Friday, August 31, 2012


Democratic state legislators pass a law prohibiting anyone from the open carry of unloaded rifles and shotguns; that only punishes law-abiding citizens because criminals and crazies will just ignore the ban

While politically-inclined police administrators like LA Sheriff Lee Baka and LA Police Chief Charlie Beck usually support tough gun restrictions, the rank-and-file cops generally do not support gun control laws.

By Patrick McGreevy

Los Angeles Times
August 29, 2012

The state Assembly on Wednesday voted final legislative approval to a ban on carrying unloaded rifles and shotguns openly in public in California cities, with supporters citing recent mass shootings in other states and concern by police officers.

The Assembly voted 43-30 to send the legislation to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has said he owns three firearms but has not yet taken a public position on the bill.

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) introduced the measure as a follow-up to a bill signed last year by Brown that prohibited people from openly carrying unloaded handguns in public. Some have carried guns in public in a demonstration of a right to bear firearms.

The new measure makes it a misdemeanor, subject to jail time and fines, to openly carry unloaded long guns in incorporated cities. It was backed by law enforcement officials including Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.

"The more guns we have on our streets, whether visible or not, the potential for tragedy increases exponentially," Beck said. "I am in full support of repealing the open carry laws."

In arguing for the bill, other supporters cited mass shootings at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, a Milwaukee Sikh temple and one in Tuscon that killed six and seriously injured a congresswoman.

Assemblyman Gilbert Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) said having shotguns carried in public makes it harder for the police "to protect our 1st Amendment rights to take our family to a theater, to worship, to see our elected officials."

Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Whittier) noted the bill was introduced months before a gunman opened fire in the Aurora theater, killing 12 and injuring 58. But, he added, "If this law was in place, maybe [shooting suspect] James Holmes might have been discovered. Police officers could question why this person has a gun near a theater."

Assemblywoman Linda Halderman (R-Fresno) objected to the reference to the Aurora theater shooting. "They died there because of loaded weapons," Halderman said. "That has absolutely nothing to do with what we are doing today."

Assemblyman Stephen Knight (R-Palmdale), a former LAPD officer, said AB 1527 is unnecessary. "We haven't seen any police reports from these people because they are law-abiding citizens," Knight said. "For law-abiding citizens who respect the law, we shouldn’t attack them from Sacramento.’’


While the DA says it was a good shoot, the parents and civil libertarians will see it as an uncalled-for use of deadly force

While I thoroughly agree with the DA that this was a good shoot, I’ll be surprised if a shitstorm of public indignation doesn’t boil up since the little turd was only 15 and the gun was inoperable.

His mother will say he was a good boy who liked to play basketball, read nonfiction books, admired butterflies, sang in the church choir, and planned to be a professional basketball player in the NBA.

The civil libertarians will weep and wail about another case of uncalled-for use of deadly force, this time against a poor young child.

South San Francisco, which is probably already broke, will get the shit sue out of it and the feds will investigate the SSF PD’s use of force policy.

By Victoria Colliver

San Francisco Chronicle
August 29, 2012

The San Mateo County district attorney's office on Wednesday determined a South San Francisco police officer was justified in using lethal force when he shot a 15-year-old boy who allegedly pulled a gun during a struggle.

Calling the case "tragic," District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Officer Joshua Cabillo acted appropriately because he believed Derrick Gaines of San Bruno was reaching for a gun as the two struggled during the June 5 incident.

"Confronted by a subject who had been armed, and who was about to be armed again, public safety required Officer Cabillo to use deadly force to protect himself and others in the immediate vicinity," Wagstaffe said in a letter to South San Francisco Police Chief Michael Massoni announcing the end of his office's investigation.

While Gaines' gun was not operable due to the lack of a firing pin, Wagstaffe noted the officer could not have known that.

The prosecutor's office relied on the testimony of a witness who had been pumping gas at the Arco station at Gellert and Westborough boulevards in South San Francisco. It was there that the officer spotted Gaines and a companion acting suspiciously about 9 p.m.

The witness, according to the account, said he could see a gun in Gaines' waistband and he didn't think Cabillo could see the weapon from his position. When Cabillo asked the pair to sit down, Gaines fled.

Cabillo caught up with Gaines and knocked him to the ground. A pistol dropped to the ground and Gaines appeared to reach for the weapon. Cabillo shot him in the neck.

Gaines, who was found to be carrying cocaine and methamphetamine and had the drugs in his system, later died at San Francisco General Hospital.

Gaines' father, who is also named Derrick Gaines, declined to comment. He referred calls to his attorney, John Burris, who did not immediately return a call for comment.


Israel will never know piece as long as Arab professors and Islamic clerics call for the annihilation of the Zionist entity.

By Ryan Jones

Israel Today
August 30, 2012

A prominent Egyptian professor of political science admitted on Egyptian TV last week that institutes of higher learning in the region are purposefully stoking the flames of conflict between young Arab Muslims and Israel.

In an interview with Al-Alam TV that aired on August 17, Professor Gamal Zahran, head of the Department of Political Science at Port Said University, openly acknowledged that promoting hatred of the Jewish state is a primary goal in classes taught by himself and other lecturers.

Providing a glimpse into how Israel is dealt with in Middle East university classrooms, Zahran insisted that "the elimination of the Zionist entity is beyond debate...the only question has to do with the circumstances."

Zahran believes the right set of circumstances may soon exist to take action on his teachings.

"I believe that the [Arab Spring] provided the people with hope that one day Jerusalem and Palestine [sic] will return to them," Zahran stated. "We are constantly keeping that hope alive among the younger generation so that they will realize that the Palestinian cause is an essential one."

And while the Arab masses are not yet ready to storm the "Zionist entity," Zahran was confident that "the hope and memory will later turn into action. By next year, Allah willing, Israel will be annihilated."

The ongoing incitement of future generations of Arabs to continue the conflict with Israel has been Jerusalem's biggest complaint in its various peace processes. Despite being officially at peace since 1979, younger generations of Egyptians still hate Israel, and judging by Zahran's remarks the reason why is clear.

Even worse is the Palestinian Authority, which teaches children from the youngest ages through its schools and state-run media to view Israel and the Jews as blood-thirsty usurpers, thus making a genuine, lasting peace nearly impossible to achieve.

[Translation of Egyptian media was provided by The Middle East Research Institute]


The Unconventional Gazette
August 30, 2012

Dan was a single guy living at home with his widowed father and working in the family business.

When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed to find a wife with whom to share his fortune.

One evening, at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away.

"I may look like just an ordinary guy," he said to her, "but in just a few years, my father will die and I will inherit $200 million."

Impressed, the woman asked for his business card.

Three months later, she became his stepmother.

Which just goes to show that women are so much better at financial planning than men.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Obama administration lied when it reported that Osama bin Laden was armed when shot

‘Mark Owen’, the author of the soon to be released book NO EASY DAY has been identified as Matt Bissonnette, a retired member of U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6. The book is a firsthand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The Pentagon, the CIA and The Associated Press have received advanced copies of the book. While the book does reveal some SEAL tactics, it does not appear to have revealed any classified information or deep-dark national security secrets. But the book does contradict the details of the raid as released by the Obama administration.

Obama’s spokespersons claimed that the SEAL team had orders to capture or kill bin Laden. That was a lie! A lawyer from the Pentagon or the White house "made it clear that this wasn't an assassination” and said "I am not going to tell you how to do your job. What we're saying is if he does not pose a threat, you will detain him." But according to Bissonnette, no one else gave such orders and the mission of SEAL Team 6 was to kill bin Laden. While he was lying on the floor with a head wound, several SEAL team members continued to shoot bin Laden until his body stopped twitching.

Obama’s spokespersons said that bin Laden was armed when he was shot. That too was a lie! According to Bissonnette, bin Laden was unarmed. When he poked his head out of a door he was immediately shot.

And Bissonnette says SEALs were not fired upon while they were outside the gate of the compound. There was no 40-minute firefight. And it wasn't true that bin Laden had "time to look into our eyes." He got popped the second he stuck his head out the door.

The Obama administration went out of its way to claim that bin Laden’s body had been treated with dignity before it was given a proper Muslim burial at sea. That too seems to have been a lie. According to Bissonnette, one of his fellow SEALs was using bin Laden as a chair during the helicopter ride out of the compound. And as for giving bin Laden a proper Muslim burial at sea, although he was wrapped in a white shroud, there is nothing I can find in the Muslim faith that approves of disposing a corpse in a body of water.

Let’s face it, bin Laden was dumped into the sea so that his admirers would never be able to recover his body. And that crap about a proper Muslim burial was put forth so as not to offend the Muslim world.

The SEALs joked about Obama taking credit for the raid and that by killing bin Laden, they were reelecting him for a second term. But in fairness to Obama, any president probably would have taken credit for the raid had it occurred under his watch.

I am sure the Obama administration lied in order to convey to the world that the United States does not assassinate terrorists like the Israelis do. But since bin Laden’s assassination, we’ve assassinated a bunch of al Qaeda and Taliban leaders in Pakistan and al Qaeda leaders in Yemen with our CIA drone attacks. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that!


