Idiots of the Week for March 7 2008

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Mar 072008

Sick Leave HotlineMan Has Himself Shot to Get Time Off – AP
Detectives in Franklin County, WA say Daniel Kuch had a friend shoot him the shoulder in order to get some timee off from work and to avoid a drug test. Kuch filed a report with the police saying he’d been the victim of a drive-by shooting while he was out jogging. No word on whether the guy still has his job or not.

Our Darwin Award Winner has a report about Adrian Apgar and his second encounter with an alligator. Just over a year ago, Mr. Apgar was rescued by Polk Country Sheriff’s deputies who waded into a pond and got him out of the clutches of a large gator. He still lost his arm in the attack. Well it appears that this week he was found by deputies again, naked and wading around in a pond with several gators around.

Woman Stabs Boyfriend, Then Drives Him to Hospital
44 year old Jacqueline Barber was chargedby St. Pete police with attempted murder this morning after stabbing her 54 year old boyfriend in the neck. Apparently, they had some sort of argument, and he was dropping her off at her Mother’s house. She turned and stabbed him in the neck, but then drove him to the hospital.

News for the Week Ending September 9, 2007

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Sep 102007

Duke Lacrosse Case
There are several items to report related to the Duke Lacrosse rape case. Mike Nifong, the prosecutor in the case, spent 24 hours in jail for lying to the court. It seems like a small penalty, but at least he got something. Also, the New York Times is reporting that the players and their families are in negotiations with the City seeking $30 million, but more important, some obviously needed changes:

The changes requested by the students and their lawyers include oversight of the police department by an independent commission, stricter procedures and videotaping of witness identifications conducted by the police, and the passage of a City Council resolution calling on the state to establish ombudsmen for district attorney’s offices and require the transcription of grand jury proceedings.

They deserve every dime of the money, but I especially like it when people are about more than the money, and force needed changes on agencies and institutions like this.

St. Pete Council Chairman Commits Suicide
According to a story in St. Petersburg Times, City Council Chairman John Bryan walked into City Hall just after 1 p.m. Friday and handed in his resignation letter. Less than five hours later, he was slumped over in a golf cart in the garage of his Floral City house, dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. He was 56.

Apparently he’d been to court the day before for the start of proceedings related to an accusation that he’d sexual abused his adopted daughters.

A Portion of the Patriot Act is Struck Down
Shining Celebi writes

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled in favor of the ACLU and struck down a portion of the revised USA PATRIOT Act this morning, forcing investigators to go through the courts to obtain approval before ordering ISPs to give up information on customers, instead of just sending them a National Security Letter. In the words of Judge Marrero, this use of National Security Letters ‘offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers.’

That can only be a good thing, and let’s hope this disgraceful attack on the Constitution is further taken apart.

Man Tracked with Cell phone Loses Job
By Charlie Sorrel, Wired Blogs

John Halpin, who had been working as a carpentry supervisor in New York for 21 years, was tracked by the GPS unit in the work provided phone he was given in 2005, and it turned out he was heading home early. His defense rested on the “I didn’t know I could be tracked” and “Sometimes I came to work early, too” arguments, but they didn’t wash.

That was certainly dumb enough, but according to Sorrel, the scariest thing to come out of the NY post story is that an employee can be tracked without his or her knowledge in every state except Connecticut and Delaware, where employers need to warn you before stalking you.

Shelby County Ohio Deputies Find 570 Pounds of Pot
Ben Sutherly, Dayton Daily News
Apparently during an accident investigation on I-75, a truck driver was arrested on “suspicion of drug trafficking,” when police found 570 pounds of pot in his truck.

Now I’m no legal expert, but that doesn’t sound much like “suspicion” to me.

Weekly Round Up – Week Ending August 26, 2007

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Aug 252007

Another Representative of Republicanism
Angelo Cappelli. In St. Petersburg, Florida, he was hailed as a rising GOP star, with an uncanny ability to raise funds, a hot banking job, lots of friends in the local Republican party and he made it a close race for a seat in House District 52. Unfortunately, Angelo’s got a little problem.

