Saturday, January 31, 2009

Michael Steele Elected RNC Chairman

Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele drew congratulations from Maryland Republicans and even his Democratic successor after being chosen today as the first black national chairman of the Republican Party. James Pelura, chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, said of Steele's victory that he was "proud to death that he's the face of the Republican Party." Pelura said he believed Steele has a "50-state vision" that the party needs. "It's very important that we cannot take any place for granted anymore," Pelura said. Patt Parker, president of the Maryland Federation of Republican Women, said in a statement that Maryland Republicans "are proud to have Michael Steele lead in rebuilding our party." "We have seen the difference he made in Maryland and look forward to seeing the difference he will make across the country," Parker said in a statement."With Michael, we have a new voice, a new vision, and a powerful new leader." Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, a Democrat, issued a statement congratulating Steele, who lives in Prince George's County like Brown. "I sincerely congratulate my predecessor and neighbor, Michael Steele, for being elected chairman of the Republican National Committee," Brown said. "I wish Lt. Governor Steele the best in his new role." Steele, 50, has been working as the head of GOPAC, an organization that recruits and trains Republican political candidates. He also has made frequent appearances on political talk shows. Steele was head of the Maryland Republican Party before being elected lieutenant governor in 2002 as the first black candidate elected statewide in Maryland. Steele made an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate against Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin in November 2006 by a margin of 55 percent to 44 percent.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Clinton Ineligible For State Post

A conservative watchdog group filed a lawsuit Thursday arguing that Hillary Rodham Clinton cannot legally serve as secretary of state, even though she was sworn in last week. The suit is based on an obscure section of the Constitution on compensation for public officials, the emoluments clause. The clause says no member of Congress can be appointed to a government post if that job's pay was increased during the lawmaker's current term. Clinton was serving in Congress when the secretary of state's salary was raised to its current level of $191,300. So that Clinton could take the post, Congress last month lowered the salary to $186,600, the level when she began her second Senate term.A similar tactic has been used so that several other members of Congress from both parties could serve in the Cabinet. Judicial Watch, which has pursued several suits against Clinton and other officials over the years, argues there can be no exceptions to the clause. The group says that Hillary Clinton is "constitutionally ineligible" to be secretary of state until 2013, when her second Senate term would expire. She resigned from the Senate to take the Cabinet post. Judicial Watch filed the suit on behalf of State Department employee David Rodearmel. It says Rodearmel would violate the oath he took as a foreign service officer in 1991 to "support and defend" and "bear true faith and allegiance" to the Constitution by working for Clinton. A State Department spokesman declined to respond to the case.

Whiplash The Cowboy Monkey To Be Knighted In St. Paul

The Taco John's huckster will be honored by the Winter Carnival royalty in a ceremony tonight in St. Paul. A man walks into a bar with a monkey. And this time, it's no joke. Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey, that Taco John's huckster who for years has amazed young and old alike with its rodeo skills, is about to be bestowed with one of the Twin Cities' most revered honors.Whiplash will be knighted tonight in St. Paul by the Winter Carnival royalty. The ceremony, free and open to the public, is set for 6 p.m. at Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub near the Xcel Energy Center. Whiplash's visit comes as the World's Toughest Rodeo puts on two shows at the Xcel on Friday and Saturday.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hey Einstein, That's Not The Door!

It looks like President Obama hasn't gotten acquainted to his White House surroundings. On the way back to the Oval Office Tuesday, the President approached a paned window, instead of the actual door -- located a few feet to his right.Obama, who was returning from meeting with Congressional leaders, may have been distracted by Republicans' icy reception to his $825 billion stimulus package, which passed on Wednesday even without a groundswell of Republican support.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WWII Veteran Freezes To Death In Own Home

A limiter on Schur’s electric meter is being blamed for the man’s death. Now Bay City said it will notify customers before their power is shut off. Michigan’s Attorney General Mike Cox said Tuesday he would review the case. One local lawyer said the question remains: Who is accountable in the war veteran’s death? Czuprynski, a constitutional attorney, said the city could be liable. "I really think it's a disgusting situation and it's a shame that Bay City is put beneath this light." Czuprynski said Bay City could be liable for Schur's death. It was 32 degrees inside Schur's house when neighbors found his body. Bay City Electric Light and Power sent Schur a shutoff notice through the mail a few weeks ago. Then crews placed a shutoff notice on his front door. A few days later, Schur was found by neighbors. Bay City Electric Light and Power, which is owned by the city, said a limiter was placed on Schur’s electrical line. The device limits the power that reaches a home, and it blows out like a fuse if power consumption rises past a set level. The manager of Bay City said the limiter was tripped sometime between the time of installation and the discovery of the man's body. The city manager said city workers keep the limiter on a house for 10 days, then shut off power entirely if the homeowner hasn't paid utility bills or arranged to do so. reporters checked with Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison Tuesday to see if those companies use limiters. They said they do not. A Consumers spokeswoman said it has never used limiters. DTE said it doesn't use limiters because the Michigan Public Service Commission discourages use of the devices. Reporters also found out that Bay City isn't regulated by the state agency because it's a municipal company. It has a review board that sets its standards. Now it could be sued as a result of its policy on limiters and the fact that it didn't personally notify Schur about the device.Czuprynski said usually cities can't be sued, but that might not be the case in the death of the World War II veteran. Officials in central Michigan say the 93-year-old man who owed more than $1,000 in unpaid electric bills froze to death inside his home -- where the municipal power company had restricted his use of electricity. Neighbors and friends of Schur want answers as to how this could happen. “Now that we do know it was hypothermia, there’s a whole bunch of feelings that I’ve got going through me,” said Jim Herndon, a neighbor of Schur’s. “There’s anger, for the city and the electrical company.” Bay City officials said changes are on the way in an attempt to not let another instance like this happen again. An autopsy determined Schur died from hypothermia in the home he lived in for years. A medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Schur told reporters that Schur died a painful death due to the hypothermia. Dr. Kanu Varani has done hundreds of autopsies, and he said he’d never seen a person die of hypothermia indoors. A neighbor who lives across the street from Schur is angered that the city didn’t personally notify the elderly man about his utility situation. Schur’s neighbor, Herndon, said Schur had a utility bill on his kitchen table with a large amount of money clipped to it, with the intention of paying that bill. Right now the city said the situation is still under investigation. A memorial service for him will take place Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. at the Gephart Funeral Home in Bay City. Meanwhile, Bay City Electric Light and Power is raising rates. The move was approved Monday night and the retro-active rate hike will cost the average homeowner an extra $21 per year. The change will take effect this spring. The 3 percent increase comes on top of a 9 percent hike approved last summer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Top Taliban Leader Killed Near Kandahar

