adams, George Clooney, Kate Winslet, Michael Douglas, Charlize Theron, Brave lead animator Austin Madison, Tom Wilkinson, and Jake Gyllenhaal were killed in the stampede of Hollywood elite.

Mangled bodies believed to be those of Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Tim Burton, Paul Giamatti, Rob Reiner, Helen Mirren, Ang Lee, and numerous others were also found but could not be positively identified at press time.

While most of the fatalities were allegedly accidental, several eyewitnesses informed reporters that Sissy Spacek was, in fact, murdered. Sources confirmed that Spacek attempted to escape the bedlam with an Oscar in hand, but was cornered by the cast of Les Misérables and viciously beaten to death.

“No one was innocent tonight; everybody out there was storming that stage like their lives depended on it,” said security guard Chris Brooks, who watched helplessly as his coworkers were overwhelmed by a rush of starlets blindly searching for the nearest statuette. “The sounds of bones snapping in half and bloodcurdling screeches will definitely haunt me for the rest of my life.”

“At one point, I turned around and saw Ron Howard, with this wild look in his eyes, strangling Lauren Bacall,” Brooks continued. “He was covered in blood and daring people to come at him. It’s an image I’ll never forget.”

Emergency medical responders who arrived at the traumatic scene said they were stunned not only by the sheer number of deceased A-list celebrities strewn about the auditorium, but also by the degree of emotional trauma suffered by those survivors who were unable to claim one of the free Oscars.

“Some of them came so close but just didn’t quite make it,” said paramedic Virginia Cox of the televised event, which early reports are indicating was the most watched Oscars telecast in history. “Remember, many of these people had to trample beloved co-stars and crew members in order to reach the front of that stage, so to end the night empty-handed was doubly tragic for them.”

At press time, acclaimed director Steven Spielberg was reportedly last seen exiting the theater, struggling to carry approximately 57 Oscars in his arms.


By Ima Schmuck

The Unconventional Gazette
February 27, 2013

Recently my doctor told me that years ago the entrance exam to get into medical school included several questions that would determine eligibility.

One of the questions was "Rearrange the letters P N E S I to spell out an important part of the human body that is more useful when erect."

Those who spelled "SPINE" became Doctors. The rest ended up in Congress.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


However it must be noted that, as Katie Pavlich pointed out in the update, the total welfare costs per household includes all costs incurred by the federal government to deliver benefits, including administrative costs.

By Katie Pavlich
February 26, 2013

It's official. Taxpayers are no longer simply helping the poor, they're subsidizing the lives of welfare recipients at a better rate than their own. The Senate Budget Committee has released a report showing households living below the poverty line and receiving welfare payments are raking in the equivalent of $168 per day in benefits which come in the form of food stamps, housing, childcare, healthcare and more. The median household income in 2011 was $50,054, totaling $137.13 per day. The worst part? Welfare payments are equivalent to making $30 per hour for 40 hours a week. The median wage for non-welfare recipients is $25 per hour but because they pay taxes, unlike welfare recipients, the wage is bumped down to $21 per hour. From the report:

__For fiscal year 2011, CRS identified roughly 80 overlapping federal means-tested welfare programs that together represented the single largest budget item in 2011—more than the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. The total amount spent on these federal programs, when taken together with approximately $280 billion in state contributions, amounted to roughly $1 trillion. Nearly 95 percent of these costs come from four categories of spending: medical assistance, cash assistance, food assistance, and social / housing assistance. Under the President’s FY13 budget proposal, means-tested spending would increase an additional 30 percent over the next four years.

By all means Mr. President, let's raise taxes on people already paying the majority of the taxes because clearly they aren't "paying their fair share" to subsize the lives of others already.

UPDATE: The report does not say that every household receiving welfare benefits totals $168 but specifically refers to those receiving benefits and living below the poverty line. Also, it should be pointed out the $168 includes all costs incurred by the federal government to deliver benefits, including administrative costs.


Tennessee cops don't seem to know that they must have probable cause to stop a vehicle suspected of transporting drugs ..... and a ‘marijuana leaf’ bumper sticker does not constitute probable cause.

Elderly couple is frustrated after a Tennessee State Trooper questioned them about an Ohio State bumper sticker on their car

By Catherine Ross
February 18, 2013

A Plano couple says they were wrongly pulled over in Tennessee, after state troopers mistook their Ohio State bumper sticker for a marijuana leaf.

“I’ve had this sticker on the back of my car for three years and have never had trouble from police,” said Bonnie Jonas-Boggioni, a 65-year-old retired nurse and grandmother.

“The more I thought about it, the angrier I got because, how could they be so stupid?”

Jonas-Boggioni and her husband Guido Boggioni were driving outside of Memphis, heading home to Texas from Boggioni’s mother’s funeral in Ohio, when they were pulled over by a state trooper.

“At first I thought, what in the world is going on? Why is he stopping us?” said Boggioni, who was riding in the passenger seat while his wife was driving the car.

Jonas-Boggioni said soon, another vehicle, containing a local county sheriff’s deputy, also joined the traffic stop.

Jonas-Boggioni was asked to step outside of the vehicle and said she was shocked by the trooper’s next sentence.

“He said, what are you doing with a marijuana sticker on the back of your car? And I turned around and I looked at it and said – that’s a Buckeye sticker.”

The Buckeye sticker, which fans most commonly recognize from football player’s helmets, a token of sorts for making a big play during a game, bears a green plant with five leaves.

The trooper told the couple that another officer outside of the jurisdiction had seen the Boggioni’s car and called in a tip, believing that the pair could be part of a marijuana smuggling ring.

After clearing up the misunderstanding, he left the two with some parting advice – to part with the sticker.

It’s something that still doesn’t sit well with the couple.

“I wouldn’t take my sticker off the truck for nothing,” said Guido Boggioni.

Instead, Jonas-Boggioni has added another bumper decal of a Buckeye helmet bearing the in-question stickers.

She hopes the new addition will help educate fans from outside the Big 10 and prevent a situation like this from happening again.


Beer joint sues local Baptist church after lightning strikes and burns down Billy Bob’s Icehouse following morning, afternoon and evening prayer sessions calling for demise of the bar

The Unconventional Gazette
February 26, 2013

CROCKETT, Texas – Billy Bob’s Icehouse is a popular beer joint in this small town located in the piney woods of East Texas.

When the owner began construction on an expansion of his building to accommodate the bar’s ever-growing business, the congregation of the Bethel Baptist Church started a campaign to block the bar from expanding – circulating petitions and holding morning, afternoon, and evening prayer sessions at their church, praying for the good Lord to smite Billy Bob’s Icehouse.

Work on Billy Bob’s continued right up until the week before the grand reopening when lightning struck the beer joint and burned it to the ground!

After the lightning strike had burned down the bar, the church folks were extremely overjoyed and set off bragging about "the power of prayer."

But late last week Billy Bob Bogart, the bar owner, sued the church, preacher M. E. Thane and the entire congregation on the grounds that the church ... "was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building and his business -- either through direct or indirect divine actions or means."

In its response to Billy Bob’s complaint, the church vehemently and voraciously denied any and all responsibility or any connection to the building's destruction.

The district court judge read through the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's response. At a court hearing he commented, “I don’t know how the hell I’m going to decide this case, but it appears from the paperwork, that we now have a bar owner who staunchly believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that now does not!”

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


By Jeff ‘Paco’ Doyle

February 25, 2013

In his article ‘Many Researchers Taking a Different View of Pedophilia’ (Los Angeles Times, January 14), Alan Zarembo reports: “Pedophilia once was thought to stem from psychological influences early in life. Now, many experts view it as a deep-rooted predisposition that does not change.”

My friend and former colleague, Gary Lowe, is an MSW [Master of Social Work] specializing in the treatment of sex offenders, the juvenile variety in particular. Decades ago he related anecdotes from sex offender group therapy sessions which bore out the concept many pedophiles have a ‘hard-wired’ predilection for children–Their urges and behaviors may be controlled and monitored but never eliminated.