GEICO can’t bullshit me anymore. It was my automobile and homeowner’s insurance company for at least 20 years before my 16-year-old daughter had a wreck. They rewarded my years of customer loyalty by immediately cancelling my whole auto policy, instead of just cancelling my daughter’s part of it. When they did that, I switched my homeowner’s policy to another carrier forthwith. And a couple of years later, GEICO had the nerve to send me a special invitation to return as a customer.

It doesn't matter what the police say: If Geico says you're a thief, you're a thief

By Craig Malisow

Houston Press Hair Balls
August 29, 2012

If there's one thing everyone can agree on, it's that auto insurance companies are freaking awesome. They universally love their customers, who are legally required to purchase a service they may never actually use, and if a customer does have to pay a claim, insurance companies never bend over backwards to try to weasel out of making a payment. That's why Hair Balls jumps for joy whenever we see auto insurance commercials -- it's such a positive reminder. Especially the one with that fucking lizard. That never gets annoying.

We say all this because we were shocked to learn about a lawsuit filed by Houston attorney (and former City Council candidate) Eric Dick claiming that Geico denied his client's claim on a stolen car because the company's investigator believed Dick's client had staged the theft.

Here's what happened: A guy named Ronald Dell Nunley was convicted of stealing a Saturn Ion belonging to James Steagall in 2011. At one point, Nunley, who worked odd jobs at Steagall's body shop, said that Steagall hired him to "steal" the car.

Steagall was never charged with anything. But Geico knows better than the po-po, and the investigator weighed Nunley's claim, along with the fact that there was no evidence of the Saturn being broken into, and decided the cops didn't know jack, and Geico wasn't going to pay its customer, because its customer was apparently a dirty, rotten, lying fraudster.

"This is the quintessential case of bad faith," Dick told Hair Balls. "...How many people have they done this to that didn't have a lawyer...If they got away with this ten, 15 times, they come out ahead."

And, in case he didn't make his point clear enough, Dick added: "This is bullshit." (Dick was also proud of his press release on the suit, which stated "...denying an insurance claim is so easy a caveman can do it."

Circumstantially, we could see how a determined investigator could cobble a case together: Steagall told Hair Balls he owed between $6,000 and $7,000 on the car. Steagall knew the thief. There was no smashed window or broken steering column. (So apparently, if a car thief isn't a bumbling moron, that expertise can be held against you, the Geico customer.)

The case, filed in Harris County District Court, has since been set for mediation, and Geico's spokeswoman would not comment. So therefore, she couldn't tell us what kind of evidence (if any) its investigator has against Steagall.


62-year-old British woman swims from Alcatraz to shore near San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf

This was quite a feat for a woman her age, or anyone else for that matter. She and her son started out together – he made it to shore in just 31 minutes, she in one hour and 16 minutes. Of the 36 who tried it, only one Alcatraz inmate ever succeeded in swimming from the prison island to the shore of San Francisco bay.

Completed the mile-and-a-half challenge in one hour and 16 minutes

By Daniel Miller

Mail Online
August 29, 2012

It was hailed as the prison from which there could be no escape. If the freezing water and powerful currents didn't get you then the sharks would.

But a 62-year-old grandmother has succeeded where hundreds of the most hardened criminals failed, swimming the treacherous mile-and-a-half from infamous Alcatraz Prison to the shores of San Fransisco Bay.

Jacky Portingale, a receptionist from the UK, took on the grueling challenge during her summer vacation and claimed the waters were far warmer than those around her home town of Bristol.

Jacky, who started open water swimming when her son Lee took up the sport, said she prefers to stick to 'little swims' - of up to two miles.

The currents in the bay were a problem with Jacky having to be guided back in the right direction by a safety marshal in a canoe after she started to get 'swept away' in the direction of the Golden Gate Bridge.

But she completed the course in an hour and 16 minutes - somewhere behind son Lee, who clocked just 31 minutes.

She said: 'I thought it was a joke at first, I had heard that nobody had ever escaped from Alcatraz, partly because of the currents and the cold.

'I said I was too old for that and would never do it. But she booked it up and gave it to me as a Christmas present, so there was no backing out.

'I had been training at Henleaze Lake in Bristol and when I first went in there it was ten degrees, so we didn't find it cold at all. They said 'you're from England, you'll be fine'.'

US authorities claim only one prisoner ever managed to survive the swim from the world-famous American prison in San Francisco Bay.

In 1962 John Paul Scott washed up on the rocks at Fort Point. He was discovered by a group of boys who thought he was an unsuccessful suicide attempt from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Would-be escapees who got past the notorious prison's armed guards, barbed wire fences, sheer walls and cliffs then had to take on the strong currents and cold temperatures and even the risk of shark attack.

For 29 years Alcatraz prison held some of America's most dangerous prisoners including mobsters Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly.

During that time 36 prisoners tried to escape but only one was proved to have made it to the mainland, where he was found suffering from hypothermia, although some people claim another three convicts listed as 'presumed drowned' actually made a clean getaway.

Organized swims from the island to the mainland now take place regularly.

Those taking part do not have to contend with one of the hazards that faced convicts going into the water - guards firing at them from the island's watch towers.

But they are warned to beware of the strong currents in the bay, where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers flow into the Pacific Ocean.

Afterwards Mrs Portingale, who works at Shirehampton Health Centre, and her lorry driver husband William, 64, enjoyed a holiday to Yosemite National Park, Death Valley, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.


I am sure this is how most hardworking people feel:

I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit.

In order to get that paycheck, in my case, I am required to pass random urine tests. I do not have a problem with undergoing those urine tests.

What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.

So, here is my question: Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them?

Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their BUTT----doing drugs while I work..

Can you imagine how much money each state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

I guess we could call the program "URINE OR YOU'RE OUT"!

Something has to change in this country - AND SOON!

P.S. Just a thought - all political office holders and government employees should have to pass a urine test too!.... but then that would lead to a substantial increase in the unemployment rate.


The Unconventional Gazette
August 29, 2012

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%.

How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:

If A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 =98%


11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 =96%


1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 =100%


2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 =103%

AND look how far ass-kissing will take you.

1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that while Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass-Kissing that will put you over the top.

Oh, and there is also

23+8+15+25+15+21+11+14+15+23 = 170%

Now you know why some people are where they are!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Bank executive claims LA cops beat him up for no reason; sues for $50 million plus

It has been reported that this bank executive was trying to get his medical marijuana prescription for sleeplessness filled. This is just one example of many illustrating why California’s medical marijuana law is a bad joke that has led to the opening of more than 1,000 pot dispensaries within the city of Los Angeles alone.

This bank executive had been ingesting marijuana and eating pot brownies to help him sleep. That should explain what made him snarl at the cops. Only in Kookfornia!

Brian C. Mulligan says officers threatened to kill him, beat him badly and kept him against his will. He claims at least $50 million in damages. Police have a different account

By Ashley Powers and Richard Winton

Los Angeles Times
August 27, 2012

By sunrise, the bank executive was laid up in the hospital, his face swollen, the result of a late-night confrontation with two LAPD officers in Highland Park.

That much, everyone agrees on.

But nearly everything else that happened that May night to Brian C. Mulligan, a managing director and vice chairman at Deutsche Bank, remains in dispute.

The officers said they had to use force to subdue a snarling, thrashing man who arched his back, waved his arms, stiffened his fingers like claws and charged them on a residential street, according to a police report viewed by The Times.

One of Mulligan's attorneys, J. Michael Flanagan, offered a more bizarre version of events: that the officers dragged Mulligan to a down-market motel and threatened to kill him if he left. When they discovered that Mulligan had escaped, his attorney said, the officers beat him so badly that he suffered 15 fractures to his nose and needed dozens of stitches.

Mulligan has filed a claim with the city, a precursor to a lawsuit, that lists at least $50 million in damages. Since the confrontation, Mulligan's nasal passages "no longer operate correctly," and he's struggled to work and maintain relationships with his family, the claim said. No charges have been filed against Mulligan, though a spokesman for the city attorney's office, which handles misdemeanor crimes, said the incident was under review.

Mulligan is a longtime Hollywood money man and deal maker who has served as co-chairman of Universal Pictures, chief financial officer of Seagram, Universal's former owner, and chairman of News Corp.'s Fox Television.

Mulligan, 53, joined Deutsche Bank in 2009. He lives in upscale La CaƱada Flintridge, less than 10 miles from the grittier Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park.

On the night of May 15, Flanagan said in an interview, Mulligan drove to a dispensary on the border of Highland Park and Eagle Rock to buy medical marijuana products, which help him sleep. He said law enforcement officers — he was uncertain from what agency — detained him, walked him to a run-down apartment complex and told him to go to the fourth floor, his attorney said.

While making his way through the building, Mulligan panicked, his attorney said. He ran to the street, spotted some law enforcement officers and sprinted in the opposite direction. Mulligan thought he'd be safe if he reached Occidental College, less than a mile away, Flanagan said. "He was running for his life," the attorney said.

About 10:20 p.m., LAPD Officers James Nichols and John Miller responded to a report of a white male trying to break into a car outside a Jack in the Box, the police report said. Soon a second call came in reporting a similar break-in attempt — and a similar-looking suspect — not far away.