Coalition forces killed a senior Taliban commander in the insurgency-wracked South of Afghanistan, where a heated battle for control of Kandahar province is underway. Taliban commander Haji Adam was killed in a "precise air strike" in Kandahar's contested Maywand district. Adam was "directly involved in the movement of fighters, improvised explosive device production and in the planning and execution of attacks," the International Security Assistance Force stated in a press release. Adam was "also engaged in the illegal narcotics trade in the Sangin area of Helmand, using the profits to fund insurgent activity," the release added. Maywand borders the district of Sangin in neighboring Helmand province. Adam had "strong links to senior Taliban leaders Akhter Mohammed Mansour, Mullah Naim Barich and Attiqullah." The Taliban and Coalition forces have been vying for control of Kandahar's Maywand province. Several operations have taken place in the rural district over the past year. Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team built Combat Outpost Terminator earlier this month to establish a permanent presence in the region. Two days prior to the opening of the outpost, two Soldiers and three Afghan civilians were killed in a suicide attack at a market. Coalition and Afghan forces have been targeting senior Taliban leaders in Kandahar and neighboring Helmand and Uruzgan provinces in an effort to decapitate the group's leadership and regain control of the rural areas. In July 2008, several Taliban military commanders and members of the "shadow government" for Kandahar were killed in a series of strikes.The Taliban establishes a shadow or parallel government in the regions it controls that fill the void by dispensing sharia justice, mediating tribal and land disputes, collecting taxes and recruiting, arming, and training fighters. The Taliban have established shadow governments throughout Afghanistan, with provincial and militarily leaders appointed to command activities. Last week, the Taliban claimed to be in control of more than 70 percent of Afghanistan's rural areas and established shadow governments in 31 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. In Uruzgan province, coalition and Afghan forces, lead by the Australians, have conducted multiple operations and raids in an effort to wrest control of the province from the Taliban. Five days ago, coalition and Afghan forces launched a major operation to clear the Baluchi Valley, a region just south of Tarin Kot. Over the past year, Australian special forces killed four Taliban commanders and captured seven more in Uruzgan. More than 180 Taliban fighters were also killed in the clashes. In August 2008, Uruzgan's shadow governor was detained and several Taliban commanders were killed. Heavy fighting took place in October, with more than 70 Taliban killed after they attacked an outpost. In October, Coalition forces killed a senior Taliban leader who commanded forces in Helmand province and also coordinated operations in Kandahar, Nimroz, and Farah provinces. American Marines killed more than 500 Taliban fighters during operations in Helmand province during 2008. The Marines are expected to be extending the deployment in Helmand as part of the upcoming "surge" of US forces. More than 30,000 US troops are expected to be deployed in Afghanistan by mid-summer. Kandahar and Helmand provinces remain two of the most violent in Afghanistan. The violence in Uruzgan has tripled during 2008, making it one of the most dangerous provinces in the South.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Israeli National Held In Philippine Airport Over Bomb Joke

Authorities arrested an Israeli national over a bomb joke in Mactan Cebu International Airport Sunday. Airport police nabbed Israeli national Eliav Gaoli for joking that he has a bomb hidden in his shoes. Gaoli was already on his way back to Manila with his cousin Naor Nariski when he joked about carrying a bomb in his shoes.
Eliav Gaoli
He cracked the joke to an airport employee while his shoes were passing through security inspection through an X-ray machine. Gaoli and his cousin were already going through the final checking when authorities made the arrest. The Israeli will undergo a medical check up before charges are filed against him. Goali said he has no idea that such jokes are strictly prohibited under the law.

BBC Under Fire Over Refusal To Broadcast Gaza Charity

The government urged the BBC on Saturday to drop its refusal to broadcast a humanitarian appeal for victims of the war in Gaza. The BBC said the appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), a coalition of 13 aid agencies, would compromise the impartiality of its coverage. "The most important thing we can do for the people who are suffering is carrying on reporting it and we've done exemplary work in reporting the suffering of the people of Gaza," Chief Operating Officer Caroline Thomson said. "If we lose the trust of the audience by support one side rather than another, then we will have lost it for the charities themselves as well as everyone else." Broadcasters ITV and Channel 4 said they would show it, but satellite broadcaster Sky said it had yet to reach a formal decision. But most attention focussed on the stance of the BBC, which as the national public broadcaster is funded by a licence fee paid by owners of TV sets.International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said the British public could distinguish between support for humanitarian aid and perceived partiality in a conflict. "I really struggle to see in the face of the immense human suffering of people in Gaza at the moment that this is in any way a credible argument," he said. The BBC has argued that aid access to Gaza is in any case restricted, but Alexander said supplies and personnel had managed to get through on Friday. "I do not think the fact that limited access is available at the moment is itself an adequate reason not to broadcast an appeal to try and address what is still a dire humanitarian situation," Alexander told BBC radio. Politicians and aid groups have written to the BBC to try to persuade it to reconsider its decision, while hundreds of people demonstrated outside one of the broadcaster's London television centres. About 1,300 Palestinians were killed and more than 5,000 were injured during Israel's 22-day offensive in the Gaza Strip, launched in an attempt to stop rocket attacks on its territory by Hamas militants. Thirteen Israelis died.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Eating Less May Not Extend Life