Specifically, Lowe often quoted one unrepentant child molester saying, “You are sexually attracted to women, right? If you were required to attend therapy to make you gay, would you stop being attracted to women? Well, I like little boys. Same thing.” Lowe was quick to point out that while such offenders are strongly compulsed to molest, some, like the quoted subject, advance the predilection argument as a means of normalizing their behaviors e.g. “I’m OK, You’re OK. You like women, I like little boys. You say potato…”

However the prevalence of certain behavioral deviations does not make them “normal” even though political correctness would have us see them as such. Homosexuality, for example, is an abnormal behavior–It is a deviation from the norm. Yet, our insufficiently educated populace is incapable of seeing the distinction between abnormal and bad. So, the mere suggestion being gay is abnormal is offensive these days–It is deemed judgmental rather than a simple statement of fact.

It is “normal” for some people to be homosexuals is what the new-speak tells us. Doesn’t it follow that pedophilia is “normal” for those with a “deep-rooted predisposition” to molest children? The point is not to draw a comparison between being gay and being a pedophile but to highlight the folly of redefining normality to empower or assuage members of one group or another–It is a slippery slope. That there is a growing movement to declare pedophilia normal cannot be disputed. The North American Man-Boy Love Association works tirelessly to advance the right of men to molest boys–Activists in the psychological community are hard at work in that regard as well.

Now, it is well known many child molesters were themselves molested. At the same time, the overwhelming majority do not become abusers, buttressing the argument pedophilia may be hard-wired in some.

__“It is widely believed that boys who are victims of sexual abuse become abusers themselves. Studies of pedophiles suggest this often is the case, but new research shows that the risk may be smaller than previously thought. Roughly one in 10 male victims of child sex abuse in a U.K. study later went on to abuse children as adults. But the risk was far greater for sexually victimized children who came from severely dysfunctional families. Family history of violence, sexual abuse by a female, maternal neglect, and lack of supervision were all associated with a threefold-increased risk that the abused would become an abuser…” (Salynn Boyles, Do Sexually Abused Kids Become Abusers? Feb. 6, 2003)

According to Zarembo’s LA Times article “The best estimates are that between 1% and 5% of men are pedophiles, meaning that they have a dominant attraction to prepubescent children.” Putting the pieces together, it would seem a reasonable conclusion molest victims who become abusers were endowed with the “deep-rooted predisposition” which was triggered by sexual abuse and fomented by the environmental factors noted in Boyles’ article. And, if the “best estimates” are accurate, the United States population includes 1.5 million to 7.5 million male pedophiles. That’s an awful lot of potential child molesters.

In any case, those of us who worked with pedophiles have always known the compulsion lasts a lifetime. After all, self-reinforcing behavior is the hardest to mitigate–Acts which elicit pleasure are those most likely to become compulsive, habitual. That pedophiles will always harbor a sexual and emotional attraction to children is a fact–We must never lose sight of it if we are to remain vigilant in protecting children from harm. However, it is equally important to make certain pedophilia is not permitted to be normalized.

Many Americans practice abnormal, deviant sexual behaviors, are compulsed to do so and receive reinforcement from the gratification inherent to those acts. Sado-Masochism, coprophilia, urophilia and all manner of fetishes abound in the population. Unlike pedophiles, these deviants practice their deeds with consenting adults not innocent children. And, to my knowledge, there are no NAMBLA like groups out there promoting fecal and urine based sex acts as “normal.”

Pedophilia may indeed be “as intrinsic as the next person’s heterosexuality” but that doesn’t make it normal–It is relevant only to the extent we apply this knowledge to the treatment and supervision of pedophiles, active or otherwise.


The decision to expel U.S. special forces comes on the heels of Karzai’s order to Afghan security forces forbidding them to call on U.S. and allied airstrikes in residential areas. And at Karzai’s insistence, Obama agreed as part of an eight-page deal signed May 1, 2012 in Kabul that “The United States further pledges not to use Afghan territory or facilities as a launching point for attacks against other countries.” (paragraph 6b)

Putting our differences with the Afghans in perspective, it must be noted that we never went to war in Afghanistan to free the Afghan people from Taliban tyranny. Our sole purpose was to eradicate al-Qaeda and its Taliban supporters in order to eliminate the threat of terrorism against the U.S. Although we pretty well destroyed al-Qaeda, we got bogged down in Afghanistan by a resilient Taliban.


Mail Online
February 24, 2013

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has given U.S. special forces two weeks to leave a key battleground province after some U.S. soldiers in the region were found to have tortured or killed innocent people, the president's spokesman said on Sunday.

The decision by Karzai could further complicate negotiations between the U.S. and Afghanistan over the presence of Americans troops in the country once most NATO forces leave by the end of 2014.

Speaking at a news conference in Kabul, Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi said villagers in Wardak province had lodged a series of complaints about operations conducted by U.S. special forces and a group of Afghans working with them.

The decision was reached at a Sunday meeting of the Afghan National Security Council, chaired by Karzai, Faizi said.

His spokesman said: 'The Ministry of Defense was assigned to make sure all U.S. special forces are out of the province within two weeks.

'After a thorough discussion, it became clear that armed individuals named as U.S. special forces stationed in Wardak province were engaging in harassing, annoying, torturing and even murdering innocent people.'

One example was cited where a student was kidnapped in the middle of the night before his tortured body was found two days later with his throat slit.

Sunday's announcement came days after the Afghan leader issued a decree banning all Afghan security forces from using NATO air strikes in residential areas, in a bid to curb civilian casualties.

That was in response to an operation in Kunar targeting four Taliban members which resulted in the deaths of ten civilians, including five children, during an air strike.

Karzai has long warned his Western backers that the killing of civilians could sap support for the foreign troops in the country and fuel the insurgency.


Jewish filmmakers and reform rabbis join up with academia’s anti-Semites to condemn Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians and to blame all the problems in the middle east on those intransigent Jews.

By Marilyn Penn
February 25, 2013

Last November, I wrote a piece concerning The Other Israel Film Festival at the JCC on the upper west side. Ironically, no Arabs would get to enjoy the Israeli filmmakers’ critical representations of their country’s politics and attitudes because Arabs exercise a wholesale boycott of all things Israeli. Now two Israeli films are nominated for Oscars in the category of documentary film; as usual, both find fault with their country’s leadership and policies. One of them, '5 Broken Cameras,' is a collaborative effort between an Israeli and a Palestinian on the subject of the treacherous occupation in the Palestinian’s village. The Palestinian expressed regret that he would never get to screen this film in his own village or any other Arab country because there was an Israeli name attached to it. There are no comparable films being made by Palestinians or other Arabs concerning their violence towards Israel or the corruption, misogyny and indifference of their own leadership towards their populations’ poverty and plight. There are few films being made by Israelis or anyone else concerning Muslim anti-semitism and the indoctrination of their children with this poisonous legacy; they don’t get screened at Film Festivals, art theaters or other major venues such as HBO and PBS.

So what we have in the name of freedom of expression in the democratic state of Israel is the perpetuation and distribution to the west of a one-sided view of the war between Israel and her Arab neighbors, one that in actuality has less to do with territory and everything to do with ideology. Now, with the growing aggressiveness of radical Islam, Arabs have less reason than before to accept the reality of a Jewish state in the middle east. Israelis and many other western jews persist in believing that if only Israel would perfect its behavior, give in to additional Palestinian demands, relinquish more territory (captured in a defensive war), give up Jerusalem, allow the 3rd generation of descendants of refugees to return to their former villages - then, imshallah - all would be well.

Here’s what’s been happening instead. Westerners seeing films such as 'The Gatekeepers' and '5 Broken Cameras' become only further convinced that the problems in the middle east are the fault of those intransigent Jews and their right wing leadership. The growing proliferation of Muslims throughout Europe has made those countries a hotbed of flagrant anti-semitism, all too reminiscent of the decades preceding World War 11. France reports a 58% rise in anti-semitic incidents within the last year - one quarter of which involved weapons. Countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Germany and England are similarly affected by the explosion in their Muslim populations and their explosive rage against all Jews. In the U.S., we are about to install a minister of defense who has openly expressed his contempt for the “jewish lobby” and his extreme patience with the theocratic dictatorship of nuclear Iran.

