Stupidity Should Be Painful


A Florida woman had no idea she’s had a knife stuck in her head for years until she went to the doctor. VIDEO


BALTIMORE (AP) — Mayor Sheila Dixon was indicted Friday on charges that she accepted illegal gifts during her time as mayor and City Council president, including travel, fur coats and gift cards intended for the poor that she allegedly used instead for a holiday shopping spree.

A grand jury indicted Dixon on 12 counts, including four counts of perjury and two counts of theft over $500. She was also charged with theft under $500, fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary and misconduct in office.

The State Prosecutor’s Office, which has been investigating corruption at City Hall for nearly three years, said Dixon received holiday gift cards for four years from several people. Prosecutors said the gift cards were to be distributed to needy families, but were instead used by Dixon to buy electronics – including an Xbox, a PlayStation 2 and a camcorder – clothes and other merchandise and also handed out to members of her staff.

"I am being unfairly accused," Dixon said in a statement. "Time will prove that I have done nothing wrong, and I am confident that I will be found innocent of these charges."

Dixon said she would not step down. "I will not let these charges deter me from keeping Baltimore on the path that we have set."

Her attorney, Arnold M. Weiner, leveled an angry verbal attack against State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh at an afternoon news conference.

"Sheila Dixon has been the state prosecutor’s singular, personal obsession over the past four years," said Weiner. "There wasn’t a bedsheet that he failed to look under or a lead that he found too trivial for him to pursue personally."

Rohrbaugh declined through his office to respond to Weiner’s comments.

Weiner also criticized Rohrbaugh for failing to secure an indictment for bribery, which he described as "the offense that every prosecutor looks for when he or she investigates a public official."

After consulting with City Solicitor George Nilson, Weiner said the charges would not affect Dixon’s ability to continue in her job.

Dixon, a 55-year-old Democrat, served on the City Council from 1987 through 2007 and as council president from 1999 through 2007. She became mayor in January 2007, finishing the term of Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley, and was easily elected to a full, four-year term later that year.

The state prosecutor’s investigation began in March 2006, and has overshadowed her tenure as mayor. She has consistently denied wrongdoing, and while many political observers worried that an indictment could come at any time, the mayor nonetheless earned praise for efficient management, shrewd hiring and coolheaded responses to crises.

Some residents and city officials, including City Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector and City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, expressed support for the mayor Friday.

Construction worker Michael Scott said he believes the allegations were racially motivated. Dixon is the first black woman to serve as mayor of Baltimore.

"I’m pretty sure they got it twisted up," Scott said. "They could be saying anything just to drag her down. Prove it to me."

The indictment against Dixon does not name Ronald H. Lipscomb, a prominent developer who briefly dated the mayor and who was indicted Wednesday on one charge of bribing a City Council member. But Weiner confirmed Lipscomb was "Developer A" mentioned in the indictment who showered the mayor with gifts and took several lavish trips with her in late 2003 and early 2004.

Both were married at the time, although they were separated from their spouses. Dixon has since divorced.

The indictment describes Dixon taking money from Lipscomb and using it to buy expensive gifts – two fur coats and high-end skin products, for example – all while pampering herself with trips to New York City, Chicago and Colorado with stays at lavish hotels.

The documents describe an elaborate scheme by which Lipscomb paid for part of a shopping spree Dixon enjoyed during a stay in Chicago. At one point, Dixon gave $4,000 in cash to a city employee, who deposited it in his personal checking account and wrote a check to pay off part of Dixon’s American Express bill, according to the indictment.

Dixon obtained the cash after Lipscomb cashed a corporate check worth $15,000 and the two exchanged several phone calls, the indictment says.

Dixon has never listed any gifts from Lipscomb on financial disclosure forms. At the time of Dixon and Lipscomb’s affair, his company was involved in several projects that received tax breaks from the city.

Weiner said the state prosecutor was using a mistakenly broad interpretation of the city’s ethics law, which requires that elected officials disclose gifts from people doing business with the city.

