Sunday, June 30, 2013


Despite extensive firearms training, NYPD cops hit suspects only 38 percent of the time at six feet or less and only 17 percent of the time at distances between six and twenty-one feet

Years ago when NY cops were still carrying revolvers, there was a shootout on a Brooklyn sidewalk between a cop and a crook standing no more than three feet apart. Both emptied their revolvers at each other and neither one got hit. I suspect that the exchange of gunfire wasn’t entirely ineffective, as both of them must have shit their pants.

Shooting on a firing range is a lot different from a real life-or-death shootout. That explains why cops would like to have a .50 cal. on-duty pistol with a 50 round magazine. But the EEOC would never approve, because female cops wouldn’t be able to handle the weight.

Seriously though, this explains why cops usually empty their guns in a shootout, even if there are a bunch of them but only one crook. They know the difference between firing at a stationary range target and shooting it out with someone on the street. That’s why if there are 10 cops shooting it out with one crook, you often find they fired as many as 50 rounds or so. And when the suspect is hit, his body can spin around so that he will also be hit in the back. Then Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will lead demonstrations against racist killer cops who use excessive force and shoot their victims in the back.

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
June 29, 2013

I was just perusing the current issue of Handguns magazine and I stumbled across an interesting article. It seems that, starting this year, the FBI has made a significant change in their handgun training, based on statistical analysis (as opposed to a single incident, such as the disastrous Miami shootout).

The FBI reviewed more than 200 agent involved shootings over a 17-year period. They figured out that in about 75% of those shootings the shooter was within nine feet of their agents. Until this year the FBI pistol qualification was 50 rounds, over half were fired beyond 15 yards. It is now 60 rounds, and 2/3 of them are fired at seven yards or less.

According to the DOJ of the 500 police officers shot to death in the line of duty between 2002 and 2011, 235 of these instances placed the shooter within five feet of the murdered officer. An additional 92 of those instances place the shooter within ten feet.

In Florida the Metro-Dad police fired about 1,300 rounds for effect between 1990 and 2001. Their hit ratio was 15.4%.

The NYPD, when counting shooting at bad guys and dogs between 1994 and 2000, got 38% of hits at distances of six feet or less. When you went past six feet but stayed with less than 21 feet the hit percentage went down to 17%.

It is obvious that most police shootings take place at barely beyond arm-length, tend to be fast, and more shots miss than hit. The FBI is shifting their training to spend more resources on addressing the actual threat. Just thought you might like to know.


Speaking on the House floor Monday for just one minute, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., listed a number of Obama administration scandals which he says render Obama “not fit to lead.”

Democrats hit back by pointing out that some of these scandals started under the George W. Bush administration.

Here is what Rep. Jim Bridenstine said:

“Mr. Speaker, the president’s Justice Department sold weapons to narco-terrorists south of our border, who killed one of our finest.

The president’s State Department lied about Benghazi with false information provided by the White House.

The president’s attorney general authorized spying on a Fox News reporter and his family for reporting on a North Korean nuclear test.

The president’s Justice Department confiscated phone records of the Associated Press because they reported on a thwarted terrorist attack.

The president’s Treasury Department uses the IRS to target political opposition.

The president’s Health and Human Services secretary pressures insurance companies she is supposed to regulate to promote ‘Obamacare,’ which is the same law she uses to force citizens to pay for abortion inducing drugs against their religious liberties.”

Mr. Speaker, the president’s dishonesty, incompetence, vengefulness and lack of moral compass lead many to suggest that he is not fit to lead.

The only problem is that his vice president is equally unfit and even more embarrassing.”


I hope this sorry piece of shit is haunted every day of his time in prison by the horrific death his sister suffered because he failed to pay murderous drug dealers what he owed them.


Fort Worth Star-Telegram
June 28, 2013

FORT WORTH — The brother of a 16-year-old Arlington girl who was abducted, raped and buried alive in 1994 over his alleged drug debt must serve nearly 13 years in prison for trafficking.

Neil Nick Rene of Duncanville pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to launder money, according to federal prosecutors. Investigators say marijuana was mailed from Texas to the U.S. Virgin Islands. The plea was announced Thursday.

On Sept. 24, 1994, his sister Lisa Rene was dragged from her sister’s apartment in northwest Arlington as she made a harrowing 911 call for help.

A Lamar High School honor student, Lisa Rene was raped repeatedly and held captive for nearly two days before being beaten with a shovel, doused with gasoline and buried alive in a shallow grave near Pine Bluff, Ark.

Prosecutors said the attack was carried out to take revenge on Lisa Rene’s brothers, who cheated Arkansas drug dealer Orlando Hall out of $5,000 in a marijuana deal.

Authorities pleaded with the brothers to reveal all they knew about their sister’s abduction. But Neil Rene and Stanfield Vitalis kept quiet until three days after her disappearance — and one day after her slaying Sept. 26.

Hall and Bruce Webster were convicted in federal court in Fort Worth and await execution for the slaying. Three people pleaded guilty to kidnapping and testified for the prosecution.


The Unconventional Gazette
June 29, 2013

A teacher asks the kids in her 3rd grade class: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Little Johnny says: "I wanna be a billionaire, go to the most expensive clubs, get me the finest bitch, give her a Ferrari worth over a million bucks, an apartment in Copacabana, a mansion in Paris, a jet to travel all over the World, and an Infinite Visa Card, while banging her three times a day".

The teacher, shocked, and not knowing what to do with this horrible response from little Johnny, decides not to acknowledge what he said and simply tries to continue with the lesson . . . .

"And how about you, Sarah?"

Little Sarah replies, "I wanna be Johnny's bitch."


The Onion
June 28, 2013

BUFFALO, NY—Revealing his most recent offering, which further solidifies his rightful place in the cultural pantheon, local graffiti artist Patrick “Jester” Dunham told reporters Friday that he has at last put the finishing touches on his latest masterwork, “Still Life Of Marijuana Leaf.”

“My newest creation combines the natural and the contrived, the unexpected and the everyday; it represents everything I’ve achieved so far, while also suggesting what exciting frontiers lie ahead,” Dunham said of his towering opus depicting a single monochrome Cannabis frond, which follows the aerosol master’s recent tours de force, ‘Anarchy Symbol,’ ‘Dead Kennedys Logo,’ and ‘Fuck You #8.’

“In my early period, I attempted to merely assimilate the methods of those great virtuosos who came before me, but today I paint solely from within, channeling that deepest part of me and expressing my innermost self on the brick. And I think the intensity of that process comes out in my work.”

Dunham added that those wishing to experience his chef d’oeuvre for themselves may do so by visiting the western exterior of the Exchange Street Amtrak station, where the painting will be displayed alongside the location’s permanent collection of bubble-letter slurs and phalluses.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


First Don West, one of George Zimmerman’s attorneys, tells the jury a lame ‘knock-knock’ joke and now his daughters have also helped hurt poor old George’s case. They posted a picture Friday on the photo-sharing site Instagram showing the two girls and their father each eating large ice cream cones.

The picture was captioned: "We beat stupidity celebration cones #zimmerman #defense #dadkilledit."

The caption appears to refer to Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend, Rachel Jeantel, who admitted during cross-examination about her telephone call with Martin that she couldn’t even read a letter she herself wrote about the shooting, saying “I don’t read cursive.”

The photo went viral with criticism of the caption’s ‘insensitive’ remark.

Fortunately for Zimmerman, during cross-examination two of the prosecution’s star witnesses seemed to verify that Martin was on top of Zimmerman, not the other way around. One of them testified that he saw Martin straddling Zimmerman in a way that looked like what is known in mixed-martial arts as 'ground and pound.'


Palestinian school textbooks financed by the U.S. and other western countries continue to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel, while the Hamas prime minister vows that Palestinians will never recognize a Jewish state.

That is why the reported cave-in by Netanyahu to Secretary of State John Kerry’s preconditions for restarting the peace talks is so infuriating.

By Ryan Jones

Israel Today
June 28, 2013

A hearing at the Knesset this week revealed once again that Palestinian school textbooks deny the legitimacy of Israel, erase Jewish history in the region, and teach that true peace is not possible until the Jewish state disappears.

Presenting his findings to the gathered lawmakers and foreign diplomats, Dr. Arnon Groiss, a recognized expert on tolerance in education, charged that "Israel is delegitimized, and demonized in these texts and no peaceful solution to Arab-Israel conflict is ever discussed."

The textbooks in question are used currently in Palestinian schools funded and operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Financing for the schools and textbooks comes from the US, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia and other nations.

One of the chief components of the original "Oslo" peace accords was that both sides would educate their respective populations for peaceful coexistence on the basis that both had a right to sovereignty in at least part of the land.

The Palestinian side has not only failed to meet this obligation, but has been demonstrably going in the opposite direction, educating future generations to perpetuate the conflict with Israel.


Israel Today
June 28, 2013

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh this week reiterated that the Palestinian Arabs as a whole will never recognize Israel's right to exist, and certainly not to exist as the Jewish state.