The officers came across Mulligan near an entrance to Occidental. Dressed in a pink shirt and tan pants, he matched the description of the would-be burglar, according to the report. His attorney said Mulligan never tried to pry open car doors. He was drenched in sweat and walked with an "unsteady gait," the police report said. Yet he passed several sobriety tests.

According to the report, Mulligan told police that he'd ingested marijuana and, in recent days, "white lightning," a nickname for powerful drugs known as bath salts. He said he hadn't slept in four days, was going through a divorce and felt depressed, the report said. Mulligan also said he was being chased, according to the report, which nonetheless described him as calm, lucid and cooperative. Mulligan denies saying any of this or being under the influence of any drug that night, his attorney said.

The officers drove Mulligan to his Toyota Prius, which they searched; Mulligan's attorney said he had not given them permission. They found his Irish passport and enough cash that they called in a supervisor, said the report, which did not specify an amount. Mulligan's claim pegged the cash at about $5,000, a sum he said he normally carried for business travel. Then police took Mulligan — whose cellphone and passport remained in his car, his attorneys said — to the nearby Highland Park Motel, a low-rent building across from homes with barred windows.

From here, the two sides' accounts diverge wildly.

The officers said Mulligan, complaining of exhaustion, had asked to be dropped there. Mulligan, according to his claim, said he was taken there against his will and told "he could not leave, under threat of death."

At the front desk, Flanagan said, the officers took away Mulligan's car keys and forced him to pay the roughly $40 room bill. They also gave him back the cash they'd found in his car, said another Mulligan attorney, Valerie Wass.

Then one officer escorted Mulligan to Room 208, which he said did not have a telephone. He eventually cajoled a clerk into returning his keys, his attorney said, and ran away from the motel. This week, a motel employee said he could not recall the incident.

About 1 a.m., the same uniformed officers responded to a traffic call not far from the motel. Miller said he spotted Mulligan trying to open the passenger-side door of an occupied silver van, the report said. The van sped off. The officers yelled at him to get off the sidewalk. They said Mulligan responded with expletives. (Flanagan disputed their account, saying it was unlikely the officers saw much from where they said they were parked, about 100 yards away.)

The officers soon gave chase, the report said. "At that point," Mulligan's claim said, "he was in such great fear that he believed the LAPD officers were not truly LAPD officers but may be impostors bent on robbing or killing."

The officers caught up with Mulligan. "He took up a fighting stance — a karate-style stance," said Los Angeles police Lt. Andrew Neiman, a department spokesman, in an interview, "and then charged at them." Mulligan tried to tackle Nichols, the police report said, and Nichols took Mulligan to the ground. Neiman said the officers used reasonable force.

Mulligan's attorney denied that his client charged police and accused the officers of using excessive force.


Homes are damaged to the tune of thousands of dollars as members of the Vietnamese community take advantage of the millions of dollars to be made satisfying the huge demand for pot.

Marijuana growers left huge mess for dozens of homeowners

By James Pinkerton

Houston Chronicle
August 27, 2012

Large holes cut into the ceiling of almost every room of the 3,200-square-foot house on Mandarin Glen Circle in Spring were the first clue. Blowers were installed to push suspiciously pungent air into the attic.

Then there was the potting soil covering floors, the makeshift electrical panels powering hundreds of 600-watt lights, the bathrooms converted into watering stations.

They were all signs of a suburban dream home turned into a nightmare for its owners, a house in a quiet neighborhood transformed into a sophisticated grow house for a major Houston-area marijuana trafficking operation taken down by agents last week.

Owners Court Riddle and his wife, Candace, could not believe the damage the marijuana cultivators wreaked on their two-story rental.

"This is like a bad movie," said Candace, 32, as she and her two sons pulled down wire racks used to dry the marijuana.

It was a heart-breaking scene being repeated for property owners at 40 rental homes targeted in raids in Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties. Two dozen Vietnamese nationals were arrested, and nearly 14,000 marijuana plants confiscated in the raid.

Federal and state authorities said the residences - often in upscale suburbs - had been secretly converted into grow houses by a Vietnamese-run marijuana cultivation ring. Traffickers were paying $3,500 a month in rent in some of the homes, small change for a drug ring that had the capital to invest $50,000 worth of sophisticated growing equipment in each residence, a Texas Department of Public Safety official confirmed.

And the payoff potential was huge.

Based on the number of plants and the four times-a-year harvest, DPS estimates the grow houses together could generate $250 million a year.

DPS Commander Duane Steen, who is in charge of the Houston division, said his agency estimates the larger rented grow houses had from 250 to 400 marijuana plants. The home-grown marijuana has a much higher potency than the more common Mexican variety and commands prices from $3,000 to $5,000 per pound. In a year, one house alone could produce marijuana worth $4 million to $6.5 million.

Electric power stolen

Officials with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said the Vietnamese-run ring is related to similar groups operating in Canada and Seattle.

"We have a widespread, loosely associated criminal organization that is utilizing the neighborhoods in the greater Houston area for a very profitable grown marijuana operation, which can be distributed and consumed right here in the local area," Steen said.

By producing the pot locally and closer to consumers the ring lowered its risk of arrest and reduced transportation costs, Steen said. "That way you don't incur the transport cost of shipping it from the border up to Chicago," Steen said.

The ring stole electricity from local utilities by digging trenches and tapping directly into underground power lines running to the home. This not only saves large amounts of money, but made it harder to detect their 24/7 power use because they wired around the house meter.

It all points to a very sophisticated organization, Steen said.
The raids last week targeted 60 locations, including two commercial sites where the organization was storing and packaging the marijuana. Of the 60 addresses, they found active cultivation in 40.

Earlier seizures of 14 other grow houses the Vietnamese organization operated turned up 5,000 more plants, although details of those operations were not disclosed.

The tentacles of the crime ring extended into The Woodlands, where one grow house was on an immaculately landscaped cul-de-sac with $380,000 homes.

"I didn't expect crime to be across the street and two houses down," said Jessica Romero, who with her husband and two children moved into an adjacent house last month. "I don't know about grow houses, but what comes to mind is if you have people coming to pick up drugs, there could be gunfire."

The grow house is owned by a Mexico City businessman who fears that neighbors will think he was somehow involved in the illicit cultivation, said the owner's insurance agent, Keith Wagner.

"The only space they didn't use was at the front of the house," said Wagner, who estimates the growers caused $50,000 in damage. "You could walk into the front room and the kitchen and you'd say this was a normal family home."

'Demand is here'

People are mistaken if they think drug activity is limited to "bad" neighborhoods, said Wagner, a proponent of drug treatment and rehabilitation to end demand.

"People think this is only happening downtown," he said. "But think about it. Half the kids are using weed and half the parents are still smoking pot from the '60s. So the demand is here."

The Riddles learned that the young Vietnamese woman with two children - who in January signed a two-year lease and were paying $1,850 a month - never lived in their home. Court Riddle, a 35-year-old minister, figures the cleanup to his property will cost $15,000.

The brick home-turned-marijuana greenhouse suffered through 120-degree temperatures that softened the walls. Mold also was starting to grow.

"Now we're left with trying to get it ready to lease it out or sell, and you know what the market is like," he said. "We may have to go into foreclosure."


This analysis was forwarded to me by Jay Wall, a Houston commercial real estate broker.

Take a look at our government’s fiscal mess:

U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000

Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000

New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000

Accumulated national debt: $14,271,000,000,000

Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700

Money the family spent: $38,200

New debt on the credit card: $16,500

Accumulated balance due on the credit card: $142,710

Total budget cuts so far: $3.85

Got it?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


A different form of what’s known as ‘paper probation’

Richard Krupp, Ph.D., had a sarcastic post on Monday’s PACOVILLA Corrections blog in which he dissected “The Future of California Corrections, A blueprint to save billions of dollars, end federal court oversight and improve the prison system,” a pie-in-the-sky document related to Gov. Moonbeam’s prison realignment program that was released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and which must have been put together by people stoned on medical marijuana.

Greg ‘The Gadfly’ Doyle responded by relating his experiences as an Upland, California police detective with the San Bernardino County probation department where felons on probation were in effect being supervised by file folders. That novel approach was a different form of what we call ‘paper probation.’

Paper probation occurs when a probation officer spends far more time doing paper work than supervising probationers. In the San Bernardino case, it was all paper work with no actual supervision of probationers. (When parole officers spend far more time doing paper work than supervising parolees, it’s known as ‘paper parole.’)

While Greg’s experience with San Bernardino County occurred in the 1990s, there is no reason to believe that such a novel approach to probation isn’t being carried out by some other probation departments in our cash-strapped country.

Here is what The Gadfly wrote:

One of the most eye-opening realities (when I worked as a police detective in the 1990′s) was working with the County of San Bernardino Probation Department. At that time, the majority of convicted felons on probation were assigned to what was affectionately known as the “Bank.” The bank was located in downtown area of the City of San Bernardino. After being placed on felony probation, those convicted felons were assigned to sturdy manila file folders, where those folders were monitored eight hours a day, excluding weekends and holidays.

Approximately 500 to 600 file-folder felons were assigned to one “seasoned” probation officer who, if a report was received from any law enforcement agency, court jurisdiction, or coroner’s office, would take action (if the probationer was in custody—by filing paperwork with to the court) according to the nature of the violation per department policy.