Perhaps more damaging is the allegation that Dixon stole gift cards meant for the poor. For four years running, according to the indictment, Dixon received gift cards that were supposed to be distributed to needy families.

The alleged scam continued through December 2007. According to the indictment, a city employee gave the mayor gift cards from Toys R Us that were supposed to go to poor children. Dixon gave one gift card to a staffer, and investigators said they found five more in a search of her home last summer.

Dixon received Best Buy gift cards from Lipscomb’s company in December 2004 and held onto some of them for a year before using them to buy CDs, DVDs and a video game, according to the indictment.

In 2005, Dixon hit up another unidentified developer for gift cards that she said would be used for needy families. The developer paid for 20 Best Buy gift cards worth $25 each, and Dixon used 19 of them, or $450 worth, to buy a camcorder, a video game controller and other electronics, the indictment says.

Dixon’s financial disclosure statements for the years in question do not mention that she received any gift cards.

Weiner said most of the gift cards mentioned in the indictment were private gifts from Lipscomb.

O’Malley, mayor during most of the alleged wrongdoing by Dixon, issued a statement saying he hoped "all of these long drawn-out matters will soon be resolved."

 Via Houston Chronicle:

A Texas death row inmate with a history of mental problems pulled out his only good eye, authorities said today.

Andre Thomas told officers he ate it.

Thomas, 25, was arrested for the fatal stabbings of his estranged wife, their young son and her 13-month-old daughter in March 2004. Their hearts also had been ripped out. He was convicted and condemned for the infant’s death.

While in the Grayson County Jail in Sherman, Thomas similarly had plucked out his right eye before his trial later in 2004. A judge subsequently ruled he was competent to stand trial.

A death-row officer at the Polunsky Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice found Thomas in his cell with blood on his face and had him taken to the unit infirmary.

""Thomas said he pulled out his eye and subsequently ingested it," agency spokesman Jason Clark said today.

Thomas was treated at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler after the Dec. 9 incident. Then he was transferred and remains at the Jester Unit, a prison psychiatric facility near Richmond southwest of Houston.

"He will finally be able to receive the mental health care that we had wanted and begged for from day 1," Bobbie Peterson-Cate, Thomas’ trial attorney, told the Sherman Herald Democrat. "He is insane and mentally ill. It is exactly the same reason he pulled out the last one."

At his trial, defense lawyers also argued he suffered from alcohol and drug abuse.

Thomas does not have an execution date.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in October upheld his conviction and death sentence for the death of 13-month-old Leyha Marie Hughes. Also killed March 27, 2004, were his wife, Laura Christine Boren, 20, and their son, 4-year-old Andre Lee.

Thomas, from Texoma, walked into the Sherman Police Department and told a dispatcher he had just murdered the three and had stabbed himself in the chest.

Thomas told police how he put his victims’ hearts in his pocket and left their apartment, took them home, put them in a plastic bag and threw them in the trash.

Court documents described the three victims as having "large, gaping wounds to their chests."

 Mesa police arrested Linda Lewis, 55, Monday night. Police say Lewis bit an officer after being detained for passing out beer to homeless.

Mesa Police Department

Mesa police arrested Linda Lewis, 55, Monday night. Police say Lewis bit an officer after being detained for passing out beer to homeless.

By Clarissa Dodge
The Arizona Republic

A 55-year-old woman bit a police officer after she was detained for handing out beer to needy clients at the Paz de Cristo community outreach ministry for the homeless, police said Tuesday.

According to police reports, staff members in the Paz de Cristo dining room asked Linda Lewis, 55, to leave while she was passing out soda Monday evening because she had a dog with her.

Lewis left, but pulled her vehicle up onto the sidewalk near the building in the 400 block of West Broadway Road, and returned with a case of beer, police said.