If you are a mouse on the chubby side, then eating less may help you live longer. For lean mice – and possibly for lean humans, the authors of a new study predict – the anti-aging strategy known as caloric restriction may be a pointless, frustrating and even dangerous exercise. “Today there are a lot of very healthy people who look like skeletons because they bought into this,” said Raj Sohal, professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy. He and Michael Forster, of the University of North Texas Health Science Center, compared the life span and caloric intake of two genetically engineered strains of mice. The “fat” strain, known as C57BL/6, roughly doubles in weight over its adult life. That strain benefited from caloric restriction, Sohal said. The “lean” strain, DBA/2, does not become obese. Caloric restriction did not extend the life of these mice, confirming previous work by Forster and Sohal. The results appeared online Jan. 13 in advance of print publication in The Journal of Nutrition. “Our study questions the paradigm that caloric restriction is universally beneficial,” Sohal said. “Contrary to what is widely believed, caloric restriction does not extend (the) life span of all strains of mice.”By measuring the animals’ metabolic rate, Sohal and his colleagues came to a deceptively simple conclusion: Caloric restriction is only useful when, as in the case of the obese mice, an animal eats more than it can burn off. “Your energy expenditure and your energy intake should be in balance,” Sohal said. “It’s as simple as that. And how do you know that? By gain or loss of weight. “The whole thing is very commonsensical. For humans of normal weight, Sohal strongly cautions against caloric restriction. In a 2003 study, he and Forster found that caloric restriction begun in older mice – both in DBA and leaner C57 individuals – actually shortened life span. However, Sohal said that obese individuals are probably better off cutting calories than increasing their exercise to make up for overeating. Overly vigorous exercise can lead to injuries and long-term wear and tear. In other words, it is better to skip the double cheeseburger than to turn up the treadmill after binging at Carl’s Jr. Sohal’s study is not the first to question the allegedly universal benefits of caloric restriction. A study by Ross et al. published in Nature in 1976 (“Dietary practices and growth responses as predictors of longevity”) found that caloric restriction works best in mice that gain weight rapidly in early adulthood, Sohal said. Studies of caloric restriction in wild types of mouse strains have shown minimal life span extension, he added.

Where's The Fence?

The Department of Homeland Security has built fewer than 200 miles of fence along the U.S. border with Mexico, not the 526 miles claimed by DHS and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, according to Glenn Spencer, founder of the watchdog group American Border Patrol. Spencer claims DHS is including in its 526 miles of fence – supposedly constructed according to the mandates of the Secure Fence Act – some 248 miles of "vehicle fence" that "isn't a fence at all and doesn't even stop vehicles." "Deducting useless vehicle barriers and very old 10-foot fencing, not constructed under the Secure Border Initiative, from the 526-mile claim, we are left with about 200 miles that the Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection Secure Border Initiative actually constructed in accordance with the congressional mandate originally set forth in the Secure Fence Act of 2006," he said. Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Lloyd Easterling disagrees. "With the border fence, it isn't a question of 'one size fits all,'" Easterling told reporters. "Double-layer fencing has been very effective, but equally effective is the vehicle and pedestrian fencing that we have installed in the more remote areas." The Secure Fence Act of 2006, enacted Oct. 26, 2006, calls for 700 miles of double-reinforced fence to be built along the southern border with Mexico, from California to Texas. The Department of Homeland Security has built fewer than 200 miles of fence along the U.S. border with Mexico, not the 526 miles claimed by DHS and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, according to Glenn Spencer, founder of the watchdog group American Border Patrol. Spencer claims DHS is including in its 526 miles of fence – supposedly constructed according to the mandates of the Secure Fence Act – some 248 miles of "vehicle fence" that "isn't a fence at all and doesn't even stop vehicles.""Deducting useless vehicle barriers and very old 10-foot fencing, not constructed under the Secure Border Initiative, from the 526-mile claim, we are left with about 200 miles that the Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection Secure Border Initiative actually constructed in accordance with the congressional mandate originally set forth in the Secure Fence Act of 2006," he said. Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Lloyd Easterling disagrees. "With the border fence, it isn't a question of 'one size fits all,'" Easterling told reporters. "Double-layer fencing has been very effective, but equally effective is the vehicle and pedestrian fencing that we have installed in the more remote areas." The Secure Fence Act of 2006, enacted Oct. 26, 2006, calls for 700 miles of double-reinforced fence to be built along the southern border with Mexico, from California to Texas. Former Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the original sponsor of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, opposed in January 2008 an amendment inserted by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, into the Fiscal Year 2008 DHS funding bill that left building any fence at all to the discretion of DHS, after consultation with local residents along the border. Spencer has called for Congress to pass legislation reenacting the Secure Fence Act of 2006. "The law should be modified to increase fence miles to 1,000 from 700 and include a provision for an independent agency to monitor the progress of the fence and the degree to which border security has been achieved," he told reporters. Easterling conceded that people can cut through the vehicular and pedestrian fences being constructed by DHS. "Still, you've got to look hard at some of these remote areas," he argued. "We have a better chance of catching people in some parts of the desert. In some places, depending on the destination they choose, it's anywhere from 60 to 100 miles to walk out of that desert." "Besides, with CBP air patrols and the Border Patrol agents along the border, we have vehicle fence that is effective," he stressed."Do people driving vehicles try to compromise the vehicle fences out there? Absolutely, they do. They try to cut, go over, go under – whatever they can do," he said. "But the fact is that even the vehicle fences we have constructed around Yuma have cut what was more than 2,700 drive-throughs in 2005, to today where drive-throughs are almost non-existent." Spencer agrees that the fencing around Yuma, Ariz., is among the best on the border. At the Jan. 15 press conference, Spencer presented evidence that double-layer fencing, placed along the border in places including Yuma can reduce apprehensions of illegal aliens by more than 97 percent. Spencer also claims building a double-layer fence along the border would do much to stop drug-smuggling. "The surge in the drug war in Mexico was precipitated by the construction of the border fencing and borders," he said, arguing that the inability to get drugs into the U.S. caused in-fighting among the Mexican drug cartels. "There is a strong correlations between the miles of fencing installed between 2005 and 2009 and 1) drug-related deaths in Mexico; 2) eradication of cannabis plants north of the border; and 3) increases in the price of cocaine," he said. "We can stop drug smuggling if we want to." Easterling told reporters that DHS, as of this month, has constructed 601 miles of new fence, including vehicle and pedestrian fences, since the passage of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The DHS goal under the legislation is to build 670 miles of new fence. Easterling conceded that two-thirds of the 1,993-mile U.S. border with Mexico has no fence whatsoever. He told WND that resource limitations were a factor in determining how best to use available funds. He also argued that some areas along the border do not necessarily require a fence, largely because natural barriers make the terrain difficult to pass."The type of fence we build depends on the area," he said. "In urban areas, we may place double-layer fences. In other areas we place vehicle fences or even pedestrian fences. But in remote areas, we also take into consideration that natural terrain, such as mountain ranges, may form natural barriers that prevent people from crossing into the United States easily. "With the new Obama administration now in place, our goal is to finish the 670 miles and then to step back and evaluate what that fencing is doing for us," he said. "Then, of course, we'll make some new decisions from there, with the new administration. But so far, the 670 miles of completed fence remains our goal." Spencer was concerned his press conference Jan. 15 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., received no mainstream media coverage despite press releases and phone calls to reporters. "We rented the expensive Holeman Lounge at the Press Club and had a 60" plasma TV to show videos of the December 10 and January 6 aerial surveillance missions along the border, but no one came," Spencer told reporters. "Not one member of the mainstream press or media showed up, not even the Washington Post, despite calls to reporters there who had previously covered us." In an article entitled "Anatomy of a Blackout", published on his group's website, Spencer claims the story was blacked out because it was "probably too important to be told to the public." Spencer agreed the press conference was held at a time prior to the Obama inauguration when the mainstream media attention was largely consumed with favorable coverage anticipating the in-coming administration. In the presidential campaign of 2008, neither Obama nor Republican candidate John McCain made border security a major issue. Obama has not yet specified the extent to which his administration plans to advance the Security and Prosperity of North America agenda articulated by President Bush with Mexico's then-President Vicente Fox and Canada's then-Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2005.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama Snubs Nation's Heroes, Becomes The First President to Skip Ball Honoring Medal Of Honor Recipients In Over 50 Years