In most cases, those “Bank” probationers were obligated by their agreements with the court to not break the law EVER again. (Sounds scary in this context does it not?). If a probationer managed to avoid drawing the attention of law enforcement and their bank monitor, then probation was deemed a success.

Imagine being a non-violent convicted felon in San Bernardino County merely monitored from a file drawer. This ranked among the most feared punishments in all of Southern California and eventually led to many banked felons disappearing from the radar of probation supervision.

I must confess that I upset the apple cart with the felon-bank more than a few times with my investigations. I do not fault the Probation department for the system. I fault the system that never had enough funding for the Probation Department to adequately supervise those felons. In the County pecking order of priorities, Probation was the poor step-child who always was left with financial crumbs and given the lion’s share of the court caseload.

I can only imagine what is happening within a traditionally ill-funded San Bernardino County Probation Department in 2012 with the loving ass(istance) of Jerry Brown’s realignment.


San Francisco, with a population of less than one million, pays its police chief more than New York pays its chief for policing a city with a population of eight million

That’s why I call it San Fransicko. And the former Golden State, now Rusty Iron State, wants to build a high speed bullet train that will run from San Fransicko to Los Angeles and cost $98.5 billion, despite the fact that the state is going broke. That’s why I call it Kookfornia.

August 27, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — With annual pay exceeding $300,000, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr is the highest-paid cop in the nation, according to city payroll records.

Over the course of the last fiscal year, Suhr took home a total of $321,477, a sum that — because of longevity pay given to officers with 27 years of service — was a $19,000 boost to his base salary of $302,577.

The number is higher than police chiefs' salaries in other big cities, The San Francisco Chronicle noted.

In Los Angeles, Police Chief Charlie Beck makes $307,291, and New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who works in the country’s highest populated city, earns $205,180.

Suhr told the paper that San Francisco has "one of the best-compensated police departments in the country, in one of the most expensive cities in the country."

He said he does not plan to negotiate the pay raise, which has angered some city officials.

"Over $300,000 for a police chief of a city less than a million people, that’s too much money,” City supervisor John Avalos told CBS. "It doesn't seem right."


Bob Walsh says, “Sometimes the price of bad decisions can be very high.” That applies as much, if not more so, to the woman who was stupid enough to be with this now terminated turd.

by Bill Lindelof

The Sacramento Bee
August 27, 2012

California Highway Patrol officers fired on an escaped inmate when he tried to ram them with a stolen car this morning near Lodi, killing the fugitive and critically injuring a woman in his vehicle, a CHP spokesman said.

California Highway Patrol officer Angel Arceo said the CHP took over the pursuit of the stolen vehicle about 12:10 a.m. from Stockton police near Interstate 5 and March Lane.

Officers began and ended the pursuit twice due to the fleeing suspect's wild driving, said Arceo. The driver at times drove the wrong way on the freeway.

Arceo said that a CHP air unit kept tabs on the driver from above even when patrol cars had to cut off pursuit. Eventually officers in patrol cars caught up with the stolen car one last time.

That last pursuit ended after the suspect exited I-5 and took surface streets to Highway 99. He then left Highway 99 at Woodbridge Road.

Near there, CHP officers used a maneuver to stop the car with their vehicles. Officers then got out of the vehicles with guns drawn.

"They gave commands to the driver to exit his vehicle," said Arceo. "He failed to comply."

Instead, said Arceo, the suspect put the stolen car in reverse, traveling toward the officers. The stolen car hit one of the patrol cars on the passenger side where an officer was standing, said Arceo.

"The officer was able to get out of the way," said Arceo. "At which time, fearing for their safety, they discharged their weapons."

The vehicle then continued toward other officers at a high rate of speed in reverse. Officers continued to fire to "disable the vehicle and neutralize the threat," said Arceo.

The driver died at the scene. Arceo said at that point officers discovered the female passenger.

She had been struck at least once and was taken by CHP air ambulance to UC Davis Medical Center. She was reported in critical, yet stable, condition.

Arceo could not confirm earlier media reports that the woman was pregnant.

Arceo said that the dead man, whose name was not initially released, was a recent escapee from a San Joaquin County sheriff's honor farm. He had escaped on Aug. 9 and was actively being sought by the San Joaquin County sheriff's office.


She said not paying for brew, ice cream and a cucumber was a ‘mistake’

If she used a reusable shopping bag, she must have made several trips in an out of the Walmart store to haul all that loot. That’s what’s called ‘chutzpah.’ And that cucumber… well I have an idea it was going to be used by the young lady as a dildo.

By John Nova Lomax

Houston Press Hair Balls
August 27, 2012

This week's entrant in the Crystal Crime Report is Crystal Marie Mosquera. College Station cops say they picked up the 19-year-old Thursday evening outside an area Walmart after she was seen placing numerous items in a reusable shopping bag, defying a security guard's order to stop and attempting to leave the store without paying.

Once in custody, Mosquera reportedly told police that she had gone to Walmart to stock up for a party that night and had made a "mistake" in not paying.

College Station police released a detailed inventory of Mosquera's allegedly misbegotten par-tay supplies, and it makes for interesting reading.

First, there's the alcohol: Mosquera's cart contained a case of Mike's Hard Lemonade, an 18-pack of Bud Light Lime, a 12-pack of Bud Light Lime-A-Rita, and a six-pack each of Twisted Tea, Smirnoff Ice, Smirnoff Ice Cherry Lime, Smirnoff Cranberry & Lime, Smirnoff Screwdriver, and Smirnoff Blueberry & Lemonade. Mosquera also reportedly helped herself to a dozen packages of various daiquiri and hard-lemonade mixes. Total value of booze and mixers: approximately $140.

And then there's the ice cream, lots and lots of ice cream: a box each of Breyer's S'mores and fudge bars, and numerous boxes of Twix, Snickers, and Milky Way ice cream bars (some regular and some mini-sized). Total value: approximately $35.

Mosquera apparently planned to serve frozen pizza as the party's main course, for police also found two $10 Marketside meat pies in her cart. Total value: $20.

Which brings us to the one item in her cart that is a little harder to explain than all the rest, the one single, solitary natural product in those bags full of sickly-sweet hooch and chemically-enhanced ice cream. And that was this: a single cucumber.

Somehow we don't think that cuke was going to end up as thinly-sliced pizza topping, or infused in a Smirnoff Blueberry Lemonade. Whatever could she have wanted it for? Total value: 62 cents.

Mosquera was charged with Class B misdemeanor theft of under $500. She was released on $2,000 bond late Thursday night. No word on the fate of the party she hoped to attend.

Monday, August 27, 2012


The country is going to pot; schools have failed miserably in dealing with the use of drugs

The Eagle Ford Shale is a hydrocarbon producing formation rich in oil and natural gas fields. The shale play trends across roughly 20 Texas counties from the Mexican border up toward Dallas County, roughly 50 miles wide and 400 miles long with an average thickness of 475 feet.

The energy industry wants to hire thousands of workers for Eagle Ford. According to a study by the University of Texas at San Antonio, Eagle Ford Shale supported 47,097 full-time jobs in 2011, a number that's expected to grow to 116,972 full-time jobs by 2021. Applicants are coming from all over the United States seeking jobs at Eagle Ford, but 30-40 percent of them are not hired because they cannot pass drug screening tests.

Here is an excerpt from ‘Drug Tests A Barrier In Eagle Ford Hiring,’ a report by Vicki Vaughn that was published in the August 25 issue of the Houston Chronicle:

__Employers say they're rejecting 30 percent to 40 percent of all shale job applicants because they can't pass a pre-employment drug test, said Leodoro Martinez, who moderated a panel discussion about workforce issues at the Texas Economic Development & Energy Summit. The audience included energy industry officials, elected officials, public officials and economic development officials.

__Drug use is "a family, school and community problem" that needs to be addressed but won't be easily solved, said Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio.

__Doug Ridge, director of employer initiatives for the Texas Workforce Commission, agreed, saying drug use "is a big, big problem, a major problem."

Ridge also said that engineers and other professionals are far less likely to fail the drug tests than applicants for jobs on rigs or as truckers. But when up to 40 percent of job applicants in their 20s-40s cannot pass a drug screening test, this country has a problem of enormous proportions. These people didn’t start using drugs just recently. They began to use drugs during their middle school and high schools years, and in almost every instance they started out by smoking marijuana.

The Eagle Ford Shale employment problem points out that our schools and communities have failed miserably in dealing with a serious drug problem. In California, the idiot voters exacerbated the drug problem by passing a medical marijuana law that has, in effect, legalized the use of pot. And with the former Golden State's 10.7 percent unemployment rate, you can bet that a good number of those who failed their drug tests came to Eagle Ford from California.

If left unabated, the use of illegal drugs will be devastating to the future of our country. And if anyone thinks that legalizing marijuana will reduce the problem, they’ve got to be stoned out of their half-witted minds.