"We had two wars...but Palestinians did not and will not recognize Israel," Bethlehem-based news agency Ma'an quoted Haniyeh as saying as he welcomed a solidarity visit by international activists.

Why should anyone care what Hamas says at this point? That's certainly the line being taken by Washington and Europe, as they once again press Israel to make "peace" concessions to Hamas' rivals in the Palestinian Authority.

But what most have conveniently forgotten is that Haniyeh is prime minister and Hamas legally controls a majority in the Palestinian parliament because the Palestinian public voted the group into power.

Meanwhile, Haniyeh praised international activists that visit Hamas-ruled Gaza for performing a "holy duty" aimed at de-legitimizing Israel.


The problem for Christie is that, despite his popularity, bedrock conservatives hate his ass so much that he may not be able to win the Republican primary.

By Melanie Batley

June 28, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's popularity has surged since last summer, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's lead among potential 2016 presidential candidates has narrowed, a new poll has found.

According to a Fox News poll of 1,012 registered voters nationwide, 46 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of Christie, compared to 20 percent who view the Republican unfavorably, a 16 percent increase since August 2012.

Meanwhile, the poll conducted June 22-24 showed that Clinton's positive approval rating had dropped 7 points since last summer to 56 percent, compared to 38 percent who have an unfavorable opinion of her.

Still, the Democrat continues to be the most popular of all potential candidates for the White House in 2016, according to the survey, and her positive rating even outstrips President Barack Obama's. His rating dipped into the negative for the first time in the Fox poll, with 51 percent now having an unfavorable view of him while 47 percent still see him in favorable light.

Notably, the survey found that almost all of the improvement in Christie's favorability numbers comes from a 31 percent increase in positive views among Democrats and a 13 percent increase in positive views from independents. Forty-seven percent of Democrats have a positive view of the governor, according to the survey, almost matching the 49 percent of Republicans who have a favorable view as well.

By contrast, 86 percent of Democrats have a positive view of Clinton while just 25 percent of Republicans see her in a positive light.

On the back of national news coverage of Hurricane Sandy and the special Senate election in New Jersey, Christie's name identification has also jumped. Just 21 percent of voters say they "never heard" of Christie, a drop of 11 points.

In a match-up with other potential GOP presidential candidates, Christie leads by a considerable margin.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul drew a 37 percent favorability rating from the Fox poll, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush got 34 percent, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio got 29 percent.


Woman high on cocaine dies after arrest during which she was kicked in the stomach and groin by a cursing female officer

Several officers may face criminal charges and the city is sure to face a hefty lawsuit.

By Joel Rubin

Los Angeles Times
June 27, 2013

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck was sharply critical of how several officers acted during an arrest last year in which a woman died during a prolonged struggle with the police, department records show.

In a report to the Police Commission, the civilian board that oversees the LAPD, Beck concluded that a veteran female officer violated department policies when she repeatedly used her feet to kick or shove Alesia Thomas in her genitals and midsection. The same officer, the chief and the commission found, showed "apparent indifference" toward Thomas as she cursed at the mother of two young children during the messy effort to restrain her and place her in the back of a police cruiser.

Beck also raised concerns about the actions of three additional officers and a supervisor during the July 22 confrontation in South L.A. Two of the officers disregarded Thomas' request for medical help, while the third cop may have lied to investigators about the incident, Beck wrote in his report. A sergeant who responded to the scene may have failed to properly supervise and direct the officers during their increasingly ugly attempts to detain the woman, according to the report.

Following the chief's findings, the department opened formal internal investigations against the officers and sergeant, which could result in them being disciplined. The district attorney's office, meanwhile, is reviewing the case for possible criminal charges, said Cmdr. Andy Smith, a spokesman for Beck.

The officers and sergeant have been reassigned to other stations and all except one have been removed from the field pending the conclusion of the investigations, Smith said. The officers' identities have not been released because state law keeps issues related to police misconduct confidential.

In a unanimous vote during a closed-door meeting this week, the five-member Police Commission agreed with the chief's finding that the female officer's forceful use of her feet was "ineffective and inappropriate," according to a commission report on the incident.

An autopsy by the L.A. County coroner determined that cocaine intoxication probably was "a major factor" in Thomas' death. It was impossible to determine what role, if any, the struggle with the officers played in the 35-year-old woman's death. Because of that uncertainty, the official cause of death was listed as "undetermined."

The Times reported previously on the alleged kicks by the female officer and Thomas' odd decision to abandon her children outside the LAPD's Southeast area station, which led to the fatal confrontation with police.

Hours before she died, Thomas, who suffered from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and drug addiction according to the autopsy report, had left her children, a 3-year-old and a 12-year-old, outside the station, according to a department account of the incident.

Initially, police reported that Thomas was attempting to surrender the children to police custody because she felt she could no longer care for them properly. In his report, however, Beck said, it appeared Thomas expected her mother to pick the children up at the station.

Officers went in search of Thomas and found her at her home in the 9000 block of South Broadway in South L.A. After questioning her, the officers were ordered by a lieutenant at the station to arrest her on suspicion of child endangerment, according to Beck's account.

Thomas resisted the officers as they attempted to place her in handcuffs. When the female officer and her partner arrived to assist, the four officers attempted to restrain Thomas and then tried to push and pull her into the back of a patrol car as she continued to struggle.

Although a video camera in the car captured much of the incident, Beck and the commission said it could not be determined whether the female officer maliciously kicked Thomas or shoved her foot into the woman's groin area in an effort to move her into the car, as the officer claimed. Either way, Beck found, the officer should have realized the use of her feet was not working and was wrong.

The department has refused requests from The Times for a copy of the video, citing the ongoing investigations. Beck declined to comment on his findings.


Now that’s gratitude for you. The ungrateful jerk says his fellow cop did not need to fire all the shots. Well whoopidy doo, thanks a lot!

In the heat-of-the-moment during a life-threatening situation it is not unreasonable to keep firing to make sure the threat no longer exists.

By Bob Walsh

PACOVILLA Corrections blog
June 27, 2013

An Oakland Unified School District Police Sergeant is suing his agency in federal court, alleging that he was coerced into making a false statement about an incident in which his partner shot and killed a man outside a school dance.

Jonathan Bellusa is the Sergeant in question. He states he was retaliated against by his own agency after he accused another officer of fatally and unnecessarily killing Raheim Brown, 20, on January 22, 2011.

School district spokesman Troy Flint is quoted as saying that the statements by Bellusa are completely false and defamatory and made in service of his personal agenda.

Sgt. Barhin Bhatt shot Brown twice as he attacked Sgt. Bellusa with a screwdriver as Bellusa sat in a police vehicle. Bhatt fired twice and his weapon jammed. He cleared his weapon and resumed shooting, firing five more rounds. Bellusa alleges the second string of fire was unnecessary and excessive as Brown was already disabled by the first two shots. District officials instead credit Bhatt with saving Bellusa's life.

The DA has cleared Bhatt in the shooting.


The Unconventional Gazette
June 28, 2013

A liberal Canadian woman wrote a lot of letters to the Canadian government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She demanded a response to her letter. She received back the following reply:

National Defense Headquarters
M Gen George R. Pearkes Bldg., 15 NT
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa , ON K1A 0K2

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces, who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa. You will be pleased to learn, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, that we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defense, to be called 'Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers' program, or ‘LARK’ for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided, on a trial basis, to divert several terrorists to the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia and place them for adoption in homes of concerned citizens such as yours, to be under those citizens’ personal care and supervision. Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to arrive at your residence in Toronto next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is your detainee, and is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. You will be pleased to know that we will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with your recommendations.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his 'attitudinal problem' will help him overcome those character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling, however, we strongly recommend that you hire some assistant caretakers.

Please advise any Jewish friends, neighbors or relatives about your house guest, as he might get agitated or even violent, but we are sure you can reason with him. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless in your opinion, this might offend him. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills either in your home or wherever you choose to take him while helping him adjust to life in our country.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters except sexually, since he views females as a form of property, thereby having no rights, including refusal of his sexual demands. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him.

You also should know that he has shown violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I'm sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the Burka over time. Just remember that it is all part of 'respecting his culture and religious beliefs' as described in your letter.

You take good care of Ahmed and remember that we will try to have a counselor available to help you over any difficulties you encounter while Ahmed is adjusting to Canadian culture.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man. Good luck and God bless you.


Gordon O'Connor
Minister of National Defense

Friday, June 28, 2013


IRS employees may have been told to be on the lookout for organizations bearing the names ‘progressive,’ ‘Israel’ and ‘occupy,’ but only 30 percent of such groups were scrutinized, while 100 percent of conservative groups were targeted.

The question is, did the White House orchestrate this scandal or did IRS officials take it upon themselves to go after Tea Party and other conservative groups?

By Lisa Barron

June 27, 2013

Russell George, the Treasury Department official who detailed the IRS targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, says liberal groups faced far less scrutiny from the agency.

George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, told Democratic Rep. Sandy Levin of Michigan in a letter that just six progressive groups were targeted compared to 292 conservative groups, reports the Washington Examiner.