Barack Obama may have stumbled over his words briefly during his inauguration, but he made an even bigger blunder later Tuesday evening. The newly sworn-in President opted not to appear at what should have been one of the most important Balls on his agenda that evening - The Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball. The Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball was begun in 1953 for President Dwight Eisenhower's inauguration. The event recognized recipients of the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award. There were 48 Medal of Honor recipients in attendance, who were undoubtedly disappointed by the Commander-in-Chief's failure to show. Over the past 56 years and 14 inaugurations, no President has skipped this event - until now. The Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball is sponsored by the American Legion, and co-sponsored by 13 other veteran's service organizations, including those such as the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.Instead of attending this ball honoring our nation's heroes, Obama was busy making stops at 10 other official balls. Obama and his wife's first stop was at the Neighborhood Ball. From there they went to the Home State Ball for Illinois and Hawaii, the Commander-in-Chief Ball, the Youth Inaugural Ball, and the Home State Ball for Delaware and Pennsylvania. They finished off the night with brief appearances at the Mid-Atlantic, Western, Midwest, Eastern, and Southern regional Balls. Celebrities were a plenty at the balls, with Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Mary. J. Blige, Faith Hill, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine,, Sting, Mariah Carey, and Leonardo DiCaprio in attendance at the Neighborhood Ball. In addition, the other nine balls also featured a star-studded lineup including Kanye West and Kid Rock at the Youth Ball, Marc Anthony at the Western Ball, and Cheryl Crow at the Western Ball. It was the party without all of the celebrities that Obama skipped. The very people who he sought to have support him during his candidacy and campaign, who have fought to protect this country, were snubbed in favor of publicity and the opportunity to rub shoulders - yet again - with the out-of-touch Hollywood elite.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chavez To Leave In 2013 If Voters Say No To Electing Him Forever

Hugo Chavez launched a new series of newspaper columns on Thursday by urging Venezuelan voters to let him seek re-election indefinitely , and pledging to leave at the end of his term in 2013 if they turn him down. The Venezuelan leader also vilified his opponents as "colonialists" and "little Yankees" beholden to U.S. interests. The column titled "Lines from Chavez" appeared in several Venezuelan newspapers for the first time and it is scheduled to appear three times a week. Chavez's friend and mentor, Fidel Castro of Cuba, also has written frequent newspaper columns over the past year.Chavez, who has been in office since 1999, said he is putting "my entire future" in the hands of Venezuelan voters. The former paratroop commander said "this revolutionary soldier will do what the people command." Opponents say that ending term limits would endanger Venezuela's democracy and push the country further toward Cuba-style one-man rule. Venezuelans already voted down a similar measure to scrap term limits as part of a package of constitutional changes in 2007. Chavez called the Feb. 15 vote a choice between independence through his system of "democratic socialism," and another brand of government aligned with the United States that would condemn Venezuela to "the tomb of history."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