If Bloomberg had his way, only cops and crooks would be armed with guns

According to Mail Online, just minutes before the [Empire State Building] shooting, NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg had warned about the dangers of 'too many guns on the streets' on his weekly radio show. While discussing proposed tougher gun laws in Albany shortly before 9 a.m., he said: “The argument guns don’t kill people, people kill people is one of the most disingenuous things you can say. It does take a person to pull the trigger, but if they didn’t have the gun... We are the only developed country in the world with this problem.”

While gun ownership may be prohibited in other developed countries, Mayor Bloomberg deliberately overlooks the fact that innocent citizens in those countries do get shot more often than we are led to believe. For instance, in Norway on July 22, 2011, a right-wing fanatic shot 77 individuals to death. Because gun ownership is prohibited in Norway and other nations, only cops and crooks are armed with guns in countries that have disarmed their citizens. That’s just about the way it is in New York and if Bloomberg gets his way, that’s what it will be like in the rest of our country.

As for the Empire State Building shooting, the gun smoke had barely dissipated before the armchair police critics started slamming the two cops for shooting the killer when he did not fire a shot at them. Never mind that the killer pulled his pistol out and pointed it at them. In their warped minds, the second guessers accuse the cops of disregarding the safety of the bystanders around them when they opened fire. These morons believe that a crook should get off the first shot before the police are allowed to fire their weapons.

I’ll agree that at the time of the confrontation, the cops were unmindful of any bystanders. They were staring death in the face! Fearing for their lives, they opened fire. Had they withheld their fire, one or both of them could have been killed.


Yesterday, I was watching a TV news broadcast which paid tribute to Neil Armstrong. The news anchor asked, “Do you remember what you were doing when Armstrong stepped out of his space capsule to become the first man to walk on the moon?”

I do not remember what I was doing when Armstrong walked on the moon, but I do remember what I was doing when three other historic events occurred.

December 7, 1941. I was watching a movie in Marshall, Texas when the movie stopped, the lights came on, and the theater manager got up in front of the screen to announce that Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor.

November 22, 1963. I was at a regional staff meeting in the Santa Ana, California state parole office when the office secretary came in to tell us that President John F. Kennedy had just been shot in Dallas.

September 11, 2001. As a volunteer at the Houston Zoo, I was picking up ape shit while cleaning the orangutan cages when the phone rang. I answered it and someone told me that an airliner had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers in New York. Suddenly, after a momentary pause, he said that just then another airliner had crashed into the other tower as well.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


13 people shot within 30 minutes

Chicago has enacted strict gun controls, including a five-year ban on gun purchases for anyone convicted of a violent misdemeanor. The gun restrictions have failed to stem a rash of shootings that keep occurring in the Windy City.

The only people affected by strict gun controls like those in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, are law abiding citizens. The gangbangers and other criminals in those cities do not have any problems acquiring deadly firearms.

Authorities have been battling an increase in homicides in the city where some aldermen complain gangs have no fear of the police

Associated Press
August 24, 2012

CHICAGO — Police say 13 people were shot and wounded in a 30-minute spate of violence in Chicago, including eight gunned down on a single street.

Authorities have been battling an increase in homicides in the city where some aldermen complain gangs have no fear of the police.

Police say a drive-by shooting on Chicago's South Side late Thursday wounded seven men and one woman ranging in age from 14 to 20 years. Two of the victims were taken to Comer Children's Hospital. Most are in stable condition. Police say the 19-year-old woman wounded was shot in the arm while walking to work.

Five people were wounded in three other shootings around the same time.

Police say 19 people were shot in Chicago on Thursday night and early Friday.


The San Bernardino County medical examiner has issued his findings on the June 17 death of Rodney King at his home in Rialto, California. If you recall, the icon of those who hate the police was found lying on the bottom of his swimming pool by his girlfriend.

The cause of death was listed as drowning. Alcohol and multiple drug toxicity were listed as contributing factors. King had a blood alcohol level of .06 and amounts of PCP, cocaine and marijuana in his system.

Rialto police Capt. Randy DeAnda said, “Mr. King was in a state of drug and alcohol induced delirium at the time of the terminal event.”

A lot of people have come to sympathize with King’s addictions, but to me this career arrestee was nothing more than a drunken druggie dirtbag. Good riddance! End of story.


The Onion
August 24, 2012

WASHINGTON—Faced with shrinking tax revenues and decreased public spending, the Department of Education announced Friday the 2012-2013 academic year would need to be radically shortened from 180 days to six.

"The first day, of course, will be spent learning names, handing out textbooks, assigning lockers, and so forth, but on day two, we'll hit the ground running, covering all of history by lunch and hopefully squeezing in the entire language-arts curriculum before the final bell rings," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, adding that any student caught misbehaving would be given three seconds of detention after class. "That will leave the rest of the week free for an intensive program of math and science designed to help American children develop the skills they would already have if they lived in just about any other industrialized nation."

Duncan acknowledged not much would get done on day six, as students tend to be distracted on the last day of school, and they would in any event be worn out from the previous day's homecoming, talent show, SATs, winter semiformal, prom, finals, and commencement exercises.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


The Holocaust: Never Again!

Six million Jews, along with Gypsies, Soviet prisoners of war and 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses, suffered unspeakable cruelties and unimaginable horrors before they died or were executed in the Nazi concentration/death camps. All personnel of the death camps that are still alive should be brought to justice no matter how old they are, how long it’s been and what kind of exemplary life they’ve led since.

By Sara Malm

Mail Online
August 23, 2012

An 87-year-old man is set to be charged on allegations that he served as an SS guard at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

The German special prosecutors office has recommended that the man be charged over involvement in the killing of 344,000 Jews at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in occupied Poland from April 1944 until January 1945.

Head prosecutor Kurt Schrimm did not reveal the identity of the man but confirmed that he is a non-German living outside Germany.

Schrimm, who is head of the special prosecutors' office that pursues Nazi-era crimes, said that the man can be charged over accessory to murder using precedent set by Munich prosecutors in the trial of former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk in 2011.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk was convicted solely on the basis that he served as a Sobibor death camp guard with no evidence of involvement in a specific killing.

He was the first person convicted in Germany under such conditions setting legal precedent that anyone who was involved in the operation of a death camp was an accessory to murder.

Mr Demjanjuk died in a Bavarian nursing home in March while appealing his conviction maintaining until his death that he had been mistaken for someone else and never served as a camp guard.

Even though the Demjanjuk verdict is not considered legally binding due to his death prior to the exhaustion of his appeal, Schrimm said the same legal principle can be applied in the case of the alleged Auschwitz guard.

‘I can't say when he was where in the camp, but all of these guards were stationed at times on the ramps, at times at the gas chambers and at times in the towers,’ Schrimm said.

Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said he welcomed the news of the investigation but cautioned that even if the suspect is charged, bringing him to Germany for trial could present challenges.

He noted, for example, that the Australian high court last week ruled that 90-year-old Charles Zentai could not be extradited to Hungary to face accusations he tortured and killed a Jewish teenager during World War II.

‘A lot will depend on whether or not his country of residence has the political will to extradite him to Germany,’ Zuroff said.

Schrimm's office has turned the case over to prosecutors in Weiden, in Bavaria, to determine whether to file charges. Weiden has jurisdiction over the area where the suspect last lived in Germany.

Weiden prosecutors' spokesman Norbert Dietl said the files were received on Monday, and that it would probably take at least a month to make a decision on the case.

About 1.5 million people were killed at the Auschwitz camp complex between 1940 and 1945.

An estimated 90 per cent of the victims were Jewish but also included Roma, Soviet prisoners of War and 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses .

It was liberated on January 27, 1945 by Soviet troops, a day which is commemorated annually as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Two years after the liberation it was opened as a museum which now sees 1.3 million visitors passing through the wrought iron gates with the chilling motto 'Arbeit Macht Frei' every year.


Jeff ‘Pacovilla’ Doyle posted his thoughts on the seventh denial of parole for Mark David Chapman, the killer of John Lennon, the former Beetle.

Here is what Jeff wrote:

Paco is pleased Mr. Chapman will remain in prison, and not owing to any affinity for his victim. Rather, thanks largely to the evil doing of Mark David Chapman, one of the worst songs of all time was elevated to a virtual international anthem: John Lennon’s “Imagine.” I can’t stand the tune nor its barely melodic call for world communism.

Chapman once told the parole board he murdered Lennon thinking “by killing John Lennon I would become somebody and instead of that I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies.’’ It’s a shame someone had to die for Chapman to come to this epiphany. It is also a shame a wretched, angry person like Lennon has been all but canonized as a result of the senseless murder.

And here is what his brother Greg ‘The Gadfly’ Doyle wrote:

You raise an excellent point, Paco, concerning the highly publicized and media-driven murderer of John Lennon. He remains a very enigmatic figure for me—I loved his talent and many of his songs he wrote with Paul McCartney, yet hated his self-righteous (look at me I’m a rich hippie genius who knows better than anyone else about life), leftist clap-trap. In my estimation, one of the few redeeming qualities about former president Richard Nixon was his reviling of John Lennon so passionately. But I digress.

What I believe is the most important aspect of this saga (as well as stories like Charles Manson and his ilk) is the notion of parole hearings for murderers who laid in wait, were involved in conspiracies in the commission of other felonious undertakings, or who kidnapped, tortured, brutalized, and mutilated their victims in the act of murder. This is an aspect of our laws that is not compassionate, reasonable, or just.