In Wednesday's letter to Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, George also said that 100 percent of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status were scrutinized, compared to 30 percent of progressive groups.

Levin and other Democrats claimed this week that progressive groups were targeted just as much as conservatives, and pointed to new information showing that the terms "progress" and "progressive" were also on the so-called "Be on the Lookout," or BOLO lists.

"Based on the information you flagged . . . TIGTA performed additional research which determined that six tax-exempt applications filed between May 2010 and May 2012 having the words 'progress' or 'progressive' in their names were included in the 298 cases the IRS identified as potential political cases," wrote George.

"We also determined that 14 tax-exempt applications filed between May 2010 and May 2012 using the words 'progress' or 'progressive' in their names were not referred for added scrutiny as potential political cases."

Democrats have charged that George's initial audit allowed Republicans to over-politicize the IRS handling of applications for special tax status.

"In total, 30 percent of the organizations we identified with the words 'progress' or 'progressive' in their names were processed as potential political cases," George wrote, adding, "In comparison, our audit found that 100 percent of the tax-exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases during the timeframe of our audit."

"At this point, the evidence shows us that conservative groups were not only flagged, but targeted and abused by the IRS," said Sarah Swinehart, a spokeswoman for Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican.

"As we gather the facts, we will follow them wherever they lead us. Chairman Camp encourages all groups, regardless of political affiliation, that feel they may have been targeted to come forward and share their story," she said.


What ever happened to the good old days when you didn’t have to be worried about getting killed by some sorry ass computer hacker?

By Jerry Reynolds

Car Pro News
June 26, 2013

Could a 14-year-old computer hacker in Indonesia remotely take over control of your car as you drive down the Interstate, cause the car to dangerously accelerate and kill you by crashing it?

That’s the scenario raised and explained by AOL Autos in a story about the threat of terrorists and cars — and one that drew a fairly quick rebuke from auto site Jalopnik as unwarranted “fearmongering.”

The government is taking threats of carhacking seriously enough that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened up a “cyber terrorism department” to sort out software issues that could make cars vulnerable to attack, AOL Autos says.

When Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., raised the issue of cyber car terrorism at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, he was told that university researcher had succeeded in hacking into cars’ electronics systems and were able to perform stunts like turning the engine on and off.

Jalopnik, however, in its typically unvarnished way, calls the findings into question.

“While technically some of what’s described in the article is certainly true, the fear-mongering tone, calculated to terrify the rapidly aging AOL dial-up readership, is uncalled for at this point,” its post says.

Yes, cars are packed with computers, but few can be accessed wirelessly from outside the car. It noted that researchers said they probably would need an additional attachment to a car’s computer brains to really take it over. Plus, some of the kinds of systems that might make a car vulnerable aren’t really deployed yet.

Nissan, for instance, is one of the first with drive-by-wire steering, and so far, it’s is limited to one luxury model, the Infiniti Q50.

There are also backup safety systems and the software is written in a way that emphasizes safety and redundancy.

It’s getting easier to see why people care about far-fetched possibilities of computer hacking. The film Fast and Furious 6 includes a chase scene in which the bad guys remotely control pursuing cars’ computer systems to make them crash at high speed.

The solution? The good guys switch to old-school cars that don’t have computers.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


By Pamela Putz

The Unconventional Gazette
June 27, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Kimberly McCarthy, 52, was convicted in 1997 of killing a 71-year-old retired college professor during a robbery. She was condemned to death for beating the victim with a candelabra and then stabbing her to death with a butcher knife. She also used the knife to dismember the victim’s finger to steal her wedding ring. McCarthy was also indicted but never tried in the 1988 murders of two other women, both in their 80s.

An eleventh hour appeal, which claimed McCarthy did not get a fair trial because blacks were excluded from the jury, did not succeed. Thus she would become the 500th murderer put to death since Texas resumed executions in 1982.

McCarthy was led into the Texas death chamber Wednesday by four guards, a prison chaplain and Warden James Jones. She was strapped onto the execution gurney and the lethal injection needle was inserted into a vein on her left arm.

Suddenly, a whole bunch of colored balloons and streamers dropped from the ceiling with horns blaring from a loudspeaker. A voice from the speaker shouts, ‘Congratulations Kim, you’re a winner as our 500th customer,’ followed by a recording of Barbra Streisand singing ‘Happy Days Are Here Again.’

Warden Jones turned to McCarthy and said, “Congratulations Kim, you’re our 500th customer and we’ve got some great prizes for you.”

Gov. Rick Perry walks into the death chamber and says, “Kim, I’ve never attended an execution before, but this is a special occasion. I want to present you with this framed and personally signed certificate denying you clemency. I may be president one day and if so, my signature could be worth some money. Anyway, I want to give you my heart-felt congratulations on being our lucky 500th customer.”

Warden Jones than says, “Kim, the Disney people want me to give you this life-time pass to Disney World. It’s a free pass that you can use any day of the year and it’s good for the rest of your life.”

Then a large closed-circuit television screen is lowered from the ceiling. Jesse Jackson appears on the screen and says, “Kim, I’m sorry I can’t be with you personally, but I want to let you know that you are the First Runner-Up of the Rainbow/PUSH’s ‘Racist Criminal Justice System Victim of the Year.’ I apologize for not honoring you with the victim of the year award, but I already gave that one to my son, Jesse Jr. Anyway I want you to know that everyone at Rainbow/PUSH is standing side-by-side with you.”

Next, Al Sharpton appears on the screen and says, “Sister Kim, forget that has-been Jesse. I’m proud to announce that you have been awarded the National Action Network’s ‘Racist Criminal Justice System Victim of the Year.’ No first runner-up from us. You’re the one. I know that you will cherish this award forever. Hang in there sister, we won’t let you down 'cause you done made all us black folk proud.”

Warden Jones then says, “Kim, the Carnival Cruise Line people want me to give you this free Luxury Class pass for you and a companion to take a cruise to Tahiti. As a special bonus for being our 500th customer, you and your companion will be seated for dinner at the Captain's table every evening during your cruise.”

Suddenly Jay-Z and Beyonce enter the death chamber. Beyonce says, “Kim honey, Jay-Z and I are dedicating this song especially to you.” Then they give forth with their duet rendition of ‘Forever Young.’

At the conclusion of the song, with Gov. Perry, Beyonce and Jay-Z standing by while Jackson and Sharpton watched on a split screen of the CCTV, Warden Jones turns to McCarthy and says, “Kim, Before I give the word to start the lethal drug flowing, do you have any last words?”

With the chaplain’s hand on her leg, Kimberly McCarthy, raises her head and says, “I am going home to be with Jesus,” then shouts, “Fuck you all!”


The rabid anti-abortionists in the Republican dominated Texas legislature are laying the groundwork for a Democratic resurgence that may leave the GOP in the dust. And with kooks like State Representative Jodie Laubenberg, that may happen sooner than later.

By Nick Wing

The Huffington Post
June 25, 2013

Amid a heated debate over a restrictive anti-abortion bill being pushed by Texas GOP lawmakers, one Republican argued that a proposed exemption for rape victims was unnecessary because assaulted women could simply turn to rape kits for abortions.

"In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits, where a woman can get cleaned out," said state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R), sponsor of the controversial SB 5, according to The Associated Press. "The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development."

As HuffPost blogger Soraya Chemaly notes, that's not the function of rape kits, typically administered to collect evidence of sexual assault. Not even close, PolitiFact Texas reports, giving Laubenberg's remark a "pants on fire" rating.

Laubenberg's claim came in response to a proposed amendment by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D), which would have added exceptions for victims of rape and incest to the proposed 20-week abortion ban. Laubenberg's bill also would shutter 37 of the state's 42 abortion clinics with new regulations that would require such the facilities to adhere to the standards of surgical centers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: After she became the laughingstock of the nation, Laubenberg told a radio talk-show host that she was momentarily confused by Democrats’ questions and misspoke. “What I was trying to say is, when a woman goes to the hospital, that they have the procedures there to help her obtain emergency contraception and other treatment. No, rape kits do not cause an abortion.”


Hole-in-one prize turned out to be only a 27- month lease

Lesson in life: Always read the fine print!

By Zeke MacCormack

Houston Chronicle
June 25, 2013

KERRVILLE, Texas -- Besting legendary athletes at a charity golf event with a round that included a hole-in-one, Dalton Sisson's weekend was unforgettable even without the heady thought that he'd be the only Mercedes-Benz owner in his eighth-grade class.

As the red sedan shimmered beside the tee box at Comanche Trace, a private course off Texas 173, he hit a driver Saturday into a headwind on the 177-yard eighth hole and watched in shock as the ball rolled to the top of the green and then back and into the cup.

"We were all just yelling and screaming," Dalton, 13, of Weatherford, Okla., said Monday.

Golfers on a nearby tee also cheered, as did official observers under the tent by the Mercedes, which was draped in a banner reading, "Hole In One Wins!"

"They called the clubhouse and brought someone out and they told me the car's mine," Dalton said.