Colleges and universities have become staging grounds for vocal anti-semitic sentiment and demonstrations under the guise of academic freedom. Even in a school with as many Jewish students as Brooklyn College, the Political Science Dept sponsored a BDS presentation without allowing a rebuttal by speakers with an opposing viewpoint. Synagogues and community centers bend over backward to promote the creation of a Palestinian state without being mindful that most Palestinians want Hamas, an organization currently on our country’s list of terrorist groups, to be their leaders.

Israeli filmmakers need to rethink their priorities. They need to consider the resurgence of anti-semitism in the west and re-evaluate the potential for adding damaging fodder to this volatile mindset. There is a dangerous difference between criticizing one’s own government within the safety of one’s own country and exporting this criticism to a world that is once again comfortable with open anti-semitism and cowardly in resisting the tyranny of this century’s fascism du jour.


With the state and local governments near bankruptcy and Sequester facing the feds March 1, lots of luck with that.

By Andrew Edwards and Rick Orlov

Los Angeles Daily News
February 22, 2013

Law enforcement agencies that used the most resources pursuing murder suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner may soon be looking at a total tab that could reach into the millions of dollars.

No estimates are yet available and a full public accounting may never be given in what was one of the largest law enforcement operations in recent memory.

Whatever the final costs, they are likely to be so high that Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has already directed staffers to learn whether any state or federal funds could be available to reimburse the city and other jurisdictions.

"We are looking at it kind of like the fire departments do when there is a big regional event," Los Angeles police Lt. Andy Neiman said.

"The chief has directed we look to see if any grants are available for an emergency situation."

From the Feb. 8 morning when Dorner's burning car was discovered in Big Bear Lake to the Feb. 12 afternoon when he likely shot himself to death while surrounded by SWAT deputies in a burning cabin near Barton Flats, the case involved hundreds of officers from an assortment of agencies.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles Police Department respectively led efforts to find Dorner and protect numerous people - police officers and their family members - believed to be at risk during Dorner's self- declared war against the LAPD.

The two agencies were joined, however, by personnel from the Irvine and Riverside police departments investigating the deaths of those whom Dorner is believed to have killed. Other agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and state Fish and Wildlife, whose wardens exchanged gunfire with Dorner on the manhunt's final day, also contributed to the search.

A partial list of law enforcement resources devoted to the Dorner case:

• At its peak, 125 law enforcement officers from several agencies worked through snowy weather while on search teams in the Big Bear Lake area.

• Roughly 275 Los Angeles police officers were assigned to protect 50 potential Dorner targets and their family members.

• Two helicopters equipped with FLIR technology, which employs thermal imagery, were used to detect body heat.

• FBI crime lab and profiling resources were also used.

Los Angeles officials are compiling the costs of the Dorner case, which involved hundreds of officers assigned to both protective details for those threatened by him as well as investigators and administrative staffers.

"We all were working extra hours on it and there will be a lot of overtime, either paid or compensatory time off," Neiman said. "Our Fiscal Operations Division is pulling together the figures to determine the full cost."

That full accounting of the LAPD's expenses is still a few weeks away, said Patty Huber, an assistant city administrator who declined to venture a rough estimate.

While the Dorner search was still active, Los Angeles Councilman Dennis Zine said he had not been given detailed estimates but expected the costs to reach into millions of dollars.

"The cost is absolutely expensive, but it's a cost that we need to save lives," Los Angeles Councilman Dennis Zine said last week.

Los Angeles devotes nearly $1.2 billion of the city's $4 billion budget to its Police Department.

Huber said the city's $229 million in budget reserves should be strong enough to weather the costs of the Dorner manhunt in the event the LAPD needs to make a supplemental budget request.

"We're not going to be the next San Bernardino," Huber said.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department may never actually release figures for how much was spent during the Feb. 8-12 manhunt.

San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert said that since the sheriff, usually an elected officer, does not have to answer directly to the Board of Supervisors, it is not customary for the sheriff to provide a detailed accounting of spending beyond his annual budget request.

"We haven't gotten an indication from the sheriff that he's going to ask for additional funding," Wert said.

Sheriff's officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Janice Rutherford, who chairs the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said she would expect the Sheriff's Department to assess its costs and performance in the Dorner case, but she does not expect results to be known for some time.

"They've spent the past week planning for the funeral and grieving," Rutherford said Thursday.

Dorner is believed to have killed sheriff's Deputy Jeremiah MacKay on the final day of the manhunt. MacKay's funeral was Thursday.

Dorner is believed to have killed Riverside police Officer Michael Crain and an Irvine couple, Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence.

Dorner wrote in an online manifesto to be seeking revenge for his 2009 dismissal from the LAPD. He claimed to have been wrongfully fired for reporting a training officer's abusive use of force, and Beck has announced the LAPD will reexamine his claims.


Houston Chronicle
February 22, 2013

Maggie Galehouse, one of the Houston Chronicle’s book reviewers, reported that British author Hilary Mantel compared the royals to pandas during a recent lecture for the London Review of Books. Here's an excerpt from her lecture, titled ‘Royal Bodies’:

"I used to think that the interesting issue was whether we should have a monarchy or not. But now I think that question is rather like, should we have pandas or not? … Pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. But aren't they interesting? Aren't they nice to look at? Some people find them endearing; some pity them for their precarious situation; everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it's still a cage."


By Pamela Putz

The Unconventional Gazette
February 25, 2013

My neighbor Bob was working in his yard when he was startled by a late model car that came crashing through his hedge and ended up in his front lawn. He rushed to help an elderly lady driver out of the car and sat her down on a lawn chair.

He said with excitement, "You appear quite elderly to be driving."

"Well, yes, I am," she replied proudly. “I'll be 97 next month, and I am now old enough that I don't even need a driver's license anymore. The last time I went to my doctor, he examined me and asked if I had a driver's license. I told him yes and handed it to him. He took scissors out of the drawer, cut the license into pieces, and threw them in the waste basket, saying, 'You won't need this anymore,' so I thanked him and left!"

Monday, February 25, 2013


Bashed skull + bloodstained bat = no intruder in the picture

Oscar Pistorius’ story that he used the cricket bat to break down the toilet door and that the bat became blood-spattered at the scene just doesn’t hold any water. And how will the defense explain Reeva Steenkamp’s crushed skull?

A course in Basic Criminal Investigation will teach you that Pistorius’ story is shot full of holes. Here’s putting it in simple terms: Bashed skull + bloodstained bat = no intruder in the picture.

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict that the Blade Runner is facing a future of gloom and doom.

Reeva Steenkamp’s skull crushed during attack, South African police say; grieving relatives who saw body before cremation described horrific injuries

By Barbara Jones

Mail Online
February 24, 2013

Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius crushed his girlfriend’s skull with a cricket bat before shooting her dead, police have told her family.

Details of the post-mortem examination of South African model Reeva Steenkamp were withheld from last week’s bail application hearing.

But grieving relatives who saw her body before Tuesday’s cremation in Port Elizabeth described horrific injuries from the cricket bat, and entry wounds from 9mm bullets fired by Pistorius.

They were also briefed about the model’s death by police and lawyers from the state prosecutor’s office.

In a sworn affidavit read to the bail hearing in Pretoria magistrates’ court last week, Pistorius claimed that he used the bat to break down the toilet door after the shooting, saying he had not realised his girlfriend was in the bathroom.

The bloodstained bat, which is currently being examined by a police forensics team, will be key evidence when Pistorius goes on trial for premeditated murder.

The ‘Blade Runner’ – who has previously boasted about having a cricket bat, pistol and machine gun at home to defend himself against intruders – claims the bat became blood-spattered at the scene.

Last week the prosecution did not mention any details about the bat and the role they believe it played in Reeva’s death, opting not to disclose their case against Pistorius. But to secure bail, Pistorius’s legal team had to detail his defence, which included why he had a blood-spattered cricket bat in his possession on the fatal night.