ACLU Sues Muslim School Over Religion

The Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it's suing a charter school that caters to Muslim students. The ACLU names Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, or TiZA, and the Minnesota Department of Education in a lawsuit in federal court that says the charter school is using taxpayer money to illegally promote religion. The charter school, which has campuses in Inver Grove Heights and Blaine, has fallen under fire after a substitute teacher claimed the school was offering religious instruction in Islam to its students. After investigating the school last year, the Education Department said the school hadn't broken any laws. In a statement issued Wednesday, the department saiad they're 'carefully reviewing the lawsuit and will thoroughly respond.' "We will continue to monitor the operations of TiZA Academy and, in response to issues raised about the school over the past year, we are in the process of drafting legislation to address these concerns," wrote Deputy Commissioner Chas Anderson. The state's report directed the charter school to "correct" two areas related to religion at the school."The Minnesota Department of Education goes to great lengths to make clear to charter schools and their sponsors that, while schools should appropriately accommodate students' religious beliefs, they must be 'nonsectarian' under the state's charter school law," Anderson said in May. The department noted concerned about the school accommodating communal prayer and providing transportation to an after-school religious program for its approximately 300 students. "We have directed the school to take appropriate corrective actions regarding these matters and will continue to provide oversight to ensure that the school is in compliance with state and federal law," Anderson said. In an attempt to cover the state's findings in May, a local news crew visited the Inver Grove Heights campus to talk with school officials. While on school grounds, school administrators confronted the crew and our photographer was injured while wrestling with two men over a camera. Our photographer was examined by paramedics, who suffered minor shoulder and back injuries. The Inver Grove Heights city attorney did not file charges between the news affiliate and TiZA officials. In July, the office said there was no basis to file criminal trespassing or assault charges.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is Obama Even President?

"Well, again, we're wondering here whether or not Barack Obama in fact is the president of the United States," Chris Wallace told Fox News viewers, well over an hour after Obama had taken the oath of office today. Fox News replayed the swearing-in moment when President Obama and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. each bobbled the words to the constitutional oath. "They had a kind of garbled oath," Wallace said."It's just conceivable that this will end up going to the courts," Wallace speculated. A bit of wishful thinking on behalf of (presumably conservative) Fox viewers? Perhaps. But Wallace quickly added: "As Brit Hume rightly pointed out, if it goes to the Supreme Court, certainly Chief Justice Roberts will say that he took the oath."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Eligibility Battle Rages On 3 Fronts

Officials at Occidental College in Los Angeles have been served with a demand to produce records of Barack Obama's attendance there during the 1980s to determine whether he was registered as a foreign national. The case is one of three fronts now established that contest the president-elect's constitutional eligibility for the Oval Office. The Supreme Court and Congress also are being challenged to address concerns that Obama doesn't meet the requirements of the U.S. Constitution that the president be a "natural born" citizen. There is a long list of legal cases raising questions over the issue, including several that have reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices have declined to give any of the cases full hearings on their merits, but another conference remains on the Supreme Court docket for Jan. 23 on the issue. "If Obama is sworn in as president, we will file a Petition for Writ of 'Quo Warranto,' a case that will challenge Obama as being ineligible to serve as president because he is 'not qualified,'" said Philip J. Berg, a lawyer who has brought several cases to court. Berg, whose information is on his website, indicated the issue isn't going away. Orly Taitz, a California lawyer whose dispute remains pending before the high court, agreed, noting that one of the hearings already is scheduled for the days following Obama's inaugural Tuesday. Taitz said her arguments rest on precedents from both the California Supreme Court, which years ago removed a candidate for president from the ballot because he was only 34, and the U.S. Supreme Court's affirmation of the ruling. The Constitution requires a president to be 35. In one of the latest developments, Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation petitioned Occidental College with a demand for its records concerning Obama. "The gravamen of the petition is the question as to whether United States Senator Barack Hussein Obama, of Illinois, is eligible to serve as president of the United States pursuant to the requirements for that office in the United States Constitution," he wrote. "The records sought may provide documentary evidence, and/or admissions by said defendant, as to said eligibility or lack thereof."Where's the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the "natural-born American" clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 200,000 others and sign the petition demanding proof of eligibility now! College officials confirmed they received the notice but had not decided how to respond. The decision, however, may be removed from their hands because of the team of lawyers Obama has engaged to prevent such inquiries into his past. "Senator Obama has filed responsive pleadings in this matter and is represented by counsel, and has the opportunity to object to this production, should he so desire," the affidavit from Kreep said. "Good cause exists for this production under Subpoena Duces Tecum, in that testimony will be elicited from the original records obtained through the witness named herein, and there is no other process available to secure said testimony," he wrote. The lawsuits allege in various ways Obama does not meet the "natural born citizen" clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, which reads, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President." Some allege his birth took place in Kenya, and his mother was a minor at the time of his birth – too young to confer American citizenship. They argue Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Kenyan citizen subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time and would have handed down British citizenship. There also are questions raised about Obama's move to Indonesia when he was a child and his attendance at school there when only Indonesian citizens were allowed and his travel to Pakistan in the '80s when such travel was forbidden to American citizens. The lawsuit on which USJF is working was filed on behalf of presidential candidate Alan Keyes and others, and describes the potential damage an ineligible president could create."Should Senator Obama be discovered, after he takes office, to be ineligible for the Office of President of the United States of America and, thereby, his election declared void," argues a case brought on behalf of Ambassador Alan Keyes, also a presidential candidate. "Americans will suffer irreparable harm in that (a) usurper will be sitting as the President of the United States, and none of the treaties, laws, or executive orders signed by him will be valid or legal." On his website, Berg sent his message directly to the U.S. Congress. He's asking in an open letter to members of Congress for congressional hearings "to determine the truth regarding qualifications of Barry Soetoro, otherwise known as Barack Hussein Obama…" "As you must be aware, there are many unresolved questions concerning Soetoro/Obama's status or lack thereof, as a 'natural born' American citizen, as required by 'our' U.S. Constitution," he wrote. He noted the failure by Congress to challenge Obama's eligibility during the process through which the Electoral College vote was adopted. "Because of your failure to 'question' the eligibility of Soetoro/Obama, we are headed for a 'Constitutional Crisis.' Yes, a 'Constitutional Crisis' because Soetoro/Obama who appears not to be a 'natural born' U.S. citizen is 'ineligible' under 'our' U.S. Constitution to serve as president," he said. He cited the document published on the Internet by Obama's campaign, the "Certification of Live Birth," as no more than an effort to "quash" questions. Other critics have noted the state of Hawaii granted such certifications to parents of children not born in the state at the time. "Without truthful information concerning Soetoro/Obama's eligibility to serve as President, 'We the People' have been injured," he wrote. Taitz took a different route, submitting to the U.S. Supreme Court a motion "to declare that by default, the president elect respondent Barack Obama has failed to qualify under [the] U.S. Constitution." "Does the burden of proof lie with the petitioner to prove standing and evidence lack of qualification by a candidate/president elect, where election officers rely on a candidate's declaration? OR does the [Constitution] place the burden of proof on the president-elect to provide objective government certified witnessed proofs, with election officers under oath to challenge, examine and declare that the president elect has or has not qualified, enforceable by petition for redress of grievances?" Not only has the respondent, Obama, "failed to submit proofs … for any of the qualifications," she wrote. "Respondent has hindered discovery." She argued that having Obama declared ineligible until he would provide documentation would "cause far less political trauma" than allowing his inauguration because it would uphold the constitution.She also raised the issue of the concealment of Obama's records. "Obama has refused to submit certified copies of any of his original long form 'vault' birth certificates in Hawaii to any public officer or to any Petitioner. Relevant records in Kenya have also been officially restricted," she said. "Obama has sealed all educational records which might reveal his stated citizenship. These include Punahou High School, Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School." Her letter included a warning, too. "Thirty-three democracies descended into tyranny during the 20th century by failing to uphold constitutional protections," she said. "Petitioner humbly prays this Court evaluate the Petitioner's case in context of how best to enforce restrictive qualifications for president to preserve the Constitution and Republic from tyranny." Reporters twice have organized opportunities for readers to send FedEx letters to the Supreme Court, asking for consideration of the issue on its merits. The most recent campaign generated 12,096 messages, following the earlier effort that resulted in 60,128 letters. Obama has claimed in his autobiography and elsewhere that he was born in Hawaii in 1961 to parents Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a Kenyan national, and Stanley Ann Dunham, a minor. But details about which hospital handled the birth and other details provided on the complete birth certificate have been withheld by Obama despite lawsuits and public demands for release. A reporter went to both Kenya and Hawaii prior to the election to investigate issues surrounding Obama's birth. But his research and discoveries only raised more questions. The biggest question was why, if a Hawaii birth certificate exists as his campaign has stated, Obama hasn't simply ordered it made available to settle the rumors. The governor's office in Hawaii said there is a valid certificate but rejected requests for access and left ambiguous its origin: Does the certificate on file with the Department of Health indicate a Hawaii birth or was it generated after the Obama family registered a Kenyan birth in Hawaii?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why Norm Coleman Will Win

