Posts Tagged ‘Law’

Crazy Kool-Aid Drinkers on the Prairie Play “Sort the Children”

June 3, 2008

From NPR Judge: Return Children to Polygamist Parents by Wade Goodwyn Listen Now [2 min 58 sec] add to playlist      All Things Considered, June 2, 2008 · A West Texas judge has ordered all of the children seized by the state from a polygamist group to be returned to their parents. But the order doesn’t end the standoff between Texas child welfare officials and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. >>read moreSee related post.
33 AM on 30th May 2008

SAN ANGELO, Texas (CNN) -- The state of Texas should not have removed children from a polygamist sect's ranch because it didn't prove that they were in "imminent danger," an appeals court ruled Thursday.  Photos from a Web site launched by the sect show scenes during and after the raid of their ranch.

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Women Are Better Lawyers Than Men

June 1, 2008

Schroder Joseph AssociatesFrom AdRANTs by Steve Hall May 30, 2008>>read more.          Ever notice how women, when in conflict with another, or with a man for that matter, discuss the issue at great length until every last feeling is expressed? Ever notice how men, when in conflict with another (but not a woman), just punch each other, offer up a fist bump or brush it off with a “no worries, dude?” Though some might debate the point, that’s not sexist. It’s just a natural difference in the way men and women deal with confrontation and disagreement.          So perhaps an ad from 100 percent women-owned Buffalo law firm Schroder, Joseph Associates, LLC with the headline, “Ever Argue With A Woman,” is compelling since arguing legal issues requires ad nauseum debate to the point of excruciating insanity. In the courtroom, that’s a good thing. Not so much when you’re at home and just want to sit down with a beer and watch the game.

Listening to him is painful and makes me squirm.

April 30, 2008

Ron Edmonds President Bush speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2008. APFrom NPR.org, April 29, 2008 by Scott Neuman click to read more or listen.    
Bush Blames Congress for High Energy Prices Saying that Americans were “understandably anxious” about the economy, President Bush blamed Congress for high energy and food prices. The president said lawmakers blocked his proposals to address the problems. –Am I the only one that feels embarrassed every time our C+ President opens his mouth?  Even if what he is saying true–but how can you know that?  Listening to him try to use the English Language is painful and makes me squirm.  The real joke is on the corporations who will pay him to speak after he leaves office.

Cheney: Leaving No Tracks

April 24, 2008

GottlichFrom the Washington Post Leaving No Tracks by BARTON GELLMAN & JO BECKER 27 jun 2007 Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report click to read more.     Sue Ellen Wooldridge, the 19th-ranking Interior Department official, arrived at her desk in Room 6140 a few months after Inauguration Day 2001. A phone message awaited her.     “This is Dick Cheney,” said the man on her voice mail, Wooldridge recalled in an interview. “I understand you are the person handling this Klamath situation. Please call me at — hmm, I guess I don’t know my own number. I’m over at the White House.”     Wooldridge wrote off the message as a prank. It was not. Cheney had reached far down the chain of command, on so unexpected a point of vice presidential concern, because he had spotted a political threat arriving on Wooldridge’s desk.     In Oregon, a battleground state that the Bush-Cheney ticket had lost by less than half of 1 percent, drought-stricken farmers and ranchers were about to be cut off from the irrigation water that kept their cropland and pastures green. Federal biologists said the Endangered Species Act left the government no choice: The survival of two imperiled species of fish was at stake.     Law and science seemed to be on the side of the fish. Then the vice president stepped in.     First Cheney looked for a way around the law, aides said. Next he set in motion a process to challenge the science protecting the fish, according to a former Oregon congressman who lobbied for the farmers.     Because of Cheney’s intervention, the government reversed itself and let the water flow in time to save the 2002 growing season, declaring that there was no threat to the fish. What followed was the largest fish kill the West had ever seen, with tens of thousands of salmon rotting on the banks of the Klamath River.     Characteristically, Cheney left no tracks.     The Klamath case is one of many in which the vice president took on a decisive role to undercut long-standing environmental regulations for the benefit of business.     By combining unwavering ideological positions — such as the priority of economic interests over protected fish — with a deep practical knowledge of the federal bureaucracy, Cheney has made an indelible mark on the administration’s approach to everything from air and water quality to the preservation of national parks and forests.     It was Cheney’s insistence on easing air pollution controls, not the personal reasons she cited at the time, that led Christine Todd Whitman to resign as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, she said in an interview that provides the most detailed account so far of her departure.

Blockbuster sued over Facebook ad feature

April 19, 2008

From Chicago Tribue By AMANDA FEHD Associated Press Writer 11:51 PM CDT, April 17, 2008 click to read more.
SAN JOSE – A Texas woman has sued Blockbuster Inc. alleging the video rental company transmitted her personal information to Facebook.com through the Web site’s Beacon marketing program.     Cathryn Elaine Harris, of Dallas County, Texas, claims that Beacon, which Facebook launched in November, got the information from Blockbuster through computer tracking programs without her permission.