As Lewis was passing out beer to people around 6 p.m. she was told to leave by a police officer working at the location. She ignored his orders, popped open another beer and gave it away, police said.

The officer escorted Lewis out and explained to her the boundaries of the property. The woman continued to pass out beer outside of the building’s block wall, police said.

Lewis was detained by police and searched by a female officer. During the search Lewis lunged forward and bit the officer’s hand, police said.

Lewis was booked on charges of aggravated assault on law enforcement and criminal trespassing on a non-residential property.

Source

Heads_Up FF

WICOMICO CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A 6-year-old Virginia boy who missed his bus tried to drive to school in his family’s sedan – and crashed. His parents were charged with child endangerment. State police said the boy suffered only minor injuries and authorities drove him to school after he was evaluated at a local hospital for a bump on his head. He arrived shortly after lunch, Sgt. Tom Cunningham said.

It happened around 7:40 a.m. Monday on Route 360, about 61 miles east of Richmond.

The boy, whose name wasn’t released, missed the bus, took the keys to his family’s 2005 Ford Taurus and drove nearly six miles toward school while his mother was asleep, police said.

He made at least two 90-degree turns, passed several cars and ran off the rural two-lane road several times before hitting an embankment and utility pole about a mile and a half from school.

The boy told police he learned to drive playing Grand Theft Auto and Monster Truck Jam video games.

"He was very intent on getting to school," said Northumberland County Sheriff Chuck Wilkins. "When he got out of the car, he started walking to school. He did not want to miss breakfast and PE."

His parents, Jacqulyn Deana Waltman, 26, and David Eugene Dodson, 40, are each charged with child endangerment, Wilkins said. Waltman is being held without bond. Dodson was released on a $5,000 bond.

It was not clear if they had attorneys.

The boy and his 4-year-old brother were placed in protective custody.

"This really is a story of miracles," Wilkins said. "The Lord was with him, along with everybody else on the highway."

By Noel Sheppard

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Just how badly do many liberal bloggers want to depict Israelis as heartless killers and Hamas as poor defenseless victims?

On Sunday, a more than three year old video of an accidental munitions truck explosion at a Palestinian rally in September 2005 was spread around the liberal blogosphere as footage of an Israeli attack on Gaza on January 3, 2009.

Two prominent leftwing websites — Raw Story and Democratic Underground — displayed this video for hours before a poster at Reddit exposed the hoax (h/t NBer Blazer).

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs reported early Sunday:

A gruesome propaganda video uploaded to LiveLeak that purported to show the aftermath of an IDF attack on civilians in Gaza turned out to be a fraud—it actually shows the results of an accidental explosion of a truck full of Hamas rockets at a Palestinian rally.

This didn’t stop the video from reaching the top spot on reddit.com and gaining more than 2,000 up votes, because reddit.com is absolutely infested with antisemites and terror supporters: GRAPHIC Video of Israel Defense Force’s attack on Gaza civilian market — originally uploaded on & banned by YouTube (NSFW) : politics.

Raw Story issued a correction Sunday: 

On Sunday, RAW STORY ran video of a bombing in Gaza purported to be recent footage leaked from an exiled Palestinian blogger. We removed the video from the site early Sunday and issued a correction but the original was deleted in a database without the actual html file being removed, so the original persisted through Monday morning without our notice.

The footage is the aftermath of a devastating bombing taking place in a market, said to have been taken on Saturday. According to Haitham Sabbah, it was taken "immediately after a terrorist Israeli air strike hit a busy market where kids with their mothers and fathers were searching for food to eat from one of the local markets early on Saturday 03, Jan 2009."

Raw Story has removed its original article on this matter, but Question Everything still has the text:

As Israel’s IDF wages it’s [sic] own "media war" via Twitter and YouTube, uncensored footage from Palestine has been completely blacked out in the US.

Until now.

Saturday, before Israel launched a full-scale invasion of Gaza, a Palestinian with a camera witnessed a devastating bombing. His video shows the brutal, bloody results of an air strike on what appears to be a civilian area.