Anyone following the recount has no doubt heard the bluster and bravado regularly coming from the Al Franken campaign. However, in recent days, Franken and his Washington legal team have seemed awfully desperate for a campaign that is trying to convince people they are winning. They have now tried to shove Al Franken onto the Senate floor through three separate venues – only be to be rebuffed and delayed because their effort clearly violates Minnesota law. Why, if they claim to have a lead, are they so desperately anxious to put Al Franken in a Senate seat? Simple: They know Norm Coleman is going to win the election contest. And here’s why: Norm Coleman won on election night and he continued to lead throughout the administrative canvassing process that followed. In the next stage – the administrative recount – Minnesota law restricted what the state Canvassing Board could consider, and in the end the Board certified numbers that are premature, inaccurate and not valid. Minnesota election law specifically leaves these and other unresolved issues for the contest phase, which is just getting underway and will be tried before a three-judge panel at the end of January. During that contest, Al Franken’s lead will disappear and Norm Coleman will be declared the winner when the following errors are corrected.
Norm Coleman
First is the issue of wrongly rejected absentee ballots. In the election some 12,000 absentee ballots were rejected – thousands of which were improperly rejected. During the recount, the only improperly rejected absentee ballots that were counted came overwhelmingly from Democrat areas – which skewed the results exponentially in Franken’s favor. The reality is that inconsistent standards were applied in different locations throughout the state – meaning that certain types of ballots that were counted from Franken areas were left uncounted in Coleman areas. When a consistent standard is applied – and ballots still uncounted in Coleman areas come in – Norm Coleman will gain far greater votes than Franken. Secondly, and perhaps most alarming, is the fact that at least 150 ballots – mostly from precincts in heavily-Democratic Minneapolis – were double-counted during the recount. The double-counting of these votes netted Franken over 100 votes. The State Canvassing Board conducting the recount acknowledged this was likely an occurrence – as did local election officials in Minneapolis – and said this needed to be examined in a contest. Simply put, many precincts have more votes than voters. This clearly violates the Constitutional right of “one person, one vote – and when this] problem is rectified Al Franken’s margin will drop even further.
Al Franken
Third, in one Minneapolis precinct, 133 allegedly “missing ballots supposedly tallied on election night but which were never found during the recount process were counted, which again inflated Franken’s totals by over 40 votes. Rather than following Minnesota precedent and law by tallying only the ballots that were actually counted, the board reverted to election night tapes. However, these ballots may very well have never existed – and the contest will provide a forum to ensure Franken doesn’t benefit from votes that never actually took place. Fourth, “newly discovered ballots, which appeared for the first time during the recount, were never counted on election night but which were included in the canvassing board’s totals. So, rather than sticking with election night totals like they did in the aforementioned Minneapolis precinct, they counted these ballots – again greatly benefitting Franken’s totals. The discovery phase for the election contest, which will begin the last week of January and will be heard before a three-judge panel, has reportedly already started. It will likely include the opportunity to put election officials under oath for the first time and will provide the opportunity to actually investigate these errors and get it right. The reality is Franken’s desperate ploy to get himself seated on the basis of Canvassing Board numbers Minnesota law, the Supreme Court, the Canvassing Board and even Franken’s campaign acknowledge to be inaccurate indicate Franken’s realization that his high water mark has come and gone. Reality is setting in, and the facts will show that Norm Coleman will, in due time, be seated as Minnesota's United States Senator.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just Because You Could Do This Sort Of Thing To President Bush, Doesn't Mean You Can Do It To The Anointed One