Long after the high-fives and back-slapping, though, Dalton learned one of those life lessons: Read the dreaded fine print.

While reviewing digital photos as they drove home Sunday, his step-dad, Scott Smith, zoomed in on the banner's smaller type and saw that the prize was a 27-month lease.

"We were all under the impression, at first, that in fact he had won the car outright," Smith said.

That was also the understanding of Nathan Fox, owner of Fox Tank, a manufacturer in Kerr-_ville, which organized the tournament. The 114 golfers included 20 former National Football League players and the event raised money for the Hill Country Youth Orchestra, The Rayfield Wright Foundation and the Children's Association for Maximum Potential Camp.

"I'd say 99.9 percent of all the people out there thought they'd win the car if they knocked in a hole in one," Fox said. "That's what I was shooting for."

The details also eluded Kerr County Judge Pat Tinley, who announced Monday at commissioners court that a boy had won a Mercedes, joking, "I understand he hasn't been playing golf that long, but he's hooked now."

But Tony Johnson, the head pro at Comanche Trace, knew what the small letters said. He has seen about 25 holes-in-one there since he was hired in 2007, including two at other charity events for which the golfers each received $10,000 cash.

"It's the players' responsibility to read the sign," Johnson said. "Some people just got carried away and didn't read the sign."

When first interviewed about supplying the car for the hole-in-one contest, Jeff Ramirez, events coordinator at Mercedes Benz of Boerne, didn't mention the prize was a lease worth $14,000.

"I guess I didn't give you all of the information," he said later, confirming that Dalton hadn't won ownership of the $42,775 car.

Since accepting the prize might jeopardize his future eligibility as a student athlete, Dalton had deliberated what to do since sinking the shot. He'd still have to pay taxes on it. Knowing the prize was a lease made the decision simple.

"If it's just a two-year lease then I won't take it, because there's no sense in it," he said. "I'm only 13 and if I took it for two years, I still wouldn't be old enough to drive it."

Dalton, Smith and their four teammates did get $100 gift cards from the pro shop for their win. And Smith said he told his stepson, "No matter how this thing shakes out, there's one thing that nobody can take away from you. You still made the hole-in-one."

Dalton's mom, Cheryl Smith, said despite not winning the car, "He had the time of his life."

And, she said, Dalton "most definitely" will read the fine print from now on.


Like a Ferrari, the Audi R8 makes my mouth water.

French complain British drivers treat French motorways like racing tracks after Seven Britons caught driving over 120mph on French roads at the weekend

By Matt West

Mail Online
June 26, 2013

A British man has broken the record for speeding on a French motorway hitting at least 160mph.

French transport police said the UK registered Audi R8 was travelling so fast their speed gun went off the scale and stopped working.

As a result it is impossible to know if the car was in fact being driven at a faster speed, police confirmed.

Astonished traffic officers said it took them four miles to catch up with the driver after he roared past them on the A28 motorway in Normandy on Monday.

The driver was identified only as a businessman from London in a company car. French police have so far refused to name him.

The vehicle was impounded on orders from the prosecutor at Evreux and the driver's license was confiscated. He was immediately banned from driving on all French roads.

He has also been summoned to appear in court where he faces a fine of up to £1,300.

A traffic police spokesman said: ‘This is the fastest speed we have ever recorded on the entire Normandy motorway network that we patrol.

‘In fact we couldn't get the exact speed because the radar stopped working.’

The man was one of seven UK drivers clocked at more than 120mph in on the same stretch of road over the weekend, amid police claims British motorists treat French roads like a racetrack.

Police in northern France frequently complain that British drivers ignore their speed limits because they cannot be given points on their license in France.

Thousands of British racing fans make the annual pilgrimage to the Le Mans racetrack at this time of year for the famous 24-hour endurance race.

It is not known whether any of the British drivers pulled over by the police for speeding at the weekend had attended the race. But the A28 is the main route from Calais to the Le Mans

It comes just days after Danish driver Allan Simonsen died after crashing his car during the race last weekend.

Race officials said the 34-year-old spun off after about 10 minutes of the race in his Aston Martin and hit the safety barriers at the Tertre Rouge bend.

He was taken to the medical center at the premises but later died of his injuries, the organizers said.

The speed limit on a French motorway is 81mph in the dry and 69mph in the wet unless special restrictions apply.

Calais police said in an average summer month, eight out of ten motorists pulled over for speeding on the A26 motorway between Calais and Paris are British.

Illuminated panels warning drivers to cut their speed on the 70-mile stretch of road are now flashed up in English as well as French.

A motorway police spokesman said: ‘Some British drivers are often oblivious to the speed limits, and treat the road like they are out for a day's motor racing.’

‘They seem to think that because they are in a foreign country, the rules do not apply to them.’

But Rosie Sanderson, a spokesperson for the AA, rejected the stereotype of British drivers travelling at break-neck speeds in France. However, she admitted it was easy to become complacent about speed limits when driving abroad.

‘As soon as you get in the car, you get in holiday mode, and as soon as you get on foreign soil, it can be easy to lose track of speed limits,’ she said.

Two other Britons have previously broken speed records on French motorways.

A British lawyer hit 148mph in an Aston Martin on the A4 motorway two years ago.

Another Briton, Sean Barlow from Surrey, still holds the record for the highest speed ever recorded on the A26 motorway from Calais to Paris.

He was jailed for five days in November 2003 for dangerous driving after being clocked doing 153mph.


Not something you'd want to plant in your back yard.

By Stacy Carey
June 22, 2013

A “sheep-eating” plant has bloomed for the first time in the United Kingdom. The plant, formally named Puya chilensis, has the unusual name due to the way it can snare small animals, like sheep, so that they can't get away. Huffington Post shared the details on this unique plant on June 21.

The sheep-eating plant has razor-sharp spines that hook small animals when left in its natural state. The animals cannot get away, so they eventually starve to death and then decompose. The plants are then nourished by the animal decomposition. While the plants' native habitat is in Chile, there is one in the U.K. that has people buzzing.

The blooming exotic plant is at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden Wisley, and it has been there for 15 years. It has grown to be 10 feet tall, but it had never bloomed until now. The sheep-eating plant is fed via liquid fertilizer at the Garden Wisley, leaving any small nearby animals safe and sound. The plant is also kept in an area that keeps the sharp spines out of the way of children, sheep, and curious explorers.

The Puya chilensis is an intriguing-looking plant, and it's easy to see why it could be referred to as a sheep-eating plant. People have been fascinated with the story on this one, and people had better check out the one bloom it's sprung while they have the opportunity.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is for real! But the plant doesn’t actually eat sheep. From Wikipedia: The plant is believed to be hazardous to sheep and birds which may become entangled in the spines of the leaves. It has been suggested that if the animal dies the plant may gain nutrients as the animal decomposes nearby.


The Unconventional Gazette
June 26, 2013

A cowboy, who just moved to Wyoming from Texas, walks into a bar and orders three mugs of Bud. He sits in the back of the room drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.

The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, "You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time."

The cowboy replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona, the other is in Colorado. When we all left our home in Texas, we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I’m drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself."

The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it at that.

The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn.

One day, he comes in and only orders two mugs. All the regulars there take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss."

The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs. "Oh, no, everybody’s just fine," he explains, "It's just that my wife and I just joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking. Hasn’t affected my brothers though."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


In his opening presentation, one of the prosecutors in the George Zimmerman trial repeated Zimmerman's obscenity laced description of Trayvon Martin to a non-emergency police dispatcher - “Fucking punks. These assholes, they always get away.” He intended to, and did shock the all-woman jury with those obscenities.

In his presentation, one of Zimmerman's lawyers countered with the following joke:

“Knock-knock ….. Who's there? ….. George Zimmerman ….. George Zimmerman, who? ….. Alright good, you're on the jury.”

The reaction to the joke? Dead silence.

What was that attorney thinking? Zimmerman already has enough problems with an all-woman jury that is not going to hear about Trayvon's prior thuggery and pot smoking, but will be shown pictures of an angelic-looking teenager. The lawyer's apology to the jury later during his opening presentation can't undo the damage that lame joke may have cost his client.


Putin calls U.S. attacks against China and Russia for aiding Edward Snowden ‘ravings and rubbish’

During a press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney delivered a blistering attack against China, accusing it of orchestrating Edward Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong to Russia. Carney said: “We find their decision to be particularly troubling. This was a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive, despite a valid arrest warrant. And that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the U.S.-China relationship.”

I’m sure that Carney’s attack has Chinese officials shaking in their boots – just kidding.

Carney also said that our government expects Russia to act on the arrest warrant issued for Snowden and have him shipped off to the U.S. But the Obama administration’s expectations ran into a solid Russian brick wall.

