Some More Miscellany

Posted on Sunday 26 March 2006

Here are a collection of stories from recent news. The stories include security scares in Florida and Pennsylvania , pre-emptive law enforcement in Texas, more NSA civil rights violations, Ohio town stupidity, and more Bush corruption.

Domestic Terror Scares

In Pittsburgh, PA, a local worker caused a terrorism scare. A two-hour long disruption was caused by a man using a pellet gun to scare pigeons from a downtown building. The Post Gazette has an article.

Apparently, stupidity is running amuck in Florida. Some students caused a security scare which lead to the local SWAT team holding a bunch of students hostage. Details are seen in this story. Thanks to Michael Hampton for this heads up.

Pre-emptive War in Texas

While I highly disapprove of drunk driving—I think that Texas is taking it a bit too far. The Hammer of Truth had an article on the Pre-emptive War in Texas. From the Dallas Morning News article.

Mike Lessard, 45, was arrested at Texas Bar & Grill on Las Colinas Boulevard and also spent the night in jail.

He said he was having a pleasant evening, downing a few beers after work, when a plainclothes officer summoned him outside to be arrested.

“I had no idea that some guy could just tap me on the shoulder and say they’d like to see us outside,” the Irving resident said. “I was thrown by the whole thing. I didn’t know they had any right to do that.”

From a related Boston Globe article.

Taylor thinks the implications extend far beyond cases of driving under the influence to all areas of criminal law, including murder trials, and even to the measures taken by the Bush administration in the war on terror. Taylor likes to close his stump speech with a humorous paraphrase of Martin Niemoeller’s famous warning about creeping fascism-”First they came for the drunks, but I was not a drunk, so I did not speak up”-but he’s quite serious. ‘’Law is based on precedent,” he warned. ‘’When you start dismantling constitutional protections, you’re setting precedents. I don’t think people understand what we’re doing constitutionally.”

NSA and Confidentiality

Wired News has a story on how the NSA may be listening to normally confidential and privileged conversations between doctors and patients, or clients and their attorneys, as part of the warrantless surveillance program. I guess more civil rights are going the way of the dodo bird.

Ohio School Officials Gone Amuck

The Morning Journal has an article on an eight-year-old who has been accused of sexual harrassment. From the article:

School documents provided by Barth and the boy’s father, Frank Johnson, did not give specifics on the incident but showed that the second-grader was removed from school on Tuesday for “sexual harassment during gym.” It also states the student ‘“admits to writing notes saying ÔI love you’ and giving them to a student.”

Apparently, this is not the only insanity in this Ohio town, as seen in this Hammer of Truth blog article.

Barbara Bush and Hurricane Relief Donations

According to America Blog, Barbara Bush has made a large donation to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. However, this donation isn’t as generous as it first appears. Her donation went to a non-profit but was earmarked to be used to purchase software from her son Neil’s company. The transaction is essentially tax evasion, first as a “deduction” to a non-profit, which is essentially a gift to her son, and second as a way to avoid the gift tax on the amount over the $12,000 gift exemption. The Houston Chronicle also has a story on this.

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