Authorities on Friday arrested a U.S. man on suspicion of threatening to kill President-elect Barack Obama based on statements he posted on a website about UFOs and aliens, the Justice Department said. Steven Joseph Christopher, in three postings to, said he planned to assassinate Obama in Washington "as a sacrificial lamb," the department said in a statement. "It's really nothing personal about the man. He speaks well ... . But I know it's for the country's own good that I do this," Christopher reportedly wrote."It's not because I'm racist that I will kill Barack, it's because I can no longer allow the Jewish parasites to bully their way into making the American people submit to their evil ways." Christopher added that he needed money to get to Washington and that he did not own a gun, the department said. Unprecedented security surrounds Obama, who will be sworn into office on Tuesday and become the nation's first black president. Christopher, who is from Wisconsin but was arrested in Brookhaven, Mississippi, could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty.
Stephen Joseph Christopher

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Nugent For Drug Czar

by Ted Nugent

One of the most dangerous places on earth is our own 2,000 mile border with Mexico. Our southern border is a drug war zone, and we are losing the fight. Know it. So dangerous is our border that Arizona Governor Napolitano has declared a state of emergency along the Arizona/Mexico border due to drug trafficking, shootouts and an increasing illegal immigration invasion. Our Justice Department stated in April that Mexican drug cartels are the "largest threat to both citizens and law enforcement agencies in this country and now have gang members in nearly 200 U.S. cities." This in the big, bad, brave United States of America! How can this be? DOJ admits it, so now what? There isn't a city in America that has not been scorched by drug-related violence. In 2008, the Mexican drug cartels killed more than 4,000 people. Almost 500 Mexican police officers and soldiers have been murdered since January 2007. It is a nonstop orgy of vicious, violent crimes against law-abiding Americans living along that border and increasing acts of violence against our Border Patrol agents. This is unbelievable and totally unacceptable. The drug cartels are extremely well financed and armed. They are as evil an adversary as the voodoo terrorist Taliban our soldiers face in Afghanistan. President Obama has stated he will go after the cartels and increase efforts to combat gang-related crime. Good. But he had better be prepared to wage war with them with more than just soaring rhetoric. I am aware there are prominent conservatives who make strong arguments in favor of legalizing drugs. Their argument is that legalizing drugs will take the crime out of drugs. Not only do I not believe that, but I have never been in favor of pouring gas on a blazing fire in hopes of extinguishing it, which is what I believe will happen if ever we are foolish enough to legalize drug use in America.We have all the laws we need to fight drugs. What America needs is the will-power and a renewed warrior spirit to crush evil and evil doers. We need a Drug Czar who will commit to the American people to stopping at least 50% of the illegal drugs flowing into the country within the first year of the Obama Administration. That's the kind of leadership America wants and deserves from its government. Call me, President Obama. Hippies, dope heads, corrupt politicos and various other human debris hate me, which makes me the perfect man for the job. As Drug Czar, I would charge our mayors and police departments to commit to fighting the drug gangs their top priority. Our inner cities will remain war zones until we commit to taking the trash out. America needs to better arm our Border Patrol agents and we need more of them. The governors of the border states should call out the National Guard to assist the Border Patrol in securing the border. As Drug Czar, I would challenge them to do this today. I would work with the Mexican government and other Central American nations to root out and arrest and/or kill the drug kingpins and their underlings. Working with the Columbian government a few years back, U.S. Special Forces filled Pablo Escobar full of bullet holes. Until assuming room temperature, Escobar was one of the world's richest cocaine smugglers and controlled 80% of all the cocaine shipped into America. I am not naïve enough to believe we can ever fully eradicate drugs. However, as America's Drug Czar, I would put a big hurt on the drug kingpins and consumers like they have never seen. Every American who smokes dope, manufactures, buys or sells meth or uses any illegal drugs is aiding and abetting the enemies of America. Case closed. This spiritual inbreeding and cannibalism must be identified, admitted to and stopped immediately. America can, and must do this. Good over evil.

Friday, January 16, 2009

WWE CEO Named To State Education Board

A top executive and occasional performer at World Wrestling Entertainment of Stamford is Gov. M. Jodi Rell's choice to help set state education policy. Linda E. McMahon is the chief executive officer of the WWE, the producer of tightly scripted, cable television melodramas built around the cartoonish violence and sex appeal of professional wrestling. McMahon, 60, of Greenwich, was appointed to the state Board of Education on Dec. 23, but Rell's office did not announce the selection until last weekend. As an executive, McMahon helped build the WWE into a multimedia powerhouse. She faces a legislative confirmation hearing Feb. 5. The co-chairmen of the legislature's education committee, Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, and Sen. Thomas Gaffey, D-Meriden, were surprised Wednesday to hear of the nomination. Neither raised an objection, but Fleischmann said legislators will be interested in exploring her qualifications. The company has come under fire in Congress for allegations of steroid use by wrestling stars whose careers are avidly tracked by teenage boys."If the governor had any concerns, she wouldn't have forwarded her name," said a Rell spokesman, Donna Tommelleo. McMahon declined an interview request. "I look forward to meeting with the appropriate members of the state legislature to address any questions they may have about how I will perform as a member of the State Board of Education," she said in an e-mailed statement. "I also look forward to offering my perspectives to the board. I intend to be an inquisitive and active member." McMahon, a trustee at Sacred Heart University, said she has a longtime interest in education. McMahon met Rell while she was lieutenant governor and has contributed to her campaigns. In a statement released by her office, Rell said, "Linda clearly understands the skills and education needed to succeed in business and the type of highly educated and skilled workforce that must be available to ensure that success."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