After a six-week investigation, police arrested Cappelli on Wednesday morning at his lawyer’s office on Central Avenue. He faces grand theft and perjury charges, according to St. Petersburg authorities.

Cappelli, 37, is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the trust of a deceased bank client. By Wednesday evening, Cappelli was out of jail on $55,000 bail. He could not be reached for comment.

Justice 40 Years Too Late (FindLaw)
For three decades, Marie Salvati and Olympia Limone essentially lived as widows, struggling to make ends meet as each raised four children on her own. Their husbands grew old behind bars after being convicted of a murder the FBI knew they did not commit.

Finally, in 1997, Gov. William Weld commuted Salvati’s sentence, and he was released from prison. It would be another four years before he and Limone were exonerated by a state judge. The judge found two Boston FBI agents had allowed Barboza to frame the men because Barboza and his friend, Vincent “Jimmy” Flemmi, one of Deegan’s killers, were FBI informants who provided evidence in the agency’s highly publicized war against crime bosses.

Last month, a federal judge excoriated the agency for withholding evidence of the men’s innocence and ordered the government to pay a record $101.7 million to the Salvati and Limone families and those of two other men convicted with them who died in prison.

Sorry, but this why you can no longer sit a jury and just accept as gospel whatever a cop may say. It is most likely not true.

Kerry Edwards in Florida

 Election  Comments Off on Kerry Edwards in Florida
Jul 102004
Wednesday night Lay and me attended the Kerry-Edwards rally in St. Petersburg. Wow, what a wait. We arrived at the St. Pete Coliseum (a very small venue) at about 6:40 in the evening. We got in the back of the line about one third of a block from the entrance. They finally started letting people in about 8:15, and we got in the door and through security about 9:10, and then only because we sort of sneaked ourselves up the line a little.

The candidates didn’t arrive until 10:00pm. They had a guy on an electronic keyboard do some entertaining. It was okay, but he didn’t do a lot to really liven up the crowd. I guess he just mostly kept us from getting too restless. The building got very hot with the TV lights and all the people. Everyone in line did not make it in.

It was a pretty interesting spectacle. This was the first time Lay ever attended anything like this. I’ve been to political rallies before, but never a Presidential one. We got fairly close to the front and were right in the center, so the view wasn’t bad. We had made our own shirts, and everyone really liked Lay’s. It said, “I like my politics like I like my women…with less Bush.”

The pilot of John Kerry’s Fast Boat from Vietnam lives in the Tampa Bay area, so he’d been invited to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. It was clearly being used to highlight Kerry’s military service, while giving Bush a backhanded slight. They had loaded the stage behind the candidate with a carefully chosen group. A few local pols, along with the right number of blacks, a couple of Asians, some college and high school students and a few people wearing union shirts.

Kerry started the evening. He introduced his wife, and they should not use her for much campaign speaking. I was 10pm after a grueling day, but she was completely out of it, and admitted to have a glass of wine. Kerry?s speech was the typical stump speech. He talked about ?no child left behind,? and the economy, and making America respected again in the broader world. It was all the stuff you?d expect, and this being a room of the party faithful, it was all well received.

John Edwards? wife is a great campaigner, and she really does know how to work and win over a crowd. She comes across as a very down-to-earth person. John Edwards? speech was the best and most rousing of the night.

I believe John Kerry increased his chances of winning pretty significantly by selecting Edwards. The guy is smooth, and knows how to get a crowd going. I think he brings a lot to the ticket. I love that the Bush campaign can only come up with the fact that he?s inexperienced in government as a criticism. Let?s see, what had George done to gain his experience?Oh yeah, he?d run three or four companies into the ground and executed a lot of people as governor of Texas.

Edwards, lets see, unlike George he wasn?t born with a silver spoon. He built a successful law practice, and served on the U. S. Senate?s Intelligence Committee.

I would have been interested to know how many people like Lay are concerned enough to be there for first time. I believe that would be a serious indicator of how the election might go. There were lots of younger people there, and a lot of them were part of organized groups. I get the sense there is a feeling among these party faithful that its never been more important to replace a republican administration. There was a lot of recruiting going on for campaign workers, and a lot of people seemed to be signing up