The athlete claims that during the night he heard a noise in the bathroom and feared it was an intruder. Pistorius, 26, said he felt ‘vulnerable’ without his prosthetic legs, so he got a gun from under his bed and fired through the bathroom door, shouting at the ‘intruder’ to get out of the house and for Reeva to call the police.

At that point Pistorius thought she was still in bed.

Pistorius described his ‘horror and fear’ as he realised Reeva was not in the bed, and said he used the bat to break down the toilet door to find Reeva slumped inside the cubicle.

He said he called paramedics and then carried Reeva, 29, downstairs, trying to revive her, but she died in his arms.


History tells us that even suicidal concessions by the Israelis will not bring about a peace treaty

Some of us can still remember the 1993 Oslo Accord picture of a ginning Bill Clinton wrapping his arms around both Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat as the two leaders shook hands. But as soon as Arafat returned home, attacks against Israel intensified. Mahmoud Abbas, like his predecessor Arafat, only wants the kind of peace that leads to the eradication of the Zionist entity.

When Obama visits Israel next month he will, in all probability, try to strong-arm Netanyahu into making suicidal concessions to the Palestinians. Someone should remind Obama of what the philosopher George Santayana said: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”


Israel Today
February 24, 2013

Israel has a new government (or will soon) and a new minister in charge of peace negotiations with the Palestinians, but Israel's military chiefs expect anything but peace in the near term. In fact, they are preparing for war.

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer from the Central Command told Army Radio on Thursday that a new analysis of the situation suggests it is far more likely the Palestinians will launch a new wave of terrorism than return to the negotiating table.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been rebuffing peace overtures from Israel for the past two years. The officer stated that if US President Barack Obama is unable in his upcoming visit to strong-arm Israel into meeting Abbas' preconditions for talks, it is anticipated the Palestinians will turn to violence.

That is precisely the way the second intifada (or Oslo War) began in 2000, after Yasser Arafat did not receive 100 percent of what he demanded from the Israelis at Camp David.

The officer said a new uprising could also be sparked by renewed cross-border attacks on Israel from either Gaza or Lebanon.

In preparation for this, Israeli troops are currently undergoing regular training for brief, intense bouts of terrorist violence in urban settings.


Every time the U.S. and South Korea prepare to hold joint military exercises, the North Koreans huff and puff with threats of dire consequences. If Pyongyang were to actually carry out its threats, the North Koreans would be the ones to suffer ‘miserable destruction,’ not the Americans.


Associated Press
February 23, 2013

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea warned the top American commander in South Korea on Saturday of "miserable destruction" if the U.S. military presses ahead with routine joint drills with South Korea set to begin next month.

Pak Rim Su, chief of North Korea's military delegation to the truce village of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone, sent the warning Saturday morning to Gen. James Thurman, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said, in a rare direct message to the U.S. commander.

The threat comes as the U.S. and other nations discuss how to punish North Korea for conducting an underground nuclear test on Feb. 12 in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning Pyongyang from nuclear and missile activity.

North Korea has characterized the nuclear test, its third since 2006, as a defensive act against U.S. aggression. Pyongyang accuses Washington of "hostility" for leading the charge to punish North Korea for a December rocket launch that the U.S. considers a covert missile test.

The U.S. and North Korea fought on opposite sides of the three-year Korean War, which ended in a truce in 1953, not a peace treaty, and left the Korean Peninsula divided by a heavily fortified border monitored by the U.S.-led U.N. Command.

Washington also stations 28,500 American troops in South Korea to protect its ally against North Korean aggression.

South Korea and the U.S. regularly conduct joint drills such as the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises slated to take place next month. North Korea calls the drills proof of U.S. hostility, and accuses Washington of practicing for an invasion.

"You had better bear in mind that those igniting a war are destined to meet a miserable destruction," KCNA quoted Pak as saying in his message to Thurman. He called the drills "reckless."

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, meanwhile, has been making a round of visits to military units guiding troops in drills and exercises since the nuclear test, KCNA said.


Gov. Perry should invite Beretta to set up shop in the gun-friendly Lone Star State and offer some incentives that will reduce the gun manufacturer’s moving and resettlement expenses.

By Aaron C. Davis

The Washington Post
February 23, 2013

On the production floor of Beretta USA sits a hulking new barrel-making machine ready to churn out the next object of obsession in America’s love-hate relationship with guns: a civilian version of a machine gun designed for special operations forces and popularized in the video game Call of Duty.

Beretta, the nearly 500-year-old family-owned company that made one of James Bond’s firearms, has already invested more than $1 million in the machine and has planned to expand its plant further in Prince George’s County to ramp up production.

But under an assault-weapons ban that advanced late last week in the Maryland General Assembly, experts say the gun would be illegal in the state where it is produced.

Now Beretta is weighing whether the rifle line, and perhaps the company itself, should stay in a place increasingly hostile toward its products. Its iconic 9mm pistol — carried by every U.S. soldier and scores of police departments — would also be banned with its high capacity, 13-bullet magazine.

“Why expand in a place where the people who built the gun couldn’t buy it?” said Jeffrey Reh, general counsel for Beretta.

Concern that the company will leave, and take its 300 jobs with it, is palpable among state lawmakers who worry it could be collateral damage from Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed gun-control bill.

Among other restrictions, O’Malley’s bill would ban assault rifles, magazines with more than 10 bullets and any new guns with two or more “military-like” features. Gun experts said it’s a near-certainty that Beretta’s semiautomatic version of the ARX-160, now only a prototype, would be banned under O’Malley’s bill.

“I’m concerned. I think they’re going to move,” said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert). “They sell guns across the world and in every state in the union — to places a lot more friendly to the company than this state.”

In Beretta’s low-slung factory along the Potomac River in Accokeek, where walls are lined with trophy heads of caribou, wild boars and black bears shot by employees, the legislation proposed by O’Malley (D) feels like an affront.

In testimony this month in Annapolis, Reh, who oversees the plant, warned lawmakers to consider carefully the company’s future. Reh pointed to the last time Maryland ratcheted up gun restrictions in the 1990s: Beretta responded by moving its warehouse operation to Virginia.

“I think they thought we were bluffing” in the 1990s, Reh said. “But Berettas don’t bluff.”

The assault-weapons ban isn’t the only part of the governor’s bill Beretta dislikes.

In Maryland, gun manufacturers are required to register as firearms dealers, which some say could expose the company to lawsuits for selling and shipping weapons as dealers do. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which passed the governor’s bill 7 to 4 late Thursday, spelled out an exemption for Beretta and a handful of other smaller manufacturers in the state.

But the company said it is still not clear how it would handle warranty and repair issues for its many lines of guns, which are also serviced in Accokeek. The bill does not specify if the company could charge to fix guns that would be deemed illegal for sale, or if it could legally ship them back to their owners. Lawmakers said intermediary gun dealers would likely have to facilitate the transactions.

O’Malley aides say the bill could have outright banned manufacturing of assault weapons in the state but did not in part because of Beretta, which has agreed to meet with the administration on Monday to discuss the bill.

“We think getting assault weapons off the streets and keeping this company can both be accomplished,” said Raquel Guillory, O’Malley’s spokeswoman.

But some lawmakers said Beretta will have to be a bigger part of the discussion before the bill passes.

Del. Joseph F. Vallario Jr. (D-Prince George’s), whose district encompasses the Accokeek plant, said he would do everything he could for the company.

“We want to keep those jobs,” said Vallario, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has a key role in approving the legislation.

As he walked along the production floor recently, Reh said Beretta officials say they do not want to leave their U.S. headquarters in Maryland.

Relocating high-tech machining equipment and vats of chrome used to plate Beretta barrels would be costly and out of character for a company that is still based in the Italian town where it began in 1526.

The company’s Italian patriarch, Ugo Gussalli Beretta, visited the plant shortly after O’Malley introduced his gun-control bill, and the two discussed the issue. But Reh declined to say if the two reached any decisions about what would happen if the governor’s bill passes.