To think that our society would reward such heinous acts of inhumanity by first granting those worthy of the most severe condemnation an opportunity to live their lives out as wards of the State, and then offer them an opportunity (at a later date) to re-enter society as free citizens is unconscionable and inexcusable.

“Gee, I’m really very sorry I raped your grandma, set her on fire, and laughed while I played a guitar, but may I please be paroled? I promise to be good!” just doesn’t seem worthy of an audience, let alone a mandated hearing.

There used to be a moral code, a sense of decency tied to one’s accountability to God for one’s actions, were such heinous acts called for one’s life to be forfeit. The State was charged with the highest duty of carrying out the execution of the most heinous of murders. Now folks seem more concerned about the appearance of the State being inhumane to inhumane people, than the vile acts perpetrated on those whose lives were unlawfully taken away. Turn from accountability to God in the rule of law and the State fails in its divine duty to carry out one of its most solemn callings.

Perhaps, had he survived his assault at the hands of Mr. Chapman, John Lennon might have been obliged (on some less cerebral level) to reconsider his iconic lyrics—”Imagine there’s no Heaven…”

No. All I can imagine John saying now is “Oops!”


I wonder how far this lawsuit is going to fly in court? If I were the judge, it would end quickly in a thud – Case Closed!

By Richard Connelly

Houston Press Hair Balls
August 24, 2012

When good dates go bad.....

Norman Escobar probably thought things were progressing nicely with his new girlfriend; after all, he was sharing her bed, so that's a start.

Unfortunately for him, according to a suit he filed that's cited by Courthouse News Service, things went downhill from there.

The girlfriend, the suit says, ignored several threatening messages she had received from an ex-boyfriend who wasn't happy with the new arrangements.

The woman - -called "the defendant" -- had a boyfriend who, the suit says, "had a history of violence with defendant, became enraged that [Escobar]was staying at defendant's home. Throughout the day prior to attacking [Escobar], he sent threatening text messages to defendant threatening to harm [Escobar]."

Still, the lure was strong and Escobar decided to stay the night.

"Despite those text messages, defendant did not properly secure her home when her and [Escobar] went to bed," the suit says. "While asleep in defendant's bed, defendant's ex-boyfriend walked into the home and stabbed [Escobar] several times."

Escobar suffered "serious injuries and damages," the suit says. The stabber isn't named, so it cannot be determined if police were called or charges were filed.

Escobar seeks unspecified damages.


Looks like in this case there was more than a professional relationship between the lawyer and her client. The client was given the privilege of receiving his dope from the attorney. Now his dope has been cut off and his lawyer needs a lawyer herself.

By Henry K. Lee

San Francisco Chronicle
August 23, 2012

REDWOOD CITY -- An attorney was arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs to an inmate at the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City, authorities said Wednesday.

Erika Jordening, 43, of Pacifica passed an unspecified drug in pill form to Aaron Rauls, 43, at the Maguire Correctional Facility on Bradford Street on Tuesday, said San Mateo County sheriff's Lt. Larry Schumaker.

The alleged transaction occurred during a confidential attorney-client meeting, Schumaker said.

Jordening was booked at the Women's Correctional Center in Redwood City on suspicion of conspiracy and bringing contraband into a jail facility. She remained jailed Wednesday in lieu of $70,000 bail.

Rauls is being held in lieu of $35,000 bail on the same counts. He was in jail on another drug charge.

Jordening was admitted to the California State Bar in 1996. In 2004, she received a public reprimand by the State Bar Court for failing to finalize a client's divorce for more than three years, and the woman was unable to remarry during that time, records show. Jordening promised to attend the State Bar Ethics School.


The Unconventional Gazette
August 24, 2012

At a meeting of the International College of Organ Transplant Surgeons in Vienna, doctors revealed the latest advances in transplant surgery.

A doctor from Israel says: "In Israel the medicine is so advanced that we cut off a man's testicles; we put them into another man, and in 6 weeks he is looking for work."

The German doctor comments: "That's nothing, in Germany we take one-fourth of the brain out of a person; we put it into another person's head, and in 4 weeks he is looking for work."

A Japanese doctor chimes in with: “Ha, that’s not nearly as good as what we’ve done in Japan; we take one-half of the brain out of a person and put it into another person’s head, and in 3 weeks he’s looking for work.”

A Russian doctor says: "That's nothing either. In Russia we take out half of the heart from a person; we put it into another person's chest, and in 2 weeks he is looking for work."

The U.S. doctor answers immediately: "That's nothing my colleagues, you are way behind the USA on November 4, 2008, we grabbed a person from Chicago with no brains, no heart, and no balls....we made him President of the United States , and now....... the whole country is looking for work.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Empire State Building shooting shows fallacy of gun control

Today’s shooting in NYC ended up with the death of a workplace executive who had fired the shooter last year, the death of the shooter and the wounding of nine innocent bystanders.

Let me start out by saying that I find absolutely no fault with the cops. When they confronted the shooter, he pointed his pistol at them. They had no choice but to fire their guns at him. One officer fired nine rounds and the other officer fired seven rounds at the shooter. Had they withheld their fire, one or both of them could have been killed.

Unfortunately, when the cops fired at the shooter on a crowded NY sidewalk, nine innocent bystanders were wounded. The good news is that none of them suffered any life-threatening injuries. Most of the wounds were caused by a spray of bullet and concrete fragments.

The armchair police critics will slam the cops for firing 16 rounds, but if I were still a cop and a suspect pointed a firearm at me, I would fire my gun and continue shooting until that sucker was down and out!

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is one of the nation’s most ardent gun control advocates. Every time there is a mass shooting anywhere in the country you can see him on TV and in the print media calling for restrictions on gun ownership. If Bloomberg had his way, he would shred the Second Amendment. Even though New York has the nation’s strictest gun controls, people are getting shot in the Big Apple every day, which just goes to show the fallacy of Bloomberg’s gun control advocacy.

Since a fusillade of police gunfire wounded nine innocent bystanders on a crowded sidewalk, by Bloomberg’s way of thinking about the havoc guns play in our society, it might be time to disarm the NY mayor's cops.


Man shoots self in head with hands cuffed behind his back and after being searched twice

Chavis Carter’s family does not believe he committed suicide July 28 while handcuffed in the back of a Jonesboro, Arkansas police car. Their supporters are plying the race card because Carter was black and the two arresting officers were white. There have been street demonstrations demanding justice for 21-year-old Carter. And poverty pimp Jesse Jackson has come down to Memphis, Tennessee to met with Carter’s family and to demand a federal investigation of Carter’s death.

Carter’s mother says he was a good boy who liked shopping for sneakers and playing basketball, and who intended to become a veterinarian.

Here is what the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy has now stated: “There is no other explanation to this … other than that he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger, and that’s what we call a suicide.”

Furthermore, toxicology tests showed Carter’s blood tested positive for at least trace amounts of the antianxiety drug diazepam and the painkiller oxycodone in addition to a larger amount of methamphetamine. And his urine tested positive for marijuana.

At the time of his arrest, there was an outstanding Mississippi arrest warrant for Carter on drug charges.

The toxicology report and the Mississippi arrest warrant make Carter look quite different from momma’s good boy - the aspiring veterinarian who liked to shop for sneakers and play basketball.


Pot profiteers have gone to court and are collecting referendum signatures in a desperate attempt to overturn the city’s ban on medical marijuana clinics

Realizing that the medical marijuana law was being perverted by pot profiteers – growers, sellers and doctors – the LA city council passed a ban on the more than 1,000 pot shops that have sprung up inside the city limits. Each pot shop had become a nuisance to its immediate neighbors. The ban is set to go into effect on September 6.

With more than 1,000 marijuana clinics inside the City of Los Angeles alone, it is easy to see what a joke California’s medical marijuana law has become. You can probably get a doctor to give you a pot prescription for a hangover or a wet dream. Meanwhile the pot growers, clinic operators and pot prescribing doctors are getting filthy rich.

By Rick Orlov

Los Angeles Daily News
August 22, 2012

Even as the city's ban on medical marijuana is facing legal and political challenges, the City Council on Wednesday asked local and federal law enforcement agencies to develop new strategies to enforce the shutdown.

"We need to get out of the way of law enforcement," Councilman Bernard Parks said of his request asking the Los Angeles Police Department to coordinate with the district attorney and Drug Enforcement Administration on an enforcement policy.

"Federal law is clear. State law is clear," said Parks, a former L.A. police chief. "State law allows collectives. It does not allow for the sale of marijuana."

The City Council recently adopted a proposal to close down all the medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the city as of next month and the City Attorney's Office sent a letter to landlords advising them of the law.

However, a lawsuit has been filed challenging the city measure and proponents of medical marijuana have been working to qualify a referendum challenging the law.

Parks said he tried to introduce a similar measure five years ago, but action was never taken on it.

Kris Hermes, spokesman for the pro-medical marijuana group Americans for Safe Access, said they were surprised by the action.

"This proposal is unsettling to have local government work with the federal government to undermine a state law," Hermes said.

