Thursday, December 31, 2009

Charlie Sheen And Brooke Mueller To Face The Wrath Of Child Protective Services?

Should it really surprise us when Hollywood bad boys get in trouble? Why is it even news? Domestic violence is a serious problem. But why is it headline news? Don't we have more news worthy topics to place on page one? Apparently not. So what is Charlie Sheen's defense? It may be just that, "self defense." The old, "yeah I was wrong but so were you" argument. So is it surprising that the old attack the victim routine is being employed? has paraphrased Sheen's wife, Brooke Mueller's criminal history from Florida. If accurate, it's not pretty. Mueller has apparently been arrested twice: once for DUI and damage to property in 1996 and once for possession of cocaine, a 3rd degree felony, in 2001. But why are these relevant to her Christmas Day altercation with Charlie Sheen? Normally, they would not be important. However, since the altercation, Brooke's past is being looked into by the Los Angeles County's Department of Children and Family Services who wants to determine if the couple are fit parents.
Sheen's history of domestic violence and substance abuse along with Mueller's alleged problems with alcohol and drugs may lead a court to determine that the couple are unfit parents. Will their children be temporarily placed with a guardian? Possibly. Nine-month-old twin boys, Max and Bob, would be welcomed by almost any foster parents. In the mean time, expect Charlie and Sheen to be asked to submit to regular drug testing. Sheen is accused of using a weapon in an alleged case of domestic violence against his wife. The couple had allegedly been drinking heavily before the incident. Sheen spent part of Christmas Day in a Colorado jail. He was released on Friday and has yet to be formally charged. Sheen posted $8,500 bond. Prosecutors ultimately will decide if formal charges will be pursued. Possible charges may include second-degree assault, a felony, and criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. Charlie Sheen has denied all allegations.
(Sheen apparently said that the couple exchanged heated yelling and hit each other's arms but there was no other physical contact or threats.)

Charlie Sheen Domestic Abuse Case
Sheen, Mueller Could Lose Boys

Will social services take the couples kids? If this were not a famous couple, what would be the protocol? When this happens to our neighbors, it rarely makes the news. When it happens to celebrities, it is headline news. Should there really be such a disparity in how the news media handles such cases?
Note: Even in Brooke's mug shot and Charlies mug shot, the couple still demonstrates their photogenic ways... As always, all suspects are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Update 1-19-11: Charlie Sheen got into trouble at his hotel: LINK. He broke up with his wife but now it looks like deja vu. Charlie and estranged wife Brooke Mueller are reportedly discussing getting back together. The Palm Beach Post.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab May Illustrate Why One Should Not Jump To Conclusions About The Relationship Between Education And Extremism.

A recent conversation about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab may illustrate why we can't jump to conclusions as to why terrorism occurs or how we should stop future attacks.

Patron 1: If we could educate third world terrorists as to the American way, terrorism would disappear.
Patron 2: You, my friend, are a naive Christian who wishes for things that are not likely to ever occur.

Patron 1: Why do you say that?
Patron 2: Take the recent example of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. He was born to an upper class Nigerian family. Abdulmutallab received the best schooling, from the elite British International School in West Africa and the University College London. But with the advanced education, his interest in extremist Islam apparently grew to the point that his father tried to warn U.S. authorities.

Patron 1: Is that the guy who tried to blow up a plane in Detroit?
Patron 2: Indeed. He attempted to blow it up on Christmas Day.

Patron 1: What more do you know of his background?
Patron 2: He apparently told U.S. officials that he learned about extremist Islam in Yemen. He apparently is the son of a prominent banker. At some point he became estranged from his family. However, in his youth, he was a well behaved adolescent with no foreshadowing that he would turn radical.

Patron 1: What exactly are the charges?
Patron 2: Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to detonate an explosive device aboard a Northwest Airline jet as it approached Detroit. There were 278 passengers and 11 crew members on board. This could lead to hundreds of attempted murder charges as well as general charges of terrorism.

Patron 1: How was the tragedy avoided?
Patron 2: Well, I have always said that post 911, Americans aren't going to sit down and take terrorism peacefully. When the detonator on his explosive apparently malfunctioned, passengers took matters into their own hands and physically restrained him.

Patron 1: It's good to see folks not passively becoming sacrificial lambs. Where is the so called terrorist now?
Patron 2: He was initially taken to a hospital for treatment of burns. Than he was taken to prison in Milan, Michigan.

Patron 1: What has been the family reaction?
Patron 2: His father issued a statement that they were shocked and appeared genuinely sorry for his son's actions.

Patron 1: How can future terrorism be avoided.
Patron 2: The first thing is that authorities and officials need to keep an open mind as to causes of terrorism and as to possible preventative measures. In other words, time to start thinking outside of the box as to causes, origins and solutions. Give up the stereotype that terrorism and extremist views are as a result of lack of education. Second, airport security measures post 911 are a good start. They probably need to get even stricter. As for the public, they need to stop complaining about the security delays and realize that it is for the greater good. Third, rather than ostracize all who practice Islam, reward those who have nonradical views and allow them to gain favor among their followers.

Patron 1: So what you are saying, I better leave even earlier for my flight next week?