“All I can tell you is, Mr. Beretta said, ‘There always seems to be a problem with Maryland.’ ”


It’s not only the welfare recipients, state employees, pensions, prisons and schools that are draining California’s coffers. In a February 23 Los Angeles Times story, Marc Lifsher reports that multimillionaire professional athletes have bilked the State of California out of millions of dollars in workers’ compensation benefits.

And now digest this zinger. The vast majority of those athletes played for teams in other states and actually played only a few games in California. No wonder the former Golden State is now the Rusty Iron State.

Here are some excerpts from Lifsher’s report:

In his seven-year career with the Denver Broncos, running back Terrell Davis, a former Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, dazzled fans with his speed and elusiveness.

At the end of his rookie year in 1995, he signed a $6.8-million, five-year contract. Off the field he endorsed Campbell's soup. And when he hung up his cleats, he reported for the National Football League Network and appeared in movies and TV shows.

So it may surprise Californians to find out that in 2011, Davis got a $199,000 injury settlement from a California workers' compensation court for injuries related to football. This came despite the fact Davis was employed by a Colorado team and played just nine times in California during an 88-game career, according to the NFL.

Davis was compensated for the lifelong effects of multiple injuries to the head, arms, trunk, legs and general body, according to California workers' compensation records.

He is not alone.

Over the last three decades, California's workers' compensation system has awarded millions of dollars in benefits for job-related injuries to thousands of professional athletes. The vast majority worked for out-of-state teams; some played as little as one game in the Golden State.

Major retired stars who scored six-figure California workers' compensation benefits include Moses Malone, a three-time NBA most valuable player with the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and other teams. He was awarded $155,000. Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin, formerly with the Dallas Cowboys, received $249,000. The benefits usually are calculated as lump-sum payments but sometimes are accompanied by open-ended agreements to provide lifetime medical services.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


A Brown University study shows 6,000 American troops, 1,200 allied troops, 9,900 Iraqi soldiers, 8,800 Afghan soldiers, 3,500 Pakistani soldiers as well as 2,300 U.S. private security contractors and 172,000 civilians have been killed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the counter-terrorism campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen. And in dollars, what it costs for those wars far exceeds Pentagon estimates.


Agence France-Presse (AFP)
February 23, 2013

U.S. wars launched since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have left 225,000 dead and cost up to $4.4 trillion, according to a new study by university researchers.

The study published by Brown University this week focused on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and counter-terrorism campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen, which came in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

The authors argued that governments almost always go to war underestimating the potential duration and costs of a conflict while overestimating "the political objectives that can be accomplished by the use of brute force."

The study said "an extremely conservative estimate" of the casualty toll was about 225,000 people killed and 365,000 wounded in the wars so far.

The number of soldiers killed comes to 31,741, including about 6,000 Americans, 1,200 allied troops, 9,900 Iraqis, 8,800 Afghans, 3,500 Pakistanis as well as 2,300 U.S. private security contractors, it said.

The civilian toll was much higher, with an estimated 172,000 dead, including about 125,000 Iraqis, 35,000 Pakistanis and 12,000 Afghans, it said.

The study acknowledged that estimating the number of dead was difficult, particularly the toll for insurgents, putting the number at between 20,000 to 51,000 insurgents killed.

The report found that 168 reporters and 266 humanitarian workers were among the dead since the United States launched its "war on terror" after 9/11.

The wars also have triggered a massive flow of refugees and displaced persons, with more than 7.8 million displaced, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan, it said.

The study estimated the financial cost of the wars at a minimum of $3.7 trillion and up to $4.4 trillion, which represents about a quarter of the country's current debt.

The researchers arrived at a much larger figure than the Pentagon's previous estimates, as they included spending by the Department of Homeland Security to counter terrorist threats, government projections for spending on wounded veterans through 2051 and war-related funds from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The U.S. government has previously cited the price tag for the wars at about one trillion dollars.

"Our estimate is larger because we include more than the direct Pentagon appropriation for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the larger global war on terror," said the study.

"Wars always cost more than what the Pentagon spends for the duration of the combat operation."


Good judgment would have cops take any health emergency seriously even though they believe a prisoner was faking it.

6 jurors decided there was probable cause to believe a crime was committed when a robbery suspect died in a squad car

Associated Press
February 22, 2013

MILWAUKEE — Three Milwaukee police officers who ignored a suspect's pleas for help as he gasped for air in the back of a squad car should face misdemeanor charges in his death, a jury concluded at an inquest Thursday.

After seven days of testimony, the six jurors unanimously concluded there was probable cause to believe a crime was committed when Derek Williams died in July 2011.

Special prosecutor John Franke will consider the jury's recommendation in deciding whether to formally charge the officers. The three officers refused to testify during the inquest, citing their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The officers were not present when the verdict was read in court.

The jury also found that there was probable cause that Williams — who had the genetic marker for sickle cell but not the disease itself — died of sickle cell crisis.

The 22-year-old robbery suspect was arrested after running about a block and a half. He had been released from jail earlier in the day, where he had been held for unpaid tickets. He had no criminal record. A video shows that for nearly eight minutes, he struggled to breathe and begged for help while officers ignored his pleas, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

In his closing statement Wednesday, Franke presented arguments both in favor of charges and against charges. On one hand, he said, half a dozen neighbors testified that they heard Williams repeatedly say he couldn't breathe as he was arrested and taken to the squad car.

"As they put him into the squad car in the condition he was in, all that was needed was a simple check ... or a call for help. They didn't do it, and we have seen the result," Franke said.

On the other hand, Franke pointed out that the officers eventually performed CPR and called paramedics. The officers said they thought Williams was faking his illness.

Franke decided earlier against asking the inquest jury to consider felony charges against any officers in connection with Williams' death, because of the complexity of the medical evidence and lingering uncertainty about why Williams died.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm sought the inquest after a Journal Sentinel investigation prompted the medical examiner's office to change its ruling in Williams' death from natural to homicide. In forensic terms, homicide means "death at the hands of another" but does not necessarily mean a crime was committed. Chisholm named Franke, a former Milwaukee County judge and assistant U.S. attorney, as special prosecutor in part to counteract criticism that county inquests typically have been biased toward police.

In more than 25 years, no Milwaukee County inquest jury has recommended criminal charges against a police officer in a fatal shooting or in-custody death.

The Milwaukee Police Department said in a statement Thursday that Police Chief Ed Flynn "appreciates the diligence and professionalism" of the special prosecutor.

"The Milwaukee Police Department has cooperated and will continue to cooperate with this process," the statement said.

Mayor Tom Barrett said he and Flynn called for an independent investigation after the medical examiner's office changed its ruling. He also noted that Milwaukee police have changed their operating procedures, so officers must call for medical help when someone has health problems.

"As today's findings are vetted and work their way through the legal process, I ask everyone to remain patient and respectful of the process," Barrett said in a statement Thursday.

Milwaukee Common Council President Willie L. Hines Jr. said Thursday he was pleased by the jury's recommendation.

"I am grateful to hear that some strides toward justice are being made in the death of Derek Williams," Hines said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. "This verdict marks a significant advancement in an attempt to hold individual police officers accountable for their actions."

A federal criminal investigation into Williams' death continues. The U.S. Department of Justice also is considering whether to sue the Milwaukee Police Department over a possible pattern of civil rights abuses.


Since Thursday, worldwide media attention has been focused on Las Vegas over a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip by passengers of a Range Rover at the driver of a Maserati. The shooting resulted in a multi car accident in which a taxi exploded killing the driver and a passenger. The driver of the Maserati, rapper Kenny Clutch, also died.

In this case the propagandists for and tourism tub-thumpers of Las Vegas would have very much preferred that this shooting incident stayed in Vegas. I don’t know why they should be so concerned.

Shootings from cars occur nearly every day in cities like Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Baltimore, etc. So why should Las Vegas be any different?


The Onion
February 22, 2013

CHICAGO—The city of Chicago is steadily recovering from an overnight snowstorm that delayed hundreds of murders on Friday morning and will likely continue to push numerous homicides across the city drastically behind schedule, public authorities announced.