In the footage, scores of bodies – men, women and children – lay strewn about a Gaza market as abject chaos spirals around them. Some struggle to their feet, covered in concrete powder and blood, as others assess their injuries or join the effort to carry away wounded.

Within moments, men in camouflage holding automatic weapons and RPGs assert a growing number among the citizenry. The men, presumably affiliated with Hamas, appear to be helping with crowd control and medical response.

The source of this video was Haitham Sabbah, a self-proclaimed  "Palestinian activist and blogger."

Although he too has updated his blog to reflect his error, this is what he originally wrote concerning this video:

This video clip was taken with a mobile camera immediately after a terrorist Israeli air strike hit a busy market where kids with their mothers and fathers were searching for foot to eat from one of the local markets early on Saturday 03, Jan 2009, Gaza.

As you will see, there are no words to describe the terror of the Jewish state of Israhell. This is why Israel is continuously refusing to allow foreign correspondence and reporters from entering Gaza.

Please spread the video widely. Let the world see what their news TV channels won’t show about reality of Israel. (YouTube deleted the video minutes after it was uploaded, but it is worth trying again).

Get the code for the video to embed on your blog from: http://sabbah.blip.tv/#1642223.

I guess that’s all it takes to get anti-Israeli propaganda spread throughout the liberal blogosphere these days.

How sad.

BAGHDAD (Anal Press) — American soldiers shot and wounded a woman – identified by an Iraqi television station as one of its producers – after she failed to heed warnings to stop near a Baghdad checkpoint recently targeted by suicide and car bombs, Iraqi and U.S. military officials said Saturday.

The U.S. military said in a statement that the woman was "acting erratic" and didn’t respond to warnings from Iraqi and American troops near the checkpoint in the central neighborhood of Jadiriyah on Thursday.

"Concerned by the danger she might present to the security forces and civilians, given her repeated failure to respond to warnings, soldiers fired two rounds, wounding the woman," the U.S. military said. It did not provide further details of her behavior.

The Biladi TV station, which is owned by former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, identified the woman as 25-year-old producer Hadeel Emad.

Station spokesman Muhsin Kadhum told The Associated Press that Emad had just left the station and was crossing the street to get a taxi when she was shot.

"She has hearing problems, and she didn’t hear the warnings," Kadhum said. "She was wearing a long coat and carried nothing in her hands."

Emad was in critical condition in a Baghdad hospital, Kadhum said.

A medical official at al-Yarmouk hospital in Baghdad confirmed Emad was brought in for treatment and was listed in critical condition. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information.

An Iraqi police officer told the AP that Emad was walking with her husband and ignored warnings from U.S. troops to stop. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information.

The U.S. military did not identify the woman, but said she was taken to an area hospital.

A U.S. military spokesman, Col. Bill Buckner, said the incident was under investigation and referred all further inquiries to Iraq’s Interior Ministry.

Also Saturday, an Iraqi official said two people were killed and another was wounded when a bomb they were concealing in their car exploded near the town of Sinjar, 75 miles west of the northern city of Mosul.

Abdul Rahim al-Shimmery, the mayor of Sinjar, said the two men killed in the explosion were brothers.

————-

Apparently Emad’s husband has hearing problems too and that’s why he didn’t warn her that she was in danger for not heeding warnings to stop. Yeah, uh huh, that’s it.

Unfortunately under the new SOFA, the U.S. soldiers could be hung (literally) out to dry for doing their jobs.

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MONROE, La. (AP) — A teen convicted in the "Jena Six" beating case shot himself in the chest and was taken to the hospital Monday, days after his arrest on a shoplifting charge, police said.

Mychal Bell’s wound isn’t life threatening, said Monroe Police Sgt. Cassandra Wooten. The 18-year-old used a .22-caliber firearm in the shooting around 7:40 p.m., she said.