Patron 2: Yup, that is what I am saying...

Keep in mind, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Enjoy the Holidays.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Was Santa Assaulted By Tricia Kennely?

In a year where serious crime has statistically resided, the headlines continue to prove that crime on the holidays still exists. A 19 year old woman, allegedly identified as Tricia Kennely by the WRTV website, was arrested on Monday for assaulting an Indianapolis Santa Claus and for public intoxication. Two of her acquaintances were also held on public intoxication charges. All three were also apparently charged with possession of alcohol by a minor.
The alleged assault took place at the Pennsylvania Street plaza outside Conseco Fieldhouse before the Milwaukee Bucks-Indiana Pacers game. Marion County Dispatch.

The woman apparently took a picture of Santa, then ripped the beard off Santa's face.
One can imagine that had to hurt. Santa said the woman appeared inebriated. Apparently police discovered a bottle of vodka hidden under her shirt. Tricia was arrested for misdemeanor battery. Two others, a 19-year-old man from Indianapolis and an 18-year-old woman from Zionsville, were also arrested on alcohol charges. There was no report of any injury to the reindeer. Santa is now safe and under the protection of his body guard pictured above.
Happy Holidays.
Keep in mind, all three of those arrested are to be presumed innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Young Boy Struggles In His First Encounter With Beaver ~by Jester

Back in my day, young boys dreamed about their first encounter with beaver. Dads had talks with their son about it. (Something about the threshold of becoming a man.) Mothers warned their sons to be careful around beaver. Movies with Sharon Stone teased males with it. But actual encounters were hard to come by. Boy, have times changed. A recent headline revealed that a beaver had attacked a young child.
The Oklahoma State Health Department is is now testing a 60 lb beaver for rabies after an animal bit a young lad in Durant. The boy's leg was apparently gnawed on pretty bad. (A potential role reversal from what I originally thought from the headline.) This actual animal attack was no laughing matter. Fortunately, the boy was treated and released from a local hospital.

Now, even in my day, some boys liked the hunt. But the 60-pound beaver was too big for this 42-pound lad. And real life animal attacks are serious business. The good news is that rabies in beavers is rare. Now, in my day you could catch a lot of other things, but generally we had so little actual encounters, who would have possibly known for sure...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Be Careful Whose Car You Hit With A Snowball ~by Surfer Dude

Hitting cars with snowballs could be hazardous to your health. A massive snowball fight occurred in Washington and at least one cop apparently didn't like it. Now, Washington police are investigating whether an off-duty officer drew his gun in the midst of a snowball fight. It may be hard to make too many conclusions. Apparently, a couple hundred people were involved in the snowball fight. A video from a local media outlet failed to show the officer with his weapon drawn. However, "additional images and statements that would seem to support the allegation that the off-duty member did pull a gun" have apparently surfaced.

About 200 people from a D.C. neighborhood participated in the massive snowball fight. CNN Video The overwhelming sentiment that the fight was a good time for all until the gun came out. Apparently, an off-duty, plainclothes officer was driving in the area of the snowball fight when several snowballs hit his vehicle. Allegedly, the officer exited the vehicle and yelled at the crowd. Some say, the officer than drew his gun. A uniformed police officer subsequently arrived was holding a gun at his hip, but he returned it to his holster apparently after realizing the plainclothes officer was the one who had allegedly drawn a gun. The official police statement is that, "there is no evidence that [officers] pointed any weapons in the direction of the crowd or at any individuals."

Okay. Moral of the story: hit other folks with the snowballs, not cars. Folks tend to be over protective of their vehicles. Imagine... we don't have these problems at the beach.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Linda Kaiser Uses Cheyenne's Death To Advocate For Product Recall

Product reform is often fueled by product liability litigation. Yet, at other times, the moving force is the tireless effort of a parent. Linda Kaiser is such a parent. Her 1-year-old daughter, Cheyenne, pulled the cord off a window shade and strangled herself seven years ago. After seven years of lobbying, on December 15, 2009, there was a national recall of millions of shades and blinds similar to the one involved with Cheyenne's death. Mother's Crusade

Cheyenne apparently died when she caught her neck in the cord of a window shade. Since her daughters death, Linda has fought to eliminate exposed blind cords. Linda Kaiser, of Elgin, Ill., was a typical mom. She worked as a dental assistant who stayed home to care for her three children. Seven years after Cheyenne's unexpected death, Linda runs the national grassroots organization, Parents for Window Blind Safety." Her efforts culminated in the national recall by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The recall was supported by Window Covering Safety Council, includes products from some of the largest retailers in the country. The Wall Street Journal.

About 5 Million Roman shades and about 3 million roll-up blinds are sold each year. Many parents know to tie up the pull cords. But cords that run along the back of the shades are easy to pull away from the fabric. Apparently, since 1991, the federal agency has received reports of more than 200 children dying from window shade pull cords, many of which may have involved death from exposed back cords.

Child-proof outlet covers, safely stored medications, and tied up the shade cords are all good safety precautions when it comes to kids. But sometimes, it simply is not enough. The world needs more safety advocates like Linda Kaiser. Legal Pub salutes, Linda