Vladimir Putin told a press conference in Sweden that he’d just as soon not deal with the Snowden issue because "It’s like shearing a piglet: there's a lot of squealing, but there's little wool." He said that Snowden “committed no crimes on the territory of the Russian Federation" and was free to leave Russia to any destination he wants. Putin said Snowden was in a transition facility at Moscow’s airport. "He has not crossed the state's border, and therefore does not need a visa. And any accusations against Russia [of aiding him] are ravings and rubbish,"

Meanwhile, Philip Mudd, a former CIA deputy director of counterterrorism and former FBI deputy of director of national security, told Tuesday’s NBC Today that China and Russia have probably looked at and obtained whatever information Snowden’s electronic gear contained. “The likelihood that there’s either been no conversation with him or they haven’t downloaded stuff from his electronic gear is about zero.”

Mudd told Today’s Matt Lauer that our intelligence agents would do the same thing if they had someone similar available for questioning. “You telling me that we’re not going to look at his cellphone and his laptop and take him off to a room to talk to him? I’m not talking interrogation; I’m just saying, ‘Why (are) you here? What do you want to do? Is there something you want to tell us?’”

Despite all the huffing and puffing by the Obama administration, as of now it doesn’t look like we are going to get our hands on Snowden anytime soon. If we want him real bad, we’re going to have to do what Israel’s Mossad did to capture Adolf Eichmann after he fled to Argentina – send a secret CIA squad to where he ends up and kidnap him back to the U.S.


Secretary of State Kerry wants Israel to release imprisoned Palestinian terrorists and stop further settlement construction

‘Hannah’ said it best when she commented on this report: “There will be only false peace until Jesus returns.”

By Ryan Jones

Israel Today
June 25, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to a series of concessions proposed by US Secretary of State John Kerry with the aim of kick starting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, according to Israeli media.

Netanyahu will reportedly set free 120 Palestinian terrorists jailed prior to the signing of the "Oslo" peace accords in 1993. The Palestinian insist that because these men carried out their crimes prior to the signing of any agreements, they must be viewed as prisoners of war, not criminals, despite their attempts to mass murder Jewish men, women and children.

Of course, the Palestinian regime also insists that terrorists jailed after the signing of the peace agreements are, in fact, not terrorists either, since they merely killed Jews who were "occupying" their land.

Netanyahu is also said to be ready to halt all Jewish construction outside of major settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, the so-called "West Bank" that the Palestinians claim for their future state. Israeli officials have already acknowledged that a de facto construction freeze is in place.

The goal of these concessions is to give Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas something he can present as a "victory" in order to entice him back to the negotiating table.

According to Palestinian reports, it was only partly successful.

While Abbas is reportedly ready to drop his preconditions for renewing talks, he will only do so temporarily. In essence, according to Palestinian media reports, Abbas will come to the negotiating table with the intent of blackmailing Netanyahu.

If Netanyahu fails to make a proposal that meets all Arab demands right away, Abbas has threatened to again turn to the United Nations to unilaterally recognize an independent Palestinian state.

Despite what many in the region recognize as the same old intractable positions, Kerry is hailing the deal as a historic opportunity and is expected back in the region shortly.


Had some bare-breasted feminists protested in front of an American courthouse they might have gotten a longer jail sentences than those give to three women in Tunisia.

Two protesters successfully climbed on top of Ali Larayedh's diplomatic car as it left the EU Headquarters in Brussels following the sentencing by a Tunisian court of three Femen activists to four months and a day in prison for staging a topless protest

Mail Online
June 25, 2013

Bare-breasted members of the feminist group Femen targeted the motorcade of Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh to protest the jailing of group members in Tunis.

As the Tunisian motorcade left following a visit to European Union headquarters, two women climbed atop a diplomatic car and two others chanted slogans.

Security officials dragged the women off the car, and all four ran away from the scene.

Earlier this month, a Tunisian court sentenced three Femen activists who staged a topless protest to four months and a day in prison.

They were protesting in support of Amina Tyler, 19, who was arrested days earlier.

She had sparked outrage in the conservative country by posting topless pictures of herself to Facebook wearing the slogan 'My body belongs to me' in Arabic across her bare chest.

She was taken into hiding by her family after conservative preachers issued death threats against her, including one who called for her to be stoned to death.

But she later attempted another protest on May 19 in the religious centre of Kairouan, where she was arrested.

Marguerite Stern and Pauline Hillier, from France, and Josephine Markmann, from Germany, were arrested on 29 May as they protested bare-chested in front of the Tunis Court building.

The trio had approached the entrance to the ministry wearing coats which they took off, revealing naked torsos scrawled with 'Breasts Feed Revolution'.

Wearing just jean shorts, the women chanted in English 'Free Amina' and 'Women's spring is coming' as people in the crowd attempted to cover them.

The women then climbed up on the gates of the Justice Ministry until police pulled them down and hustled them shouting into the building as an angry crowd gathered.

Amnesty International has condemned the convictions for public indecency, undermining public morals, and making noise disturbing peace as 'an unacceptable restriction on freedom of expression'.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy Middle East and North Africa programme director at Amnesty, last week said: 'Imprisoning people for expression is inherently disproportionate.

'Even if some may consider the three women's protest offensive or counter-productive, this cannot justify placing them behind bars.

'If the Tunisian authorities are serious about respecting their international human rights obligations, they should release the three women.'


California’s prison woes seem to be never ending.

By Don Thompson

Associated Press
June 24, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A federal judge on Monday ordered the state to move several thousand inmates out of two California prisons because they are at a high risk of contracting a potentially deadly airborne fungus.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson instructed corrections officials to transfer most black, Filipino and medically at-risk inmates because they are more vulnerable to health problems from valley fever. The fungal infection originates in the soil of the San Joaquin Valley, where Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons are located.

He gave the state 90 days to fully comply.

About 3,250 of the two prisons' 8,100 inmates fall into the categories covered by the judge's ruling. But Henderson said inmates among those groups who already have had the disease do not have to be moved.

He also altered the recommendation from the court-appointed official who oversees prison medical care to exclude inmates over age 55, although that category of inmates could be included at a later date.

It is not immediately clear how many of the inmates will actually have to be transferred based on the judge's revised criteria, said Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for federal receiver J. Clark Kelso, who made the recommendations to Henderson.

Hayhoe said it makes sense for the judge to exclude inmates who previously contracted the infection because they can't get the illness twice.

Henderson criticized Gov. Jerry Brown's administration for delaying significant response to the problem for years and for its recent proposal to delay action for several months until the U.S. Centers for Disease Control can complete health studies at the prisons.

Prison officials are moving about 600 vulnerable inmates by August, but "are unwilling to exclude other inmates whom they know are at an increased risk of severe disease, which may lead to death," the judge wrote. "Defendants have therefore clearly demonstrated their unwillingness to respond adequately to the health care needs of California's inmate population."

Henderson gave the state seven days to begin moving the inmates from the two prisons located about 10 miles apart and 175 miles southeast of San Francisco.

Deborah Hoffman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said the state is reviewing Henderson's order.

The ruling is the latest legal setback for the Democratic governor, who is trying to persuade federal judges that the state has improved prison medical and mental health care enough to meet constitutional standards. A three-judge panel that includes Henderson last week gave the state until year's end to reduce the prison population by nearly 10,000 inmates as the best way to improve conditions.

Brown filed a one-paragraph notice on Monday that the state will appeal the order to reduce prison populations to the U.S. Supreme Court, as it previously announced.

Henderson's valley fever order came a week after a hearing in his San Francisco courtroom in which attorneys representing inmates said 18 prisoners died in 2012 and January 2013 from complications relating to the fungus.

"The order is absolutely necessary to preserve people's lives and health because state officials have been simply unwilling to take appropriate action when there's a clear and imminent danger to prisoners' lives. It's the most recent example of the state's inability to protect the health of prisoners," said Don Specter, director of the nonprofit Prison Law Office that successfully sought both the valley fever and prison crowding orders.

Brown's administration has said it would have difficulty moving so many inmates while the state also tries to reduce prison crowding statewide.


Maybe this high will have taught this 41-year-old fool never to screw around with drugs again. Maybe!

By Tammy Stables Battaglia

Detroit Free Press
June 25, 2013

A 41-year-old Columbus, Ohio, man is recovering after police say he ripped off part of his penis on a drug-fueled high in Ypsilanti Township, Mich.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s deputies found the man naked and screaming after responding to a burglar alarm at Ypsilanti Middle School about 1 a.m. last Tuesday, Sgt. Geoff Fox said Monday.

The man was kneeling outside the school, bloody from the waist down, with parts of his genitals ripped off, Fox said. He said parts of the man’s body were transferred to the hospital with him.

Officers subdued the man for his own safety and called for an ambulance.

“He really wasn’t saying much at all -- a lot of yelling and screaming,” Fox said, adding the man had broken a window to the school but didn’t take anything. “He wasn’t making sense. They couldn’t really communicate with him in terms of constructive conversation.”

The man later told investigators he picked up hallucinogenic mushrooms earlier in the day while he was in town visiting friends in a neighborhood near the school. The man does not have a history of mental problems or extensive drug use, Fox said.

“We’ve sent his blood off for further analysis to see if there was anything else, if the mushrooms could have been laced with something,” Fox said, adding that toxicology results are pending.