“As we speak, maintenance crews are working diligently to restore public transportation, de-ice roads, and clear back alleyways so that Chicagoans can quickly resume murdering again,” Department of Streets and Sanitation spokesman Dave Michelson said of the heavy blizzard, which caused numerous homicide cancellations this morning at peak murder times. “Unfortunately, we’re backed up by about 35 deadly shootings at the moment, but we hope to restore regular death tolls as soon as possible. We apologize to anyone forced to postpone shootings or other killings today and assure concerned murderers that they will be able to resume slayings by the early afternoon.”

At press time, authorities reported that murders were up and running in many parts of the city, with four teenagers already gunned down on Chicago’s South Side.


By Ima Schmuck

The Unconventional Gazette
February 23, 2013

1. Money cannot buy happiness, but it's more comfortable to cry in a Rolls-Royce than on a bicycle.

2. Forgive your enemy, but remember the asshole's name.

3. If you help someone when they're in trouble, they will remember you when they're in trouble again.

4. Many people are alive only because it's illegal to shoot them.

5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then neither does milk.

Bonus: Condoms don't guarantee safe sex. A friend of mine was wearing one when he was shot by the woman's husband.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


The California Board of Parole is considering releasing cop-killer Gerald Youngberg from prison on compassionate parole

Here are the letters I wrote. I’m asking all of you to please write similar letters to the Board of Parole at both Susanville and Sacramento because, hopefully, that will keep Youngberg locked up behind bars where he belongs until the day he dies. You do not have to live in California to write. As a matter of fact, out-of-state letters may have a bigger impact than those from instate residents.

February 22, 2012

High Desert State Prison
Attn: C&PR/Records Office –Board Desk
475-750 Rice Canyon Road
P.O. Box 750
Susanville, CA 96127

Board of Parole Hearings
Attn: Lifer Scheduling Analysts
PO Box 4036
Sacramento, CA 95812-4036

Re: Penal Code 3550 Parole Hearing for Gerald Youngberg, Inmate No. B50097

Dear Members of the Board of Parole

In 1973 Gerald Youngberg killed two police officers and a gas station attendant in cold blood. His life was spared by a California Supreme Court decision after he had been sentenced to death. It is my understanding that you are now considering granting Youngberg a compassionate parole.

This ruthless cop-killer does not deserve any compassion whatsoever!

I am a former Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigator and a former California Parole Agent. Lt. Al Stewart of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department was one of the police officers Youngberg killed and he killed him execution style. Al and I not only worked together on a number of narcotics cases, but he was also one of my closest and best friends.

The interests of justice demand that Gerald Youngberg not ever be granted any type of parole. The interests of justice demand that Youngberg remain in prison until his death, no matter how old he is or no matter the condition of his health. He showed no compassion to the three people he murdered in cold blood and accordingly, he deserves no compassion whatsoever either.

Respectfully submitted




Despite all the rhetoric about gun violence by Obama and Biden, it appears as though the Obama administration has a dismal record of enforcing our existing gun laws.

By Cyrus Afzali

February 22, 2013

A group of 23 Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee Friday sent letters to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder demanding existing gun laws be enforced before additional limitations are passed.

The committee, which has held hearings in recent weeks on ways to prevent gun violence, again called into focus statistics that show a dramatic drop in federal weapons prosecutions over the past decade.

The letters cite a Syracuse University study that show firearms prosecutions under President George W. Bush peaked at 11,015 in 2004 while the Obama administration has prosecuted about 7,774 firearms cases in 2012.

“A prosecution rate this low is not indicative of a Department of Justice that takes the act of illegally attempting to acquire a firearm seriously,” Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said in a statement accompanying the letters.

“We must all be looking for ways to prevent senseless acts of violence and the taking of innocent life but the best place to start would be enforcing the laws that Congress has already enacted.”

Highlighting the crime rise in Chicago, the president’s hometown, the lawmakers pointed out that the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago, is ranked the lowest of all federal court districts in firearms prosecutions despite a surge in gun-related violence.

“In a city like Chicago, which saw 506 murders last year, it is appalling that the U.S. attorney’s office in that jurisdiction only prosecuted 25 federal firearms cases during 2011,” the group wrote.

The letter also points out that of the 76,142 gun permit requests that were denied following background checks by federally-licensed firearms dealers, only 4,732 were referred for prosecution. Of that total, only 62 prosecutions resulted.

In addition to Goodlatte, the letters were signed by Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Howard Coble (N.C.), Lamar Smith (Texas), Steve Chabot (Ohio), Spencer Bachus (Ala.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Randy Forbes (Va.), Steve King (Iowa), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Ted Poe (Texas), Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Steve Marino (Pa.), Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Mark Amodei (Nev.), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Blake Farenthold (Texas), George Holding (N.C.), Doug Collins (Ga.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.) and Keith Rothfus (Pa.).


Liberals accuse Ted Nugent of being a right-wing nut, but a lot of what the rocker says rings true.

By Christiana Lilly

February 22, 2013

President Barack Obama’s policies are destroying hope and opportunities for millions of African Americans, Detroit rocker Ted Nugent claims.

“It’s not all the president’s fault, but the economic and social policies he endorses are destroying what is left of a once proud and strong black America,” the Motor City Madman wrote in an editorial for World Net Daily.

“Today, the unemployment rate for adult black Americans is twice that of white Americans. Teenage black unemployment is at a staggering 40 percent.

“The high school drop-out rate for black Americans in some inner cities is above 50 percent. Only 66 percent of black youth graduate from high school — the lowest in the country.

“Black-on-black crime is epidemic. Our inner cities are cesspools of gangland violence.

“Cities such as Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and so many others see young black men gunned down by other young black men on a nightly basis.”

Describing himself as a “Motor City Motown guy,” Nugent said he cannot understand why black support for Democrats is so high. “With all this unbelievable negative information, what is more unbelievable is that black Americans continue to support Democratic politicians who have raped and plundered black America forever.

“The turbo-destruction will continue for black Americans until they realize that dirty Democrat politicians are their true enemy, not their salvation.”

Nugent said he doesn’t celebrate Black History in February, saying, “I celebrate it every day, as my very black-inspired musical dreams could not have been successful were it not for black Americans.”

“My music is black and I’m proud!” he wrote.


Whatever happened to the teaching of reading, writing and arithmetic?

What has happened to our public education system with so many kids ‘graduating’ from high school barely able to read and unable to add, subtract, multiply and divide without the use of a hand-held electronic device?

One reader of the Houston Chronicle seems to have the answer. He says that from kindergarten through the third grade, kids are taught more about self-esteem than ‘the three R’s.’

Here is that reader’s letter to the Chronicle:


Regarding "A letter to parents of public schoolchildren in Texas," there are more groups trying to fix public education than Heinz has pickles. The only way to detect possibilities of a future for children is to make sure that kids from kindergarten through third grade are getting what used to be called "the three R's."

For the last 30 years, the three R's have been hit and miss, with lots of self-esteem programs put in. One gets self-esteem by knowing one is capable of doing the work put before him. Kids aren't dumb; they are taught to be dumb.

The three R's are the absolute foundation education of training your brain to think and execute for future education. That's what No Child Left Behind was all about, until politics did away with it.

Liney Rotan, Houston


By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
February 22, 2013

The People’s Republic of San Francisco is moving forward with two bills that would prohibit the sale of ammunition intended for military or police use. Now, if I remember correctly, most modern police ammunition is expanding hollow-point configuration and the military still uses military ball. If you can’t have ball ammunition, and you can’t have hollow-point ammunition, what can you have?

Is this the communist party of SF being sneaky, or are they just too damn stupid and technically ignorant to know what they are doing?

This stupidity is being pushed by Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Malia Cohen.

Friday, February 22, 2013


The California Board of Parole is considering releasing cop-killer Gerald Youngberg from prison on compassionate parole

In 1973, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Lt. Al Stewart was shot to death by Gerald Youngberg who had also killed CHP Officer Larry Wetterling and a gas station attendant. Youngberg was sentenced to death but his life was spared when the California Supreme Court declared the state’s death penalty unconstitutional.