"We have maintained that passing a total ban is illegal and we're in state court fighting that and are collecting signatures on our referendum. We expect to qualify it in early September when the new city law is scheduled to take effect."


Custody officials should realize that things can’t be right if they have a bunch of happy prison inmates giggling all over the joint.


August 22, 2013

PARIS -- Warders in a French prison where prisoners are allowed to grow their own produce have been left red-faced after the discovery of cannabis plants among the flowers and vegetables.

The plants, which had reached a height of around 80cm (two and a half feet) before being spotted at the weekend, were found in vegetable patches located in the exercise courtyard of the Saint-Martin-de-Re prison in the west of France, Christophe Beaulieu, a regional official of the prison officers' union, told AFP.

"When you don't know what you are looking for it is easy to confuse them with other plants," Beaulieu said.


Bob Walsh responded to this story by saying, “I always knew that bicycling was bad for the health.”

By Demian Bulwa

San Francisco Chronicle
August 18, 2012

SANTA ROSA -- An 81-year-old motorist is behind bars in Santa Rosa after police said he yelled at a bicyclist who pedaled through his wine country retirement village, then used his Toyota sedan to chase the rider onto a golf course and run him down.

Harry Edward Smith was arrested Saturday afternoon on suspicion of assault and battery, three days after the alleged road rage attack on 47-year-old cyclist Toraj Soltani at Oakmont Village near Kenwood.

The case was cracked, police said, when another alleged victim of Smith called detectives Saturday. Rose Zoia, an attorney and avid cyclist, recounted an October encounter with a white-haired motorist who yelled that she was too young to be rolling through Oakmont.

Zoia, police officials said, tried to talk to the man as an "ambassador of good will for the cycling community," but he continued to yell. She reported the run-in, but nothing came of the case because a crime hadn't occurred.

Still, she kept the man's license number, and on Saturday morning she picked Smith out of a photo lineup.

By 12:30 p.m., Smith and his gold 1997 Toyota Avalon Sedan were in police custody. Smith was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail, and investigators said they found damage to his passenger side mirror, plus debris from the golf course stuck to the sedan's undercarriage.

Soltani, a deli owner who had to have plate inserted into his broken left wrist, told the Press Democrat newspaper that his attacker had initially honked and yelled at him for riding without his hands on the handlebars. He said he yelled back after the motorist veered right and bumped him.

Soltani said he thought he would be safe after turning onto a cart path, only to be struck from behind.

"I don't think," Soltani said, "that you can ever make sense of something like this."

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Why humans are the cruelest of all living things; what kind of sickos get their sexual gratification by watching animals being tortured to death?

No punishment is too severe for the two perpetrators of these unspeakable cruelties to innocent animals. And the sicko perverts who get their jollies by watching animals tortured to death should have their peckers or clits, whichever is applicable, torn from their sorry worthless bodies.

A lot of people ridicule and malign People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, but with their excesses aside, the members of PETA do good works and this is just one example.

By Robert Stanton

Houston Chronicle
August 20, 2012

Criminal judges see the very worst society has to offer. So when a Harris County magistrate judge halted the reading of court documents during a hearing last week because the details were too graphic it was clear this was no ordinary case.

The court proceeding was for a Houston man and a woman who are accused of profiting from videotaping the torture and death of several pets, using meat cleavers and other knives.

Ashley Nicole Richards, 21, and Brent Wayne Justice, 51, are accused of posting videos of the killings online for people who use the violence for sexual gratification. They have been charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals.

The suspects appeared Monday before state District Judge Shawna L. Reagin, who ordered the pair to remain jailed.

Prosecutors in court said that throughout 2010 Richards received emails from clients who offered to pay her to provide so-called "crush" videos of tortured animals for their sexual gratification.

In one of the videotapes, Richards can be seen torturing a pit bull puppy, according to a criminal complaint filed Aug. 16 in the case. She allegedly bound the puppy's mouth with tape and cut its back leg with a meat cleaver. She then cut the back of the dog's neck and used a different knife to cut the underside of its neck, prosecutors said.

The dog was bleeding and struggling when Richards used the meat cleaver to sever its head from the body, a prosecutor told a magistrate during the probable cause hearing last week, prompting the judge to stop further reading of details in the case.

Houston Humane Society spokeswoman Monica Schmidt said she has never heard of a case like this in her four years in animal rights.

"In the back of my mind, I've heard that something like this existed, but I never dreamed that my city would be where this horrible abuse would be taking place," Schmidt said. "I think this takes animal cruelty to a whole different level of what we're used to seeing in Houston."

Investigators seized multiple videos made by Richards and Justice of various animals being tortured, according to prosecutors. In one of the videos, Richards allegedly stomped on a cat's eye with a shoe heel.

The videotapes allegedly were recorded at a location on Forum Park Drive in Houston.

During an interview with investigators, Justice admitted he videotaped Richards torturing the animals and killing the pit bull puppy, according to prosecutors. In one of the videos, Justice allegedly placed a knife on the floor within Richards' reach as she tormented an animal.

The case was reported to Houston authorities by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

"Thanks to an email from a concerned member of the public who notified PETA about gruesome videos showing puppies, kittens, rabbits, mice and other animals being tortured and killed, PETA was able to determine that the alleged producers of the videos lived in Houston, and we notified local authorities," PETA spokes- woman Shakira Croce said in an email. "Just two days later, the Houston Police Department made two arrests in connection with the horrific crimes."


$952,000 seized during traffic stop; another $102,000 found hidden in safe house couch

The lives of the busted couriers are no longer worth a plug nickel.

From Borderland Beat:

Sinaloa Cartel drug proceeds seized in Tijuana

Agencia Fronteriza de Noticias y Servicios de Tijuana (AFN)
August 21, 2012

Last night, agents of the PEP (State Preventative Police), during a coordinated traffic stop, arrested two men, driving a van, southbound to Rosarito. Inside the van, hidden in boxes, and in multiple denominations was 952,000 dollars in cash. The money was in smaller bills, consistent coming from drug sales and distribution, one roll contained 6,000 $5 dollar bills. The two men arrested in the operation are alleged to be in the service of a Sinaloa Cartel cell operating in Tijuana.

Elias Lopez, 'El Panther', and Armando Limon Arrenado were the two men detained, who told officers the money was bound for Culican, Sinaloa, via Rosarito, or Baja Sur, and was proceeds from drug sales in the Los Angeles area. 'El Panther' led authorities to another safe house, where the PEP arrested two women, Ana Patricia, and Sandra N, 47, and 30 years old. An additional 102,000 was seized at the residence, apparently hidden inside a couch.

This is the latest in a series of, of escalating seizures and lost product for the organized crime groups that operate in the city. In recent months, thousands of pounds of marijuana have been lost along the Southern California coastline, which is thought to belong to Sinaloa cells operating in Baja. More then 700 pounds of marijuana were seized last week at the Otay Mesa crossing, hidden in bundles of carrots.

Two weeks ago 12 kilos of cocaine, thought to be Sinaloa owned were also seized in Tijuana. 90,000 said to belong to the group under Fernando Sanchez Arellano, and also said to be from drug sales in Los Angeles was confiscated after an arrest earlier this summer. One point of notice is the minimal amount of cocaine seized at the border crossings, and in the city itself. This suggests a lack of product being moved across the border, or in the city at all. Last year, seizures of upwards of 250 kilos were occurring, at a much higher volume.

Violence in the city has slowed to a crawl, with a minimal amount of murder among organized crime groups. High profile arrests linked to the cells of Sanchez Arellano occurred earlier in the year, but things have progressed as normal, with no violence, or escalation of conflict following the arrests.


Beer bottle brawls in ass-kicking beer joints get court’s approval

This court decision reinforces my faith in Texas justice. We have our Friday night football and our Saturday night beer joint brawls. Slinging longnecks and cracking heads with longnecks while a country-western band is playing on a chicken-wire shielded stage are proud traditions that are as sacred to us Texans as the Second Amendment.

The Swiss Army knife of beer bottles

By Richard Connelly

Houston Press Hair Balls
August 22, 2012

In an august decision that will shine in the annals of beer-related jurisprudence for as long as bar patrons whomp each other over the side of the head, a Texas state appeals court has ruled that Anheuser-Busch cannot be sued just because their longneck beer bottles are so damn handy for getting that job done.

The Eighth Court of Appeals in El Paso tossed out a case from a bar patron who said she'd been hit with a bottle by another customer, "resulting in five lacerations and permanent scaring."

To be sure, little might be expected to go right in a case where the ruling begins "While celebrating a friend's birthday at a bar known for its violence," and the facts don't disappoint.

Marty Gann says she was struck twice in her head with a glass longneck bottle during an altercation; she sued Bud on a product-liability claim, saying the company should have known it was manufacturing a dangerous product.

The panel of judges disagreed, saying Gann "failed to produce more than a scintilla of evidence that the longneck bottle was defectively designed as as to render it unreasonably dangerous" and that the company owed her a legal duty to protect her from third-person violent acts.

In her case, which we saw via Courthouse News Service, Gann tried to argue that plastic beer bottles would be safer, but the court found she failed to address whether substituting plastic for glass was economically feasible or would result in desired improvements.