Medics first took the man to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Superior Township, Mich. WCSO spokesman Derrick Jackson said the man is currently being treated at University of Michigan Health System.

Fox said the man had been close to death.

“In terms of vital signs, they were as low as they could go without being dead, I could only assume due to the blood loss and the shock and trauma to the body,” he said.

The man remains hospitalized Monday, still recovering from his injuries, Fox said. He declined to discuss details of his treatment.

Ypsilanti Township resident Brandon Simmons, 30, who often cuts through the schoolyard while walking to and from his nearby apartment, said he was concerned about the man’s recovery.

“I don’t even know what to say -- it sounds painful,” Simmons said Monday. “Is he still alive? My prayers go out to him, and I hope he’s going to make it. Wow.I’m at a loss for words.”

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The Onion
June 25, 2013

SANFORD, FL—As the trial of former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman entered its second day this morning, defense attorney Don West reportedly opened his team’s remarks with an extended comic impression of Trayvon Martin, the deceased teen whom his client is accused of murdering in a fatal shooting altercation last year.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’d like you to imagine for a moment that it’s a dark night in Sanford, and my client sees an imposing stranger in an oversized hooded sweatshirt coming towards him—it might go a little something like this,” West said before turning his back to the jury, pulling on a hoodie, grabbing a bag of Skittles and spinning back around to face the court. “Yo, my name’s Trayvon, and I’m here to say/Suckers mess with me, I will make them pay.”

West reportedly concluded his impression with a nearly 10-minute-long freestyle rap, which sources said received no visible reaction from the jury.


An extremely stupid and totally irresponsible Baltimore police academy instructor used live ammunition in a training exercise and critically wounded a trainee, blinding him in one eye.

For many in the academy class, the first shooting they experienced was during a training session at an abandoned building in Owings Mills

By Justin George

The Baltimore Sun
June 23, 2013

BALTIMORE The latest class of police trainees marched to the podium to accept law enforcement certificates in gleaming black shoes and brass buttons that matched their smiles. The graduates yelled their names proudly during a special roll call and chanted at the end of the ceremony with vigor.

But the name of one member of the class wasn't called. That trainee was seriously injured during a training exercise, adding a somber tone to the Baltimore Police Academy graduation Friday.

"It made it real for them," said Alan Bush, cousin of police graduate Jose Bruno, who attended the graduation. "I think everyone was at a point where they were trying to find themselves. It definitely had an impact on them."

For many in the academy class, the first shooting they experienced didn't come on the streets of Baltimore but on Feb. 12 during a training session at an abandoned building in Owings Mills.

Prosecutors said Baltimore police instructor William Scott Kern fired his service weapon at University of Maryland police recruit Raymond Gray, critically wounding him and blinding him in one eye.

Baltimore police have acknowledged that top commanders were unaware of the drills and that the session didn't follow departmental safety protocols that could have prevented a loaded gun being carried into the training site. The department also was not authorized to use the state-owned facility, which once served as a center for the developmentally disabled.

Even in the face of that tragedy, none of the 39 class members quit, Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. They chose to complete the program to become sworn officers for a department that's operating with one-sixth fewer officers than full strength, a situation that leads to overtime shifts aimed at ensuring enough police are on the streets to suppress the city's homicide count.

Baltimore County prosecutors have reviewed the training incident and charged Kern, 46, with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. This month, Gray filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the city and Baltimore County. He seeks $330 million in compensatory damages and another $140 million in punitive damages.

Gray did not attend the graduation ceremony, but his brother did. Baltimore police Chaplain Charles Minetree acknowledged Gray's family members almost immediately when he offered his "greetings to all -- especially the Gray family" before an invocation.

Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts followed with a forceful address that called on the graduates to do their job with professionalism and unbending ethics.

"Protect your integrity," he said. "Demand that other people respect your integrity."
While he didn't mention Gray's name or the training accident, he talked about safety and ordered the officers to stay disciplined.

"I will not tolerate us hurting each other and being sloppy at what we do," he said.

After Batts handed out certificates to each of the graduates, the ceremony paused specifically to honor Gray. He was awarded a special commendation named after Gene Cassidy, a patrolman who was shot in the head and blinded during an arrest in 1987. Cassidy later earned a master's degree and become a Baltimore police agent and instructor.

Cassidy, accompanied by a seeing-eye dog, was on the stage as Batts handed Gray's brother a framed certificate.

While Gray struggled to stay alive in a hospital after the shooting, his classmates were given counseling and given several days off before the academy reconvened a week later.


Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says that it's the community's job to determine what it finds morally acceptable, not the courts.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

June 23, 2013

Judges should stop setting moral standards concerning homosexuality and other issues, according to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who believes constitutional law is being threatened by a growing belief in the "judge moralist."

The conservative jurist, speaking at a meeting of the North Carolina Bar Association on Friday, just days before the Supreme Court is to hand down its decisions on California's Proposition 8 this coming week, told attorneys that judges are being bestowed with expertise to determine right vs. wrong on moral issues, The Charlotte Observer reports.

As moralists, judges are tasked with determining matters such as abortion, doctor-assisted suicide and same-sex marriage.

But Scalia said the courts have no "scientifically demonstrable right answer," and that it's the community's job to determine what it finds morally acceptable, not courts.

Scalia admitted his opinion isn't shared, as many legal scholars and judges believe in a "living Constitution" that reflects "evolving standards of decency."

The justice said he knows the Constitution must change and evolve as times change, but he thinks it should remain connected with its founding principles, and moral issues don't qualify as new issues.

Scalia could not speak specifically about the case coming up in his court this week, but said homosexuality and same-sex marriage should be issues for the public to decide on, not justices like him.

“When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage?” he asked, echoing a statement he made in March about the issue.

In past speeches, Scalia, also said the issue was a moral one that should be decided by Americans, who have the right to enforce moral restrictions "to protect themselves from a lifestyle they believe to be immoral and destructive."

Scalia's words also echoed a poll earlier this month shows that many Americans agree that states, not the federal government, should decide whether same-sex marriage should be legal, even though most support marriage equality for gay people.


In addition to Tea Party and other conservative groups, IRS employees were instructed to be on the lookout for any organizations bearing the names ‘progressive,’ ‘Israel’ and ‘occupy’ to make sure they were social welfare organizations and did not spend more than 40 percent of their funds on political activities.

by Richard Rubin

Bloomberg News
June 24, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service used the terms “progressive,” “Israel” and “occupy” on internal documents that helped employees screen groups’ applications for tax-exempt status, according to documents.

The disclosure adds a dimension to the controversy surrounding the IRS’s scrutiny of groups’ applications for tax exemptions. The agency revealed May 10 that it had given extra attention to Tea Party groups and other small-government advocates.

Now, documents obtained by Bloomberg News show that “progressive,” “Israel” and “occupy” appeared on versions of the “be-on-the-lookout” lists used by employees in the office that reviewed tax-exempt applications in an effort to coordinate similar issues. Danny Werfel, the interim leader of the IRS, said today that he was suspending the use of such lists.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the terms were used.

Pro-Israel groups had been complaining of unfair scrutiny. Eight groups with “progress” or “progressive” in their names had appeared on a publicly available list of groups that had been delayed and later approved by the IRS.

Also today, Werfel released a report outlining his plans for restoring trust in the agency and reducing the backlog of tax-exempt applications.


NBC’s David Gregory asks the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald why he shouldn’t be charged for aiding and abetting Edward Snowden’s release of stolen classified secrets. Greenwald fired back, accusing Gregory of embracing the Obama administration's attempt to "criminalize investigative journalism.”


Associated Press
June 24, 2013

NBC "Meet the Press" host David Gregory got a rise out of Glenn Greenwald on Sunday by asking the Guardian reporter why he shouldn't be charged with a crime for having "aided and abetted" former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden.

Greenwald replied on the show Sunday that it was "pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies."

Greenwald first reported Snowden's disclosure of U.S. government surveillance programs. On Sunday, Ecuador's foreign minister and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said that Snowden was headed to Ecuador to seek asylum.

During his interview with NBC's Gregory, Greenwald declined to discuss where Snowden was headed. That refusal seemed to prompt Gregory to ask: "To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn't you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?"

Greenwald said Gregory was embracing the Obama administration's attempt to "criminalize investigative journalism," citing an FBI agent's characterization of Fox News journalist James Rosen as a probable co-conspirator of a State Department contractor who was suspected of leaking classified information to Rosen. Rosen was not charged.

"If you want to embrace that theory, it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information is a criminal, and it's precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States," said Greenwald, a former constitutional and civil rights lawyer who has written three books contending that the government has violated personal rights in the name of protecting national security.

Gregory responded that "the question of who is a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you are doing." Gregory also said he was merely asking a question.

"That question has been raised by lawmakers as well," Gregory said. "I'm not embracing anything, but, obviously, I take your point."

Later, Greenwald tweeted, "Who needs the government to try to criminalize journalism when you have David Gregory to do it?" and, "Has David Gregory ever publicly wondered if powerful DC officials should be prosecuted for things like illegal spying & lying to Congress?"