Lt. Stewart, who was accompanied by a San Bernardino County deputy DA, was on the way to a narcotics task force meeting in Barstow when he heard about Youngberg’s crime spree on the police radio. He made a quick detour – it turned out to be a fatal one - to assist his fellow officers in trying to apprehend a ruthless cop killer.

Al Stewart and I not only worked together on a number of narcotics cases, but he was also one of my very closest and best friends during the time I lived in California. We bonded immediately the first time we met because he had come from New Jersey and I had lived in New York for a number of years.

Youngberg is being considered for release on compassionate parole at a Board of Parole Hearing in March at High Desert State Prison in Susanville. No one is less deserving of compassion than this ruthless cold-blooded cop killer. This vermin should never be allowed to leave prison in anything other than a pine box. I would consider it a personal affront if the California Board of Parole were to release that worthless piece of shit from prison for any reason whatsoever.

That is why I am now pleading with all of you to please write to the authorities listed below and demand that, in the interests of justice, Gerald Youngberg not ever be granted any type of parole. Even if you do not live in California, please take the time to write and let the Board of Parole know that you are opposed to any parole for Youngberg.

Please write to both addresses and refer to: Penal Code 3550 Parole Hearing for Gerald Youngberg, Inmate Number B50097

High Desert State Prison
Attn: C&PR/Records Office –Board Desk
475-750 Rice Canyon Road
P.O. Box 750
Susanville, CA 96127

Board of Parole Hearings
Attn: Lifer Scheduling Analysts
PO Box 4036
Sacramento, CA 95812-4036

Al Stewart was one of the really good guys and I would very much appreciate it if all of you would take the time to send a letter to both addresses. You do not have to live in California to send those letters. Thank you and God bless you!


Florida Atlantic University’s president tries to justify giving naming rights of its new football stadium to the private prison group from hell

GEO has the sorriest record among the poor performance records of private prison companies.

By Craig Malisow

Houston Press Hair Balls
February 21, 2013

Before rapist and kidnapper John Enard clipped off his monitoring bracelet and strolled out of his Houston halfway house, he had it made it clear to state authorities: he would offend again before ever being sent back to prison.

One of the best ways to allow Enard to run off and rape again was to place him in a sieve of a halfway house; and one of the biggest sieves in Texas is the Southeast Texas Transitional Center, which had at least six violent sexual predators abscond in the two years before Enard split, with one of those absconders shooting to death a 24-year-old man who tried to stop the offender from mugging a woman in a gas station. Now Florida Atlantic University has sold its football stadium's naming rights to the company that owns Southeast Texas Transitional Center, and which has a horrendous track history in the private prisons and halfway houses it operates around the country. So just in case you feared that a belief in common decency had superseded the Altar of College Football in the wake of Paterno-Sandusky, you no longer have to worry.

Boca Raton-based GEO group is paying FAU $6 million over 12 years, and the kicker is, the money's coming from the company's so-called charity arm, the GEO Group Foundation, despite the fact that GEO has more than $1 billion in assets.

University President Mary Jane Saunders stated in a press release that "It is so exciting to now have a name for our beautiful stadium, and I couldn't think of a better way to do that than by way of philanthropy."

The press release -- a fine example of gold spun from the ripest mountain of horseshit imaginable -- described GEO as "the first fully integrated equity real estate investment trust specializing in the designing, financing, development, and operation of correctional, detention, and community reentry facilities around the globe."

See, GEO doesn't own poorly run, taxpayer-financed halfway houses where rapists can just amble off into the sunset; no, it runs "reentry facilities."

Except when it doesn't: In 2008, GEO washed its hand of a prison it ran in the Texas town of Littlefield, eight years after the town borrowed $10 million to build the facility in a bid to bring in jobs and help boost the town's economy. But many of the prisoners were from Idaho, whose state department of corrections decided to pull its prisoners from GEO facilities after a series of scandals. With no inmates, there was no need for a prison, and the building sat vacant. After losing more than 100 jobs, Littlefield was forced to put the facility on the auction block.

We wonder if this sort of economy-smashing, rapist-roamin' institutional stewardship is what FAU Prez Saunders has in mind when she talks about "philanthropy." Or maybe that's just the sort of thing you have to say when someone promises to write you a fat check. Go Owls!


I like it, but I’m sure this will never fly in the federal courts ….. maybe not even in the Texas courts.


Associated Press
February 19, 2013

AUSTIN, TX -- Police officers could be charged with a crime for enforcing new federal gun control laws in Texas under a proposal by a lawmaker who acknowledges the measure likely would end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rep. Steve Toth, a newly elected Republican from the Woodlands, said his proposal would prevent officers from carrying out any future federal orders to confiscate assault rifles and ammunition magazines.

"There's a federal law, there's a 30-round magazine right in front of you - what do I do?" Toth said in an interview. The measure known as the Firearm Protection Act "answers that question in spades," he said. It moved Tuesday to the House Committee on Federalism.

President Barack Obama has proposed federal laws banning such weapons, but no such laws currently exist.

Toth's proposal would create a Class A misdemeanor for police officers enforcing any new federal gun regulations. It also would establish cause for the state attorney general to sue anyone who seeks to enforce new federal gun regulations. It is one of several states-rights measures being offered by conservative state lawmakers nationwide in response to federal gun control proposals.

Courts have long upheld the federal government's right to enact new laws, which generally supersede state law. Asked how legal precedent for the supremacy of federal law would affect enforcement of his bill, Toth said he expects a legal challenge.

"It may end up in the Supreme Court," he said.

Several recently elected lawmakers gathered at a news conference Tuesday with Toth and Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who successfully contested implementation of certain provisions of the Brady gun laws in the 1990s.

"The federal government is not our boss," Mack said. "If there's any place that that's applicable and true, it's the state of Texas."

Referring to Greg Abbott, the attorney general who helped draft the bill, Mack added: "And we've got a great attorney."

Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Collin County and the most senior lawmaker who stood in support of the proposal, said it could become law "if it's not demagogued as an anti-Obama bill."

"This new group of freshman coming in, they're pretty bold," said Laubenberg, who is in her sixth term. "Pretty dynamic. Not just going to sit and let things happen."


For one mourner this funeral was worth $7.2 million.


Associated Press
February 19, 2013

BILOXI, Miss. -- A Michigan man who went to Mississippi for a friend's funeral stopped by a casino and won a $7.2 million jackpot from a penny-slot machine.

Casino officials tell the Sun Herald that Tyler Morris of Montague, Mich., won the jackpot Friday after attending the memorial service.

His treasure came from "The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship" penny-slot machine, manufactured by WMS Gaming.

The slot machine's progressive jackpot resets at $200,000.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


In an op-ed (‘Will a Notorious Anti-Semite Become the Pope?”) published in Wednesday’s Jewish World Review, Alan Dershowitz points out that one of the leading candidates to become the next pope is a notorious anti-Semite who blames the Jews for the Catholic Church sex scandals.

Here are some excerpts from Dershowitz’ column:

Among those being considered to succeed Pope Benedict XVI is a notorious anti-Semite, Cardinal Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras.

To put it most simply, Rodriguez Maradiaga is an out and out Jew-hater. He has said that "the Jews" are to blame for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! The Jews? How did Rodriguez Maradiaga ever come up with this hair-brained idea? Here is his "logic." He begins by asserting that the Vatican is anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian (as he says it should be). It follows, therefore, that "the Jews" had to get even with the Catholic Church, while at the same time deflecting attention away from Israeli injustices against the Palestinians. The Jews managed to do this by arranging for the media—which he says they control—to give disproportionate attention on the Vatican sex scandal.