10 Congressmen Urge Clemency For Agents

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., today called on U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton to support a commutation in sentence for imprisoned Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. "Mr. Sutton, we are asking you to look into your heart as a prosecutor and advise the president to commute the sentences of Ramos and Compean so they will not spend the next 10 years in solitary confinement," Rohrabacher said. "As Johnny Sutton said in his own words, this punishment is excessive," he continued. "Millions of Americans, members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats have spoken. The time is short, Mr. Sutton. Time is short, Mr. President. Let's right the wrong." Sutton is the El Paso-based U.S. attorney whose office undertook the prosecution of Ramos and Compean. Ramos and Compean remain in federal prison serving 11- and 12- years respectively for a 2005 incident in which they fired on a drug smuggler as he fled back into Mexico after bringing 750 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. near Fabens, Texas. Rohrabacher's office released a list of Sutton's statements which suggested the punishment of Ramos and Compean was unnecessarily harsh. "It becomes a debate about punishment," Sutton said on the CNN Headline News Glenn Beck Program May 18, 2007. "I have a lot of sympathy for those who say, look, punishment is too high, you know, 10 years. I agree."Sutton told CNN's Lou Dobbs July 17, 2007, "The only issue, really, is punishment. That's what sticks in people's craw. It's a lot of time. And I've said that. I've said that often." Yet Sutton charged Ramos and Compean under U.S. Code Section 924(c), which caries a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for the discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime. The 10-year mandatory minimum gun statute had never before been used against law enforcement officers who argued they were merely carrying out their official duties. So far, 152 members of the House of Representatives, including both Democrats and Republicans, have signed onto various resolutions in support of either a full pardon or a commutation of sentence for Ramos and Compean. President Bush said, "I am not talking pardons," when asked about Ramos and Compean in one of his final press interviews as president. At his Wednesday press conference, Rohrabacher was joined by Reps. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass.; Ed Royce, R-Calif.; Brian Bilbray, R-Calif.; Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.; Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Michael McCaul, R-Texas; Steve King, R-Iowa; Dan Burton, R-Ind.; and Walter Jones, R-N.C..

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jiffy Lube Scam Caught On Tape!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Judicial Panel Named To Hear Senate Lawsuit

The three-judge panel that will hear a lawsuit over Minnesota's contested Senate election includes one Republican appointee, one Democratic appointee and one named by an independent governor. The panel was announced Monday. It was named by Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, the high court member with the most seniority. The three district judges are Elizabeth Hayden of Stearns County, Kurt Marben of Pennington County and Denise Reilly of Hennepin County.Republican Norm Coleman sued over his recount loss to Democrat Al Franken. Coleman says there were some votes counted twice and other ballots that should have been counted but weren't. The court case is an obstacle to a signed election certificate for Minnesota's second senator, leaving the state with only one for the time being. By law, the case must head to trial in St. Paul by late January. It could take months to resolve.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Army Assembles 'Mad Scientist' Conference. Seriously.

Last August, the U.S. Army held a three-day conference in Portsmouth, Virginia, to look at new developments in military science and hardware. The confab was called the "Mad Scientist Future Technology Seminar." Really. It was. "The objective of the seminar was to investigate proliferating technologies with the potential to empower individuals and groups in the next 10-25 years," according to an unclassified summary of the Mad Scientist gathering, obtained by Danger Room. As you'd expect from such a colorfully-titled gathering, the collected brains predicted a world in which individuals would have easy access to everything from ray guns to nano-bots to bioengineered weapons to arms for creating international chaos online. "The U.S. must accept the reality that it can no longer assume technological superiority over the rest of the world. Ready access to scientific information and technological know-how has and will continue to level the playing field," the Mad Scientist summary notes. "In the operational environment of 2030 and beyond, the destructive/disruptive capability of the individual and small group will be more effective, more lethal, more easily developed/acquired, more efficiently delivered, and more easily concealed and transported... Individuals with access to the global information grid can easily acquire the knowledge needed to develop lethal bio agents, literally in their kitchen sink.Nanotechnology and robotics will offer opportunities to introduce and spread bio and chemical agents into targeted populations." Turning to forward-looking thinkers is a time-honored government tradition. Shortly after 9/11, for instance, the Army met with Hollywood screenwriters and directors to forecast terrorist scenarios. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security held a gathering of science-fiction writers to solicit advice on which technology programs to fund. In comparison, the Mad Scientist gathering of Ivy League researchers, defense contractors, think tankers, and NASA scientists seems rather conventional. The Mad Scientist group sees more than just a world of danger in the 2030s. "Most likely results include an increased life span, a solution to the energy crisis, ready availability of food and fresh water to all, a global distribution of technology, education, economics, and -- therefore -- wealth. This will reduce the tension between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' while the capabilities of robotics and access to virtual reality to both care for and entertain will create the perception of well-being almost universally around the globe. Advancements are limited only by imagination and resources." Who knows what they'll dream up after that?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Prisoner Plucks Out Eye, Eats It

A Texas death row inmate with a history of mental problems pulled out his only good eye and told authorities he ate it. Andre 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 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 took him to the infirmary. "Thomas said he pulled out his eye and subsequently ingested it," agency spokesman Jason Clark said. Thomas was treated at East Texas Medical Centre in Tyler after the December 9 incident. Then he was transferred and remains at the Jester Unit, a prison psychiatric facility near Richmond southwest of Houston.
A photo from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Andre Thomas, 25, a death row inmate in Texas.
"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, defence 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."