Monday, June 24, 2013


Bob Schieffer says that in recent years members of Congress have become more concerned about getting reelected than about getting anything done.

By Bob Schieffer

CBS Face the Nation
June 23, 2013

Say one thing for Congress: No matter how bad you thought they were, they will always find a way to show you they're even worse.

Last week's defeat of the Farm Bill was an example of how they can't do anything, even when they want to.

House Republican Leaders thought they had the votes to pass the bill, but 60 Republicans suddenly turned on their leaders, because they thought federal programs needed to be cut even more. They joined forces with a group of Democrats who opposed the bill because they thought the programs had been cut too much.

So the whole thing collapsed, nobody got anything, and nothing got done -- a sentence you could use to describe most Capitol Hill weeks.

Washington has changed since I came here 44 years ago.

There are some exceptions, but many House Members, especially, have come to live in a world unknown and disconnected to the rest of us. They work three days a week, they take long and frequent vacations, and busy themselves with things that have no connection to the rest of us -- fund raising to ensure re-election, traveling, issuing press releases, and more fund raising.

But nothing that affects the rest of us ever seems to get done.

It's obvious they want to be something -- a Member of Congress! But but when I came to Washington, most Members wanted to do something.

When did that go out of style?


Hatred between Sunnis and Shiites started after the death of Muhammad and is widespread throughout the Middle East

The two-year-old Syrian civil war has never been about an oppressed populace trying to overthrow a dictator to establish a democracy. It started out as, and has always been a struggle by Sunnis to overthrow a Shiite government. Should the Sunnis eventually emerge victorious, they will merely replace one dictatorship with another. That is why the United States should have kept its nose out of a purely hatred-driven sectarian struggle.

By Lee Keath

Associated Press
June 23, 2013

CAIRO — It's not hard to find stereotypes, caricatures and outright bigotry when talk in the Middle East turns to the tensions between Islam's two main sects.

Shiites are described as devious, power-hungry corruptors of Islam. Sunnis are called extremist, intolerant oppressors.

Hatreds between the two are now more virulent than ever in the Arab world because of Syria's civil war. On Sunday, officials said four Shiites in a village west of Cairo were beaten to death by Sunnis in a sectarian clash unusual for Egypt.

Hard-line clerics and politicians on both sides in the region have added fuel, depicting the fight as essentially a war of survival for their sect.

But among the public, views are complex. Some sincerely see the other side as wrong — whether on matters of faith or politics. Others see the divisions as purely political, created for cynical aims. Even some who view the other sect negatively fear sectarian flames are burning dangerously out of control. There are those who wish for a return to the days, only a decade or two ago, when the differences did not seem so important and the sects got along better, even intermarried.

And some are simply frustrated that there is so much turmoil over a dispute that dates back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century.

"Fourteen centuries after the death of the prophet, in a region full of destruction, killing, occupation, ignorance and disease, you are telling me about Sunnis and Shiites?" scoffs Ismail al-Hamami, a 67-year-old Sunni Palestinian refugee in Gaza. "We are all Muslims. ... You can't ignore the fact that (Shiites) are Muslims."

The Sunni-Shiite split is rooted in the question of who should succeed Muhammad in leading Muslims after his death in 632. Shiites say the prophet's cousin and son-in-law Ali was his rightful successor but was cheated when authority went to those the Sunnis call the four "Rightfully Guided Caliphs" — Abu Bakr, Omar and Othman and, finally, Ali.

Sunnis are the majority across the Islamic world. In the Middle East, Shiites have strong majorities in Iran, Iraq and Bahrain, with significant communities in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other parts of the Gulf.

Both consider the Quran the word of God. But there are distinctions in theology and religious practice between the two sects.

Some are minor: Shiites pray with their hands by their sides, Sunnis with their hands crossed at their chest or stomach.

Others are significant. Shiites, for example, believe Ali and a string of his descendants, the Imams, had not only rightful political authority after Muhammad but also held a special religious wisdom. Most Shiites believe there were 12 Imams — many of them "martyred" by Sunnis — and the 12th vanished, to one day return and restore justice. Sunnis accuse the Shiites of elevating Ali to the level of Muhammad himself — incorrectly, since Shiites agree that Muhammad was the last of the prophets, a central tenet of Islam.

The bitter disputes of early Islam still resonate. Even secular-minded Shiite parents would never name their child after the resented Abu Bakr, Omar or Othman — or Aisha, a wife of Muhammad, who helped raise a revolt against Ali during his Caliphate. When outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Egypt earlier this year, the sheik of Al-Azhar, the bastion of Sunni theology, told him sharply that if the sects are to get along, Shiites must stop "insulting" the "companions of the prophet."

But only the most hard-core would say those differences are reason enough to hate each other. For that, politics is needed.


Polls continue to show Clinton as strong contender against leading Republicans

With its social conservative base dictating the GOP’s platform, Hillary Clinton has a very good chance to become our next president, despite all the recent scandals in the Obama administration. And those unhappy far-left activists sure as hell are not going to vote Republican.

By Audrey Hudson

June 23, 2013

Hillary Clinton is the darling of the Democratic Party but some liberal activists say they want to see the presumed presidential candidate commit herself more firmly to their causes, Politico reports.

Progressive activists meeting at the annual Netroots Nation conference in San Jose, Calif., are excited by the prospect of the first female president, but are still angry over her support for the Iraq War.

Anne Moore, sister of the controversial filmmaker Michael Moore, called the former secretary of state and first lady a defense hawk and asked, "Why would I vote her?"

Added Beth Becker, a Democrat consultant: "Hillary’s no progressive."

Some attendees criticized her response to the Obama administration's surveillance programs and accused her of being too cozy with Wall Street, according to Politico.

Unlike conservative critics, the progressive activists were not as judgmental over Clinton's response to the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, last year.

"Her leadership as secretary of state was tremendous, and even with the bumps regarding Benghazi and other things, I still think she came across as a decisive leader who understood the game," said San Francisco activist Mariko Miki.

Other Democratic contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination mentioned at the convention include Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

A Quinnipiac poll last week showed that Clinton is a strong contender in a presidential general election match-up in the key state of Florida, topping former Gov. Jeb Bush in the 2016 contest with 50 percent of the vote to his 43 percent. Against popular Sen. Marco Rubio, Clinton wins by a margin of 53 percent to 41 percent.

The Netroots nation is a group of so-called progressive grassroots activists who pursue their movement through blogs and social media on the Internet.

The conference was a tough crowd for liberals this year. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California was booed this weekend for accusing NSA leaker Edward Snowden of breaking the law.


The most anticipated Supreme Court rulings will be on Affirmative Action, Voting Rights and Gay Marriage.


Associated Press
June 23, 2013

The Supreme Court has 11 cases, including the term's highest profile matters, to resolve before the justices take off for summer vacations, teaching assignments and international travel.

The court is meeting Monday for its last scheduled session, but will add days until all the cases are disposed of.

A look at some of the cases:

Gay Marriage: Actually two cases. One is a challenge to California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The other is an attack on a provision of federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and pension benefits.

Affirmative action: A white woman denied admission to the University of Texas seeks to overturn the school's consideration of race among many factors in filling the last quarter of its freshman classes. A broad ruling could end the use of race in college admissions nationwide.

Voting rights: A suburb of Birmingham, Ala., wants the court to end the nearly 50-year-old requirement for some state and local governments, mainly in the South and with a history of discrimination in voting, to get the advance approval of any changes in the way they hold elections.

Native American adoption: A wrenching dispute over who gets custody of Native American girl, her biological father or the adoptive couple who cared for her until she was 2. The case involves the interpretation of a 1978 law intended to prevent American Indian children from being taken from their homes and typically placed with non-Indian adoptive or foster parents.

Generic Drugs: The industry is asking the Supreme Court to extend protections that makers of generic drugs have from state court lawsuits if federal officials have approved the design of the brand-name version the generic drug copied.

Private property: A Florida property owner wants compensation, under the Constitution's requirement that the government must pay if it takes your property, for a local government's refusal to issue a development permit.

Workplace discrimination: Two cases test different aspects of federal law barring discrimination on the basis of race. In one, the court has to decide what level of responsibility it takes to be considered a worker's supervisor in a discrimination complaint. The other asks whether an employer's action can be considered retaliation against an employee who complains of racial harassment if retaliation was a motivating factor, or must it be the only factor.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Cites troubled childhood as excuse for crimes and wants alternatives to prison terms for kids so they'll have a chance to overcome 'mistakes' and join with society

I just got through watching two videos on Borderland Beat that showed a group of very young Mexican cartel sicarios (hitmen) armed with AR-15s, AK-47s and semi-automatic pistols. I would estimate those boys were between 14 and 16-years-old. I’m sure that each of those boys had a troubled childhood.

