Archive for December, 2006

police report

December 30, 2006

December 29, 2006 — The fallout from Mel Gibson’s boozy, anti-Semitic tirade continues. The L.A. sheriff’s deputy who busted the star for DUI says his bosses are harassing him over suspicions he leaked his arrest report to the media. Deputy James Mee says that he was transferred to another assignment and grilled for hours and that his home computer and phone records were seized after the arrest six months ago. “His life and career would be a lot different had he not made that arrest,” Mee’s lawyer, Richard Shinee, told The Los Angeles Times, adding that Mee was innocent.

I think the problem was not the arrest, but loading the police report with unnecessary information.

“modern binary explosives”

December 30, 2006

link to video:

California prisons

December 23, 2006

(I will edit this post and add comments later.)

With males vastly outnumbering females behind bars, prisons are typically designed and managed for violent men.

At a minimum, advocates want more female guards, to protect women’s privacy and dignity; more food for pregnant inmates; easier access to sanitary products; and regulations for visits that enhance, rather than discourage, the preservation of close family ties.

The California Legislative Women’s Caucus has made incarcerated women its top priority this year. In an unusual April fact-finding mission, four lawmakers visited Valley State, and two of them spent the night.

They went through processing as inmates do, minus the strip search, receiving bedrolls and cell assignments. They ate in the dining hall, slept on the thin mattresses and asked women about their problems and personal stories.

Some complaints mirrored those in men’s prison: Many inmates said they were hungry all the time and could not land spots in academic or job-training classes. What differed were complaints about medical care and concerns about children.

Measured on a per-inmate basis, the Corrections Department spends 60% more on healthcare for women than for men. Reproductive issues are cited as one reason, but women also arrive in prison with a greater incidence of HIV and AIDS and have more mental health needs. Some inmates told the legislators that they had not had a mammogram or Pap smear in years.

“The model for women in prison in California is wrongheaded,” said state Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), who was joined on the sleepover by Assemblywoman Carol Liu (D-La CaƱada Flintridge). “Most of the inmates we spoke to were in for DUIs and drug offenses…. Why are we spending billions upon billions to house these people in such a high-security environment?”

After years of protest from female inmates and their families, male guards may no longer conduct pat searches of women.

Dawn Davison, who runs one of the four California lockups housing women, called that a key achievement. Because more than half of female inmates have been physically or sexually abused, she said, they were traumatized anew when pat-searched by men.

As for their conduct once imprisoned, officials could find no record of a female prisoner in California killing another. By contrast, 14 male prisoners were killed by fellow convicts last year.

And although assaults and even small-scale riots are common in men’s prisons, fights among women are usually “nothing more than a lovers’ quarrel and a little slapping around,” Davison said. Attacks on staff by women, she added, rarely go beyond a kick delivered by an inmate resisting an order.

Arriving 7 1/2 months pregnant, she worried constantly about her baby’s health. She said she received iron pills and prenatal check-ups but always left the chow hall “starving.” The servings, she said, were too meager for someone eating for two.

Most upsetting, Foster recalled, was “the total lack of privacy from men,” who make up 75% of the correctional officers at Valley State.

Male guards were able to look down on women in the showers from a control room, she said, and mingled near the inmate reception area while female officers conducted strip searches, in which hand mirrors are used to search incoming inmates’ private parts for contraband. That was most humiliating, she said, for women who were menstruating.

“It’s all run by men. The doctors, the officers. There are men everywhere,” said Foster, of Redding. “You just feel violated all the time.”

Afterward, with an ankle fastened to the bed, she was allowed to spend a few days in the hospital bonding with her daughter, Olivia. Then it was back to the cellblock, where the pain of separation was enhanced by pain from breasts engorged with milk.

The prison, Foster said, crying as the memories washed over her, did not provide a pump.

California prison population:

Men: 93%
Women: 7%

Female inmates:
Number in California prisons: 10,800
Average time served: 14 months
Serving time for a nonviolent crime: more than 66%
Have been physically or sexually abused: 57%
Average age: 36 * With minor children: 64%
Babies born to inmates each year: about 300

Sources: California Department of Corrections, Little Hoover Commission

“first responders” as props?

December 23, 2006

Here’s current Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle from his campaign website


See this earlier post also:

Wisconsin politics

December 23, 2006

Festivus just isn’t the same this year for self-professed “Seinfeld” fanatic Gov. Jim Doyle.