Listen to Rodriguez Maradiaga's own words:

__"It certainly makes me think that in a moment in which all the attention of the mass media was focused on the Middle East, all the many injustices done against the Palestinian people, the print media and the TV in the United States became obsessed with sexual scandals that happened 40 years ago, 30 years ago. Why? I think it's also for these motives: What is the church that has received Arafat the most times and has most often confirmed the necessity of the creation of a Palestinian state? What is the church that does not accept that Jerusalem should be the indivisible capital of the State of Israel, but that it should be the capital of the three great monotheistic religions?"

Rodriguez Maradiaga then goes on to compare the Jewish controlled media with "Hitler," because they are "protagonists of what I do not hesitate to define as a persecution against The Church."

The prime media culprit in Rodriguez Maradiaga's bizarro world is the Boston Globe, which has won numerous journalistic awards for its exposure of the sex scandal and cover up. The Globe is owned by The New York Times, which is controlled by the Sulzberger family. Hence the Jewish conspiracy.

……….the bigoted cardinal, who -- along with other classic anti-Semites -- believes that if there is a problem, "the Jews" must be to blame for it.” As James Carrol, the distinguished columnist for the Boston Globe who is himself a Catholic, has characterized Rodriguez Maradiaga's "crackpot" mindset: "when the church has a problem—here is the oldest move of all—blame the Jews."


Math teacher had sex with students, texted one with offer of blow job

Some parent screwed things up for four lucky guys when she found dirty words and pictures sent by a teacher on her son’s cell phone. 14 years of teaching math went down the tubes.

By Richard Connelly

Houston Press Hair Balls
February 19, 2013

LaShawn Simmons, a 41-year-old former middle-school math teacher in Pasadena, is facing a slew of charges in connection with her having sex with four students, police say.

Simmons, who has resigned her position at the Pasadena district's Beverly Hills Intermediate School, is charged with sexual assault of a child, two counts of improper relationship between an educator and a student, online solicitation of a minor and possession of child pornography, according to court records.

The records indicate the teacher and students exchanged dirty texts and inappropriate photographs until a parent discovered what was going on. A two-month investigation showed, cops say, that Simmons had sex with four students at PISD's Dobie High: Two adults and two minors, all males.

Among the chats discovered by investigators was one allegedly from Simmons to one of the defendants, an adult: "That's my favorite," she allegedly wrote. "Ima make you cum fast with my mouth. Then swallow everything you give me."

Simmons has been a PISD teacher for 14 years.


Russian expert Anton Venediktov of Moscow’s technical and security center EVRAAS says mice can work shifts of 6-8 hours. Dogs can only work for 20 minutes before they have to be given a long break.

Sources in Moscow say mice have been used already by the Israeli military

By Will Stewart

Mail Online
February 19, 2013

Russian military intelligence is testing out a new spy recruit - Agent Squeak.
Not as glamorous as flame-haired foreign intelligence agent Anna Chapman, mice are nevertheless seen as fast and versatile in underground operations, say experts.

They are potentially superior to dogs in detecting explosives and ammunition as well as seeking out human hostages, it is claimed.

Sources in Moscow say mice have been used already by the Israeli military in counter terrorist situations.

If they pass a series of exacting tests at a secret location, the creatures could be deployed not only by GRU military intelligence but also other Russian secret services better known for honeytraps than mousetraps, reported Izvestia newspaper.

'Mice can be taught to detect the smell of certain substances,' explained Russian expert Anton Venediktov.

'Feeling it, they run to a special place in their cage, and make a certain pose.

'Mice can be trained to signal, in particular, the smell of weapons, explosives, drugs, or the human body.'
Mice - like Tom’s sparring partner Jerry and also Mickey Mouse - have been eulogised for years in cartoons, often portrayed as shrewder than other animals.

This is with good reason, said Venediktov, from specialist technical and security centre EVRAAS in Moscow.

They have a 'less complicated central nervous system' than some other animals.

This means they are not so prone to mood swings and emotional stress.

Their behaviour is 'more stable', making them ideal for 007-style roles, it is claimed.

They can be trained to perform 150 tasks in one month such as sniffing out explosives or weapons, and can work shifts of between six and eight hours, it is claimed.


What is surprising about this ruling is that liberal Justice Elena Kagan wrote the decision.

Signal from a properly trained drug-detecting dog is enough to establish probable cause for a warrantless search of a vehicle during a roadside stop

By Warren Richey

The Christian Science Monitor
February 19, 2013

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday tackled the tricky issue of when a sniff from a drug-detecting dog is up to constitutional snuff.

At issue in the case, Florida v. Harris, was whether a deputy sheriff in Florida's Liberty County acted properly in June 2006 when he initiated a warrantless search of a pickup truck after his drug-detecting dog signaled that it sensed the presence of illicit narcotics.

No drugs were found, but the sheriff's deputy discovered key ingredients to make methamphetamine. The driver, Clayton Harris, was charged with unlawful possession of 200 pseudoephedrine pills for use in manufacturing methamphetamine.

Mr. Harris admitted he was addicted to methamphetamine and that he regularly prepared and used it in his home.

A few weeks later, after being released on bond, Harris was pulled again by the same deputy sheriff working with the same drug-sniffing dog, Aldo.

Again, Aldo signaled or "alerted" the deputy that he sensed the presence of illicit narcotics in Harris's truck. The deputy searched the truck, and found only an open bottle of liquor, but no drugs.

Harris's lawyer challenged the lawfulness of the deputy's warrantless searches of the pickup truck. The lawyer questioned Aldo's reliability, suggesting that the warrantless searches were improper because Aldo had obviously been mistaken about the presence of drugs.

The trial judge upheld the lawfulness of the search, but the Florida Supreme Court reversed. The state high court held that the deputy lacked the necessary probable cause to search the pickup truck without first obtaining a court-issued warrant.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled that K-9 officers in Florida must be able to present evidence of a dog's performance in the field, including how often the dog had signaled the presence of drugs when none were found.

"The fact that a dog has been certified and trained is simply not enough to establish probable cause," the Florida high court said.

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court reversed that decision, ruling 9 to 0 that a signal from a properly trained drug-detecting dog would be enough to establish probable cause for a law enforcement officer to undertake a warrantless search of a vehicle during a roadside stop.

Writing for the court, Justice Elena Kagan said the legal standard for the establishment of probable cause was "practical and common-sensical," rather than the rigid and precise requirements imposed by the Florida high court.

"All we have required," Justice Kagan wrote, "is the kind of 'fair probability' on which reasonable and prudent people, not legal technicians, act."

She added: "The Florida Supreme Court flouted this established approach to determining probable cause."

Kagan said the Florida judges assumed that Aldo's signaling the scent of drugs in Harris's pickup truck where none were found was a mistake by the dog. But she said the dog's nose is capable of sensing residual odors of narcotics and that it was no mistake.

"The Florida Supreme Court treated a dog's response to residual odor as an error, referring to the 'inability to distinguish between (such) odors and actual drugs' as a factor that calls into question Aldo's reliability," Kagan wrote.

"But that statement reflects a misunderstanding," she said. "A detection dog recognizes an odor, not a drug, and should alert whenever the scent is present, even if the substance is gone."

"In the usual case, the mere chance that the substance might no longer be at the location does not matter; a well-trained dog's alert establishes a fair probability — all that is required for probable cause — that either drugs or evidence of a drug crime will be found," Kagan said.

The justice added that the better measure of a dog's reliability is not what happens in the field but how the dog performs in controlled testing environments where the testers know when drugs are present and when they are not.

"For that reason, evidence of a dog's satisfactory performance in a certification or training program can itself provide sufficient reason to trust his alert," Kagan said.

"The question — similar to every inquiry into probable cause — is whether all the facts surrounding a dog's alert, viewed through the lens of common sense, would make a reasonably prudent person think that a search would reveal contraband or evidence of a crime," the justice said.

"A sniff is up to snuff when it meets that test," she added.

The case is No. 11-817 and the decision came in one of two dog-sniff cases heard by the justices on Oct. 31.

The other case, Florida v. Jardines (11-564), raised the question of whether police acted properly when they led a drug-sniffing dog to the front door of a house suspected of being used to grow marijuana. The justices did not release the decision in that case on Tuesday. There is no indication when that decision may be announced.