The Unconventional Gazette
August 22, 2012

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 9%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that's 16%.

COSTELLO: You just said 9%.

ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that's 16%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 16% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that's 9% .

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 9% or 16%?

ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.

COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, you can't count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.


ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work, can't be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn't be fair.

COSTELLO: To whom?

ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment roles, that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That's how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be 16%. You don't want to read about 16% unemployment, do ya?

COSTELLO: That would be frightening.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like an Obama economist.

COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said!

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like a politician.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Former NY mayor Ed Koch says that the Russian Orthodox church was the real victim of Pussy Riot’s bizarre performance before the Cathedral’s alter that can only be described as a display of religious hatred. I would add, as I said before, that this bunch of punk rock feminists also murdered music and dance.

By Ed Koch

Jewish World Review
August 21, 2012

This week, a Russian court sentenced three feminist punk performers who call themselves "Pussy Riot" to prison for two years. The three women were charged with "hooliganism." The graveness of the charge was described by the New York Times of August 18th: "The case began in February when the women infiltrated the Cathedral of Christ the Savior wearing colorful balaclavas, and pranced around in front of the golden Holy Doors leading to the altar, dancing, chanting and lip-syncing for what would later become a music video of a profane song in which they beseeched the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Mr. Putin."

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow had been deliberately destroyed by Stalin. It was rebuilt in 1992 after the fall of the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev, and is one of Moscow's architectural gems and now once again a heavily used by Russian Orthodox church. The Times reported on the Russian Orthodox Church's reaction to the Pussy Riot: "On Friday, the Russian Orthodox Church issued a statement that referred to Nazi aggression and the militant atheism of the Soviet era, and said, 'What happened is blasphemy and sacrilege, the conscious and deliberate insult to the sanctuary and a manifestation of hostility to millions of people.'" The sentencing Judge Syrova, when delivering her decision, according to the Times, found that the action in the church was "motivated by religious hatred."

The Western cultural elite is rallying to the defense of the disrupters in the cathedral. Some approve of the verbal attack on Putin. Others support the denunciation of the Russian Orthodox church leadership and the church disruption because of the church leadership support of Putin. All cited characterize the issue as one of free speech. I do not.

I would assume that many Pussy Riot supporters would take a different position, and rightly so, if here in the U.S. a black church were invaded and three men or women engaged in comparable conduct insulting holy places within the church and the pastor. I recall when I was Mayor in 1989 and the AIDS activist group Act Up, unjustifiably angry with John Cardinal O'Connor, invaded St. Patrick's Cathedral and interrupted the Mass, throwing the Communion wafers - which for Catholics are the actual Body of Christ - to the floor. Some were arrested. So far as I can recall, no one was punished. I think the decision of the Russian court to punish a hate crime was just and to be applauded, rather than condemned and ridiculed.? One can argue concerning the degree of punishment, whether fines rather than jail time should have been imposed, but that is a function of the Russian penalty procedures.

I also believe it is not in the interest of the U.S. to support the actions of the Pussy Riot defendants. At a time when the Iranian nuclear threat grows by the day and we are fighting Islamic extremists around the world, we should be seeking to enlist President Putin to join the West in our effort to prevent the Islamist fanatics from achieving their goal of destroying Western civilization, not making him the enemy and Pussy Riot the victim.

The attacks on President Putin for "squelching free speech" included one by Madonna performing at the time in Moscow. "The extent of the culture clash was evident this month when Madonna paused during a concert in Moscow to urge the release of the women, who have been jailed since March, and performed in a black bra with 'Pussy Riot' stenciled in bold letters on her back. The next day, Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister, posted a Twitter message calling Madonna a 'whore.'" Madonna is an artist, always testing the limits of decency and often going beyond restrictions accepted by ordinary people. I do not, however, defer to her judgment on such political matters. Most shocking to me was the response of the White House, as reported by the Times: "In Washington, where Obama administration officials followed the trial closely, seeing it as a measure of Mr. Putin's new presidency and its own troubled relations with Russia, the White House and the State Department each criticized the verdict. The State Department all but called on Russia's higher courts to overturn the conviction and 'ensure that the right to freedom of expression is upheld.' A White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, said the verdict was disappointing and the sentences disproportionate. 'While we understand that the group's behavior was offensive to some, we have serious concerns about the way these young women have been treated by the Russian judicial system,' he said." Offensive to some?

I do not believe the issue is properly one of freedom of expression. The right to free expression is not unlimited and does not mean one can say anything anywhere and at anytime. Further, Russia and most countries do not have embedded in their law the Constitutional protection of the First Amendment that we do. I for one am delighted they now punish religious hatred. Aren't you?


At 3 a.m. Sunday, a mother came out of the darkness in northwest Houston carrying a baby girl and screaming "My baby! My baby's been shot!" A man from a nearby house and his friend picked up the baby, rushed her inside his house and applied first aid, attempting to stop the flow of blood. She was then taken to Texas Children’s Hospital where she died shortly afterwards. The baby had been shot in the torso with the bullet exiting out the back.

The mother had been in her car with the baby strapped in a car seat when an SUV drove by and one or more of its occupants fired a fusillade of shots at her car. Her car was struck by several bullets, one of which struck the baby.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Jon Richardson, the man who tried to save the baby, said "It's a sad day in America, and a sad day in general for something like that to happen. If (the killers) don't feel remorse about something like that, realizing what has happened, something's wrong with them.”

Here’s the whole point. Gangbangers are not going to show any remorse because they have no conscience. Whenever they participate in drive by shootings or ambushes they know that they’re liable to kill someone. That’s why they’re shooting their guns in the first place. And it makes no difference whether the gangster is the driver, a non-shooting passenger or the shooter. They’re all equally guilty because they set out to kill someone.

Our criminal justice system often treats these youthful killers as though they are worthy of redemption. They are worthless sociopathic pieces of shit that should be locked up until they day they die.


God will have to save us either from fear-mongering liberals or from those big bad cops

The liberals see evil behind every new law enforcement tool that’s come down the pike. They’ve screamed bloody murder over city-wide surveillance cameras. They’ve screamed about DNA testing of those arrested for minor offenses. And now they’re screaming about an extremely important new crime fighting tool, facial recognition searches.

By Kathleen Hickey

Government Computer News
August 20, 2012

The FBI is expanding the pilot project of its facial recognition software and will be offering a free-of-charge client software version later this summer to law enforcement agencies.

The Universal Face Workstation will enable law enforcement agencies to conduct automated facial/photo searches with minimal resource investment.

The facial recognition system was piloted in February with the state of Michigan, which is currently submitting searches to the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, according to Jerome Pender, the division’s deputy assistant director. He spoke in a recent statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law in a hearing on facial recognition technology and privacy and civil liberties issues.

Several other states are now joining the initiative. “[Memorandums of understanding] have also been executed with Hawaii and Maryland, and South Carolina, Ohio and New Mexico are engaged in the MOU review process for facial recognition pilot participation. Kansas, Arizona, Tennessee, Nebraska and Missouri are also interested in facial recognition pilot participation,” Pender said.

The agency’s facial recognition pilot provides a search of a repository of nearly 13 million criminal mug shot photos taken at time of booking. It is scheduled to be fully operational in the summer of 2014.

Some have expressed privacy concerns about the system. In the same hearing, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), chairman of the subcommittee, said he scheduled the hearing because “there is no law regulating law enforcement use of facial recognition technology.”

__“Facial recognition creates acute privacy concerns that fingerprints do not. Once someone has your faceprint, they can get your name, they can find your social networking account and they can find and track you in the street, in the stores you visit, the government buildings you enter, and the photos your friends post online,” he said. “I fear that the FBI pilot could be abused to not only identify protesters at political events and rallies, but to target them for selective jailing and prosecution, stifling their First Amendment rights. Curiously enough, a lot of the presentations on this technology by the Department of Justice show it being used on people attending political events or other public gatherings. I also fear that without further protections, facial recognition technology could be used on unsuspecting civilians innocent of any crime -- invading their privacy and exposing them to potential false identifications.”

However, the FBI has stressed that CJIS holds only criminal mug shots and can be accessed only by authorized law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, participants are required to detail in their MOU the purpose, authority, scope, disclosure and use of information and the security rules and procedures associated with piloting, said Pender.

“We certainly do not store photographs obtained from other sources such as social media,” David Cuthbertson, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services, said in an FBI podcast on the issue.

However, according to the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, previous statements from agency employees “suggests the FBI wants to be able to search and identify people in photos of crowds and in pictures posted on social media sites -- even if the people in those photos haven’t been arrested for or even suspected of a crime. The FBI may also want to incorporate those crowd or social media photos into its face recognition database.”

Additional documents released by the FBI discuss the FBI’s plans to combine civil and criminal biometrics records, although they have always been kept separate in the past, noted EFF.

The FBI’s facial recognition software is part of its Next Generation Identification program, a multi-year initiative to develop additional biometric identification capabilities. Last month the agency issued a request for information from academia, private industry and law enforcement agencies on how to build a tattoo database.

Currently the FBI has two other parts of the program in progress: the national palm print system, scheduled to deploy in the spring of 2013; and the iris pilot, scheduled for late summer or fall of 2013.