Stepford Wives

April 19, 2008

Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, front, walk out of the Tom Green County Courthouse as Sheriffs deputies, rear, look on during the first day of child custody hearings in San Angelo, Texas, Thursday, April 17, 2008. (Tony Gutierrez / AP)From the Times Union by By Michelle Roberts, Associated Press 7:03 a.m., Saturday, April 19, 2008 photo by Tony Gutierrez / AP click to read more.
Polygamous-sect children ordered to stay in Texas custody   Children from polygamous sect ordered to stay in Texas custody, undergo genetic testing     SAN ANGELO, Texas — A chaotic two-day hearing ended with dropped heads and silence when a judge ordered that the 416 children taken from a ranch run by a polygamous sect will stay in state custody for the time being.     State District Judge Barbara Walther heard 21 hours of testimony over two days before ruling Friday that the children would be kept in custody while the state continues to investigate allegations of abuse stemming from the teachings of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.     “This is but the beginning,” Walther said.

“Tony bag-of-doughnuts” is alive and well, beating people up in Buffalo

April 10, 2008

Buffalo, “Supranos” Style   U.S. ATTORNEY TERRANCE P. FLYNN: Racketeering is called bludgeon of Local 17’s regime; 12 union leaders face federal charges “They had a negative financial impact on almost every major construction project … over the past 10 years.” Posted on The Buffalo News By Dan Herbeck and Phil Fairbanks Updated: 04/09/08 9:11 AM     Leaders of a powerful construction union local are accused of a decade-long run of extortion and labor racketeering that federal authorities say added millions of dollars to the cost of projects throughout Western New York.     The allegations include death threats, stabbings, assaults and extreme acts of vandalism against construction company executives and their families.     Federal authorities made the accusations against Operating Engineers Local 17, a union that represents operators of heavy equipment and has been involved in some of the biggest construction projects in the area, including those at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Ralph Wilson Stadium.     “They victimized people at small construction sites and large sites, including many that were publicly funded,” U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn said. “We believe they had a negative financial impact on almost every major construction project in Western New York over the past 10 years.”     The crimes ranged from throwing scalding coffee at non-union workers to destroying expensive machinery by pouring sand into the transmissions and gas tanks, according to Flynn.     Twelve union officials are accused of felony counts of labor racketeering and extortion. They were arrested at their homes by federal agents and state police, who began a roundup at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.     Authorities described union organizers Carl A. Larson, 43, and James L. Minter III, 36, and the local’s president and business manager, Mark N. Kirsch, 48, as the leaders of the “Local 17 Criminal Enterprise.”     Their alleged attacks were intended to force construction companies into hiring Local 17 workers and punishing those who refused.     The charges against Kirsch, who has been highly regarded in the region’s labor community, were especially surprising to some of his colleagues.     “I’m shocked,” said Michael H. Hoffert, president of the Buffalo AFL-CIO. “Those aren’t the [Local 17] guys I know.”     But an official at one of the companies that was allegedly targeted saw it differently.     “There is such a thing as justice,” said Norman R. Merriman, president of Tom Greenauer Development, whose company equipment was heavily damaged after the firm refused to hire Local 17 workers.     Officials at the 2,100-member union local, headquartered in Lake View in the Town of Hamburg, had no comment. Attorney Paul J. Cambria, whose law firm represents the local, also declined to comment.     Some of the language in a 62-page government indictment reads like a script for the former “Sopranos” television show.     According to prosecutor Charles B. Wydysh, Larson had a conversation in 2003 with an official of a construction firm, STS. The conversation took place about two months after a union member had stabbed the owner of STS in the neck in an Orchard Park bar.     The STS representative is quoted in court papers asking Larson what his company would gain by hiring members of the union.     “What are the positives?” the company official asked Larson. “You guys slash my tires, stab me in the neck, try to beat me up in a bar. What are the positives in signing? There are only negatives.”     Much of the activity took place at major publicly funded construction projects, including the expansion of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and renovations at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo State College and the Buffalo Sewer Authority’s treatment plant on Bird Island, prosecutors said.     One of the disturbing aspects to the case, in Flynn’s view, is that members of the local repeatedly used the Web site of the state Department of Motor Vehicles to find out the addresses of people they intended to harass.     Union members went to construction sites and took photos of the license plates of vehicles used by construction company executives or non-union workers, Flynn said.     “Then, they would use that information to find out where these people lived, and where their families lived,” Flynn said. “They would then make threats against people, mentioning their home addresses.”     Allegations of union thuggery Some of the federal charges filed against Operating Engineers Local 17:  Roswell Park Cancer Institute construction site: Owner of a company who declined to hire Local 17 workers for the project was stabbed in the neck by a union official in a local bar.  Ralph Wilson Stadium: Truck driver from a non- union company suffered facial cuts when a Local 17 member smashed a window in his vehicle in 1999. The company was later replaced by a union contractor.  Uniland Development office building, 285 Delaware Ave.: Pickets told a Uniland official they were going to go to his home and sexually assault his wife.  Town of Hamburg soccer fields: Sand was poured into engines of 18 pieces of construction equipment owned by non- union companies, causing $ 330,000 damage.     Source: Indictment filed by Assistant U. S. Attorney Charles B. Wydysh     mailto:dherbeck@buffnews.com and pfairbanks@buffnews.com     Read more.