Wooten believes Bell was upset over media coverage of the arrest last week.

"I think he was upset over the incident … and didn’t want to be in the news again," she said.

Bell was one of a group of black teenagers who once faced attempted murder charges in the 2006 beating of a white classmate at Jena High School. The charges for all of the defendants were reduced.

The severity of the original charges brought widespread criticism and eventually led to more than 20,000 people converging in September 2007 on the tiny central Louisiana town of Jena for the largest civil rights march in decades.

Bell was in the news again after he was arrested on Dec. 24 and booked on charges of shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple assault, police said.

Police said Bell tried to steal several shirts and a pair of jeans from a department store and fled when a security guard and off-duty police officer tried to detain him. After they found him hiding under a car, Bell "swung his arms wildly" and one of his elbows struck the security guard with a glancing blow, according to a police report. He was freed on $1,300 bond.

Wooten said Bell was taken to a hospital in Monroe, where a nursing supervisor wouldn’t release his condition. Wooten didn’t have further details on the shooting.

One of Bell’s attorneys in the assault case didn’t immediately return a call Monday seeking comment on the shoplifting case.

In the Jena case, Bell eventually pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery.

Bell, the only one of the six who has been tried, has been living in a foster home in Monroe and attending school.

SACRAMENTO (CBS 5 / AP / BCN) ―

 By Vanessa Allen

There are few things more enjoyable on a freezing day than a vigorous game of tag followed by a hearty meal.

Unless you’re supposed to be the main course, that is.

These pictures show how close one man came to being a polar bear’s dinner.

Mmmm, looks like dinner time: The bear stands on its haunches and peers over the car roof at his prey, a surveyor returning to his vehicle in the Alaskan town of Barrow

Mmmm, looks like dinner time: The bear stands on its haunches and peers over the car roof at his prey, a surveyor returning to his vehicle in the Alaskan town of Barrow

The chase is on: The man has his glove off, but not enough time to unlock his car door

The chase is on: The man has his glove off, but not enough time to unlock his car door

The target, a surveyor, was returning to his car in the remote town of Barrow, Alaska, when he saw the great white beast.

With no time to unlock the door of his vehicle and climb inside, he tried to duck out of sight.

He's behind you: The bear lumbers around the car, gaining ground

He’s behind you: The bear lumbers around the car, gaining ground

Last resort: The man, desperate for shelter, makes a break for a neighbouring truck

Last resort: The man, desperate for shelter, makes a break for a neighbouring truck

But the hungry bear was not giving up, and a terrifying chase began.

First, the beast stood up on its furry haunches and eyed its prey. Then it loped around the car, and even climbed over the bonnet to try to reach him.

Phew: He slips inside the unlocked truck, nursing more than 100 scratches

Phew: He slips inside the unlocked truck, nursing more than 100 scratches

 After a few laps of the car the bear almost caught up, managing to land a few heavy swipes on his prey.

The man eventually managed to take refuge in a neighbouring truck which was unlocked.

His back and head were covered in more than 100 deep scratches where the massive claws had managed to rip through his thick winter clothes and padded coat.

Barrow is the northernmost town of the United States, 340 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Polar bears are frequently spotted around the area.

They are the world’s largest land predator, and are the only animals that actively hunt humans.
Adult bears grow up to 10ft tall and can weigh 95 stone.

They are predominantly carnivores, eating seals, fish, reindeer, seabirds and even whales and baby walruses.

Environmentalists have warned that there could be as few as 22,000 left in the wild, and that they face extinction because the ice they live on is melting.

The wildlife group Polar Bears International says only one person has been killed by a polar bear in the U.S. in the past 30 years.

In Canada eight have been killed and in Russia, 19.

A spokesman said: ‘In all instances in which a human was killed by a polar bear, the animal in question was undernourished or had been provoked.’

Wildlife groups have warned that increasing numbers of the giant bears have been spotted near towns and villages because they are trying to scavenge food.

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