The majority of Mexicans live in poverty. Children brought up in poverty are often abused by drunken fathers or by their mothers’ boyfriends. Scrounging around for something to eat can be rather troubling. Nevertheless, the majority of Mexico’s poor children do not become criminals, and most certainly not sicarios. That is why I do not believe the teen sicarios are killers for the cartels because of a troubled childhood. They are doing it because the pay is damn good.

And the claim that the brains of these young boys are not fully developed doesn’t hold any water. These kids have to be cunning and clever to carry out their hits without getting caught or killed. And as for all those brain development excuses, one only has to look at the teen soldiers that are fighting with insurgencies in Africa and Asia to debunk that malarkey. You can’t train a kid to use an AK-47 and fight in an insurgency if their brains are only partially developed.

Now, I want to hear someone tell me that when the teen sicarios kill for the cartels, what they've done is a mistake.


Owns two upscale houses in Houston and has several luxury cars, including a 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost

Want to live a life of luxury? Get a Mexican government official’s job.

By Jorge Ramos, Enviado Otero and Silvia Otero

El Universal
June 17, 2012

Houston – Alejandro Amadeo Gonzalez Guilbot, Central Administrator of the Tijuana´s Customs Office, receives a monthly pay of 104,113 Mexican Pesos - roughly $8 thousand. His life, however, is more like that of a millionaire than a public employee.

Gonzalez Guilbot owns two homes in Houston, Texas worth close to $1 million and several vehicles valued at about $600 thousand, including a 2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost.

This employee of the Mexican Internal Revenue Service (Secretaria de Hacienda) also appears as the owner of two businesses in the Houston area.

Gonzalez Guilbot has been a public servant for almost two decades. In 1994 he was the director of the preventive prison known as “El Torito”; from 1995 to 1998, director of the Reclusorio Sur prison in Mexico City; in 1999 he worked as the assistant manager in the International Airport of Mexico City.

From 2001 to 2003 he worked for the Mexican presidency under the Citizen Attention Directorate; from June 2003 to 2006 he worked for PEMEX-in PMI, Houston-, but he sued PEMEX, who ended up paying him 783 thousand Mexican Pesos - about $63 thousand.

It wasn´t until 2011 when he reappeared as a public servant working for SAT(Servicio de Administracion Tributaria-Internal Revenue Service) as the Regional Administrator for the Evaluation of the North Pacific. Since this past March 16 he is the Central Administrator in the Tijuana Customs Office under Enrique Peña Nieto´s office.

The Federal official is in charge of one of the biggest entry points between Mexico and USA, with about 10 thousand operations daily. His monthly income of little more than $8 thousand marks a sharp contrast with his home in Wynden Estates, in a closed street he shares with 7 neighbors.

Records in the Property and Tax Office in Harris County, Texas, show the acquisition by Gonzalez Guilbot of a house located in 111 N Wynden Estates Ct., Houston valued at $896,453; this transaction took place in January 2006.

There´s another home registered in the Texas Government records under Guilbot Alejandro Amadeo G.; the home is located at 8527 Atascocita Lake Way, Humble TX. This one is valued at $162,187.

In 2004 the public servant bought a Cadillac Escalade Luxury Edition worth about $52 thousand; the next year he registered a Nissan Altima SL; and in December 2006 he bought a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550 worth more than $95 thousand.

The list of vehicles owned by Tijuana´s Border Administrator includes a 2009 Lexus LS 460 worth $75 thousand. He also owns a 2007 BMW X3 bought in January 2010.

In June 2012 he bought a 2013 Rolls-Royce Ghost worth more than $325 thousand; that same year he bought a Lexus LX 570 worth close to $85 thousand.


The federal government’s ethanol mandates are driving up the price of corn for home consumption and the price of everything else that has to be trucked around the country. But with the rising price of my Double Whoppers With Cheese, I say to hell with renewable fuel mandates.

Chains say renewables mandate is increasing their costs across the nation

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

Houston Chronicle
June 21, 2013

Chain restaurants on Thursday launched a campaign aimed at repealing a renewable fuel mandate they say is hiking costs for franchisees nationwide.

Robert Green, the head of the National Coalition of Chain Restaurants, said the goal is to "leverage the grass-roots strength of franchisees" as Congress takes initial steps to tackle the 8-year-old mandate.

The restaurateurs' push joins other fights against the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires refiners to blend steadily increasing amounts of corn-based ethanol and other alternatives into the nation's transportation fuel supply.

The standard is intended to help wean the U.S. off foreign oil, in exchange for domestically produced alternatives, and to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

As gasoline use has declined, the oil industry says it no longer can blend in enough ethanol to meet the mandate, without exceeding a 10 percent threshold that is approved for use in all cars and trucks.

Because the renewable fuel standard sets target volumes rather than percentages, a drop in gasoline use increases the percentage of renewables in the fuel supply.

A higher 15 percent mix, known as E15, is approved only for vehicles made since 2001 and the oil industry has questioned its safety.

Meanwhile, farmers and the food industry complain that as some growers shift from food-grade sweet corn to field varieties destined for ethanol, it has pushed the costs of feeding livestock higher. Lisa Ingram, the president of White Castle, who spoke at a news conference on the chain restaurants' campaign Thursday, said that since the fuel mandate took effect in 2005, the price of corn has risen 300 percent.

Mark Behm, the owner of Wendy's franchises in Michigan, said the renewable fuel standard is pushing costs so high that it's difficult for restaurateurs to expand their businesses.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is set to delve into the issue next week, with a high-profile hearing on the renewable fuel standard.

Legislation pending in the House would repeal the standard. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and other senators introduced a companion measure on Thursday in the Senate.

Some lawmakers have pushed different approaches. For instance, while Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., has sponsored a full repeal bill, he also has introduced separate legislation that would eliminate an "advanced biofuels" category in the fuel standard and decrease the amount of the alternative fuels that are required through 2022. That measure effectively would reverse the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to allow 15 percent ethanol blends in the marketplace.


In this case, a drug dealer shot the victim because he was pissed off that the victim bought drugs from another dealer when he still owed him for a previous score. The defense is going to appeal the conviction because of the blinking eye identification. I hope the verdict will be upheld on appeal. (5-19-13)

The murderer has now been sentenced to 36 years to life.

Paralyzed shooting victim only able to communicate with his eyes

Associated Press
June 20, 2013

A man paralyzed and hooked up to a ventilator after he was shot in the face and neck could only communicate by blinking his eyes, but those blinks helped lead to what could end up as life in prison for the man convicted of murdering him.

Ricardo Woods, 35, was sentenced Thursday to 36 years to life in prison for the murder of David Chandler and for felonious assaults and weapons charges. The murder trial drew national attention when the judge allowed jurors to see a police interview of Chandler two weeks before his death during which he blinked in response to questions about who shot him.

Woods was convicted last month of murder and felonious assault charges after jurors watched the interview which prosecutors say shows Chandler blinked his eyes three times for "yes" to identify a photo of Woods as the man who shot him. Chandler was shot while sitting in a car on Oct, 28, 2010, and left paralyzed from the neck down,

The defense tried to block the video, saying Chandler's blinks were inconsistent and unreliable.

Woods, who insists he is innocent, stood stoically before a Hamilton County judge on Thursday and showed no visible emotion as she sentenced him. Judge Beth Myers said the sentence she gave him was "necessary to protect the public and punish Mr. Woods."

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 37 years to life, the maximum, while the defense had asked the judge for the minimum, 18 years to life.

Assistant county Prosecutor David Prem told the judge prior to sentencing that Woods' previous criminal history, including prison terms for attempting to kill someone and drug trafficking, should be taken into account.

"He is a dangerous and violent offender," Prem said, adding that it was time for the Chandler family and the state of Ohio to get justice.

Defense attorney Kory Jackson told the judge that Woods has "always maintained that he is not guilty and still maintains that today."

Woods nodded yes when the judge said she understood that he planned to appeal.

Jackson stressed again after court that Woods has always insisted he is innocent, even when he was offered a deal prior to the trial requiring him to plead guilty in exchange for a five-year sentence.

"He said that he was innocent and that `I'm absolutely not going to take a deal,"' Jackson said.

No members of Chandler's family spoke at Thursday's hearing, but the victim's mother said afterward that she was pleased with the sentence.

"I'm happy my son got his day in court," Jean Bradford said.

Prem said that Chandler "hopefully will never get out of prison."

"Mr. Woods deserved every day of the 36-to-life sentence he received," Prem said.

Jackson says he expects the video interview to play a role in Woods' appeal.

A doctor who treated Chandler testified during the trial that Chandler was able to communicate clearly. But the defense argued that Chandler's condition and drugs used to treat him could have hindered his ability to understand and respond during the police interview.

A jailhouse informant testified that Woods told him he shot at Chandler because he caught him buying drugs from someone else while still owing Woods money for drugs. But the defense argued that the informant, who faced armed robbery charges, was trying to get a lighter sentence for himself.

Legal experts say such cases — where prosecutors attempt to show a defendant was identified by a gesture — are unusual. Dying identifications relying on gestures rather than words are often not used in trials because of concern over reliability or differing interpretations. But some have been used in murder cases around the country that have resulted in convictions.