Man Steals Grease to Make Biodiesel

April 3, 2008

By Michael Graham Richard, Gatineau, Canada posted on Treehugger on 04. 3.0    David Richardson, a 49-year old man from Illinois, was arrested by the police in Morgan Hill, California. He was trying to steal used cooking grease from a Burger King restaurant and pump it into his tanker truck when he was caught greasy-handed.  —What the fuck?

NO Accountability = Personal & Political Profit

April 2, 2008

Lawbreaker lawmakers are at every level of government. 
Arguably, about 1-in-5 New York State legislators has violated the law. How can this be?
  By MARY CUDDEHE, ELLEN GABLER and EMILY PICKRELL, Special to the Times Union
First published
: Sunday, December 30, 2007 In a perfect world, elected lawmakers would always obey the laws they alone are entrusted to enact, but public records show that in Albany, lawmakers are anything but perfect.  An investigation for the Times Union by the Stabile Center for Investigative Reporting at Columbia University found that about one-fifth of elected legislators in New York have, by some measure, broken some law in recent years. While most of those cases were traffic violations, more than a dozen involved acts charged as crimes — frequently bribery or theft.  Currently, two accused lawmakers have refused to leave office despite a mountain of evidence compiled by citizen grand juries who indicted them for felony crimes — and legislative leaders have done nothing to officially discipline or remove them.  Assemblywoman Diane Gordon, D-Brooklyn, continues to hold office even after the Brooklyn district attorney released video recordings showing her agreeing to receive a house in exchange for arranging a $2 million land deal for a developer. She declined to comment.  State Sen. Efrain Gonzalez, D-Bronx, continues to hold office while awaiting trial on federal charges that he funneled $423,000 in taxpayer money through a charity to finance his cigar company, buy Yankees tickets and pay his daughter’s tuition.  “You’re innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Gonzalez, who was re-elected by a landslide in the Bronx last year.  Such cases have become a perennial disappointment for good-government advocates in Albany who for years have pressed for real ethics reform that, when it comes to lawmakers themselves, has never really come.  “I think what most citizens would say to them is how dare you do this to the working men and women of New York,” said Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director for the League of Women Voters. “You are in a cherished position, voted into office by your constituency, and you let them down; you violated their trust.”  Two lawmakers charged with driving while intoxicated this year had their driver’s licenses suspended after they refused to take a Breathalyzer test: Assemblyman Karim Camara, D-Brooklyn, and Sen. John Sabini, D-Queens. Sabini said it was inappropriate for two student journalists to surprise him in the Capitol this month with a video camera and ask, on behalf of voters, if he was drunk when police arrested him in Albany. “No, I pleaded not guilty,” he said.  Like many lawmakers, Sabini bristles at the suggestion he deserves to be labeled a lawbreaker in the press before his day in court. “I’m only charged at this stage,” he said.  Sometimes lawmakers advocate legislation even as they violate the letter or spirit of the laws they propose.  Nancy Calhoun, a Republican assemblywoman from Blooming Grove, has called herself “a prime advocate for fighting crime.” In 2005, the same year she co-sponsored a bill to strengthen anti-stalking laws, Calhoun pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree harassment for stalking an ex-boyfriend. The case was subsequently sealed in Orange County.  Rarely, a lawmakers admits his or her mistake and becomes a determined advocate to strengthen the law.

Contributing to Jamie Lee’s un-regularis?

April 2, 2008

Yogurt maker Dannon sued over probiotic claims
Last Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2008 | 12:44 PM ET
CBC News
  A California consumer has filed a proposed class-action suit against The Dannon Company, alleging the company’s claims that its probiotic yogurt offers clinically and scientifically-proven health benefits are false.  What are probiotics?
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has defined probiotics as “live microorganisms administered in adequate amounts which confer a beneficial health effect on the host.”  “Deceptive advertising has enabled Dannon to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ordinary yogurt at inflated prices to responsible, health conscious consumers,” Timothy Blood, the lead attorney handling the case, claimed in a statement issued Wednesday.  The lawsuit alleges that Dannon’s clinical studies didn’t support marketing claims suggesting DanActive, Activia and Activia Light yogurt products had been proven to regulate one’s digestive system. The suit says the company charged 30 per cent more for its probiotic yogurt and spent more than $100 million US in advertising to persuade U.S. consumers of the product’s benefits.  The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, asks for compensation for U.S. consumers who purchased the products based on the marketing campaign and asks Dannon to launch a new advertising campaign that corrects the record.  Michael Neuwirth, Dannon’s senior director of public relations, told the San Francisco Chronicle the company’s claims were sound.  “We stand by the claims of our products and the clinical studies that support them,” Neuwirth said.  Dannon is one of many companies that introduced probiotic foods ranging from breads and cereals to chocolates and cheeses.    Read related post.