In fact, Doyle said he won’t be recognizing the made-up holiday after Michael Richards, aka Kramer, unleashed a string of racial slurs at black patrons during a recent comedy club appearance.

“Probably like a lot of people, I’m still sorting out my feelings about it all,” Doyle said Friday. “It’s pretty hard for me to watch the show right now.”

Kramer was just one character on the show. Jim Doyle seems hypersensitive.

Doyle’s “Seinfeld” obsession has caught some people around the Capitol off guard.

In a contentious meeting with Republican legislative leaders in January 2005, Doyle quipped, “What is this, Festivus?” A central part of that holiday is the “airing of the grievances.”

Then-Senate Majority Leader Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, later acknowledged he didn’t get the joke.

Since then, Schultz’s staff and other lawmakers have been known to throw “Seinfeld” quips back at the governor. Schultz said at the Republican Party convention last year, “Turns out that Doyle’s a ‘Seinfeld’ fan. Fitting that a ‘Show about Nothing’ would be liked by a ‘Governor about Nothing.'”

Dale Schultz’s comment seems a little bit mean and ridiculous.

1985: US Coast Guard accused of trespassing

December 23, 2006

USCGC Polar Sea (WAGB 11)

The Council of Canadians was born later that summer and we quickly made our presence known. When the American icebreaker Polar Sea sailed without permission through Canadian waters, Council members dropped a Canadian flag onto its deck.

But the most direct challenge to Canada’s sovereignty in Arctic waters came in 1985, when the U.S. sent its icebreaker Polar Sea through the Northwest Passage without informing Canada or asking permission. The political skirmish that followed led to the 1988 Arctic Co-operation Agreement between the two countries. Boiled down to its essence, the agreement said the U.S. would not send any more icebreakers through the passage without Canada’s consent, and Canada would always give that consent. The wider issue of whether Canada’s Arctic waters were internal or international was left unresolved.


glyphosate in Ecuador

December 23, 2006

Correa contends that the fumigation using glyphosate is unacceptable because it kills legal crops on the Ecuadorean side of the border and has been blamed for causing health problems.,,-6297141,00.html

Mark Souder is one of four Congress members to have sent a letter requesting $150m in additional military aid, for new equipment to set up a drug eradication base.

Mr Souder rebuffs concerns about the effects of glyphosate on people and the environment.

“Scientifically, there is no risk,” he says. “Emotionally it bothers people.”

Rona Ambrose is not “hot”

December 22, 2006

Rona Ambrose is the Minister of the Environment in Canada.

She is not “hot”; however, the pictures below are nice. These are the best photographs of her that I have found so far. The other few that I have found are not very good.

There are some slight similarities to the look of Monica Lewinsky.



“If you are underage, you are going to drink”

December 22, 2006

Alber’s mother, Robynne, said her son only ordered a hamburger and was humiliated in front of his parents and their friends, she wrote in a letter filed with the commission. After Alber’s mother protested, she too was asked to leave.

Dan Puerini, POP’s owner, said he won’t stop his 21-and-over policy. He said the rule is part of the restaurant’s attempt to enforce liquor laws.

“If you are underage, you are going to drink,” he said. “It’s impossible to keep track of minors in a bar where it’s like POP and its jampacked.”

Is he implying that all people under age 21 are going to drink alcohol?

Would Rhode Island law require restaurant employees to monitor all people inside that are under age 21 at all times, or just people when they are attempting to buy alcohol?

When Dan Puerini was 19, he borrowed some start-up cash from his mom and opened a restaurant. He had never trained to cook professionally, but he liked the kitchen and loved cooking.

Hmmm. 19 years old. Maybe laws were different back then.

But restaurant owner Dan Puerini says his policy is designed to prevent underaged drinking. Without the policy, he says his staff might accidentally serve alcohol to a minor on a busy night.

nuclear reactor fuel

December 22, 2006

Currently, there are eight operating fuel manufacturing facilities in the country that are involved with making nuclear reactor fuel from uranium. These are: Honeywell International, Inc. in Metropolis, Illinois; Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky; Framatome ANP in Lynchburg, Virginia; BWX Technologies, Inc. in Lynchburg,Virginia; Global Nuclear Fuels in Wilmington, North Carolina; Nuclear Fuel Services in Erwin, Tennessee; Framatome ANP in Richland, Washington; and Westinghouse Electric Company in Columbia, South Carolina.