Archive for December, 2008

images10Now, it is not because New Year’s Eve is my anniversary, but I am deeply aggrieved that 2008 has been extended by one second. This “leap second” was added by the ultimate big brother agency, the United States Naval Observatory under the dubious claim that it had to match the time to the Earth’s slowing spin on its axis. How do you intend to spend your unplanned 2008 second?
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originalNow this is a defamation lawsuit that will be fascinating to watch unfold in Richmond, Virginia. Vicki L. Iseman, a Washington lobbyist alleged to have had an affair with Sen. John McCain in 1999, has sued the New York Times for $27 million. The newspaper stands by the story and this could produce a substantial ruling on the limits of defamation.
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thumb_fireman_save_catAnimal advocates are outraged over the alleged refusal of a Phoenix, Arizona police officer to allow a cat named Brutis from being rescued from a tree for nine days. The cat became stuck in the tree on Christmas Day. The officer was reportedly worried about liability and witnesses claim that they flashed his gun and badge to keep them away.
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pf_1948319the-multiplication-of-the-loaves-and-fishes-1620-5-posters First Reformed Church of Hackensack, N.J., does not like homeless people who put food before faith. The Church reportedly shutdown the FAITH Foundation homeless shelter after the director, Robin Reilly, allowed homeless people on Christmas Day to eat before the families were required to listen to a sermon and prayer. FAITH was concerned that many people had not eaten in twenty-four hours and that it was difficult for the families to wait to eat under the circumstances.

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660px-flag_of_israelsvg1Israel attacked a humanitarian boat carrying medical supplies and staff to Gaza. CNN correspondent Karl Penhaul was aboard the 60-foot pleasure boat Dignity when the patrol boat rammed the vessel, causing extensive damage.
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225px-rwbphotoIllinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has defied his critics and selected Roland Burris to replace Barack Obama. There is now speculation that the Secretary of State will not certify the appointment or that the Senate will use its inherent powers to block Burris. I just finished an interview with CBS stating that I believe both efforts would be an abuse of power. As the sitting governor of Illinois, Blagojevich is entitled to make this appointment.

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thumb_big_hot_dogKosher hot dog maker Arnie Zaler may have pulled off his greatest scam. Facing 30 counts of bank and wire fraud in Denver, Zaler promised not to leave Denver if he was released on an unsecured bond. He handed over his Israeli passport and then a few days later fled to Israel on a different passport.

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thankyouamericaChrysler also always boasted the “inspiration comes standard” but but what about the indignation? For many voters, the billions of dollars given to the auto industry is the latest outrage from Washington, which seems intent on bailing out every failed company and bad mortgage. The U.S. auto industry spent decades fighting environmental laws and resisting pressure to build smaller, fuel efficient cars. Now, no one wants to buy their cars and they are receiving a bailout. Chrysler, however, decided that it wanted to thank the American people — so it took out full page ads in the most expensive newspapers in the country. Of course, this is a lot like sending flowers to a loved one with a bill from the florist. After all, as the advertisement says, “Chrysler. Drive = Love.”
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genthumbashxA border collie names Quinn was the pride and joy of the Turlock Golf and Country Club in Turlock, California. He was the perfect vehicle, therefore, in the twisted mind of Franco Garcia Aguilar, 21, to express his anger at being laid off as part of the maintenance crew. Aguilar allegedly shot Quinn three times with a 12-gauge shotgun in his kennel on December 16th.
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bishopmalonePortland Bishop Richard Malone has issued a rare order banning an advocate for people abused by priests from his services and threatening to issue a rare Interdict — banning Paul Kendrick from the right of communion. The Maine diocese recently released the names of eleven priests in the state with credible allegations of abuse.
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flni_homepage1There is an interesting fight brewing over the planned memorial to Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The owner of the land, Svonavec Inc., refuses to sell a critical part of the needed land and the relatives want President Bush to seize the property to allow them to start construction of the memorial so that it can be finished by 2011 — the tenth anniversary of the tragedy.

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story-11A Syracuse man was tasered twice after he failed to turn down his music Christmas morning. Michael Prince, 23, was told at 2 am to turn down the music and was being given a ticket when police say that he tried to run away.

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01people-ortloffFormer GOP state Assemblyman George C. ”Chris” Ortloff pleaded guilty in federal court this week to a felony charge stemming from his attempt to have sex with two sisters, ages 11 and 12. A former member of the state Parole Board, Ortloff, 61, now faces a minimum 10-year prison sentence and a maximum of life in prison. He was a staunch “tough-on-crime” legislator who called for severe sentences for sex offenders.

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story2Maryland State Police Officer Bruce Wrzosek, 22, has been far from a model officer. Earlier this year, he was suspended for misconduct. However, after returning to work, Wrzosek went a bit too far: driving his marked squad car while drunk, kidnapping a man from a Taco Bell restaurant, and then taking his colleagues on a high-speed chase.

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kczuberMayor Karl Zuber of Avon Lake, Ohio appears not to have gotten the memo on the separation of church and state a bit late. Zuber had a sign put up in front of the city hall reading “Remember Christ is in Christmas.” He then received a series of calls from the city attorney, city council members, and an advocacy group asking him to remember the separation of church and state is in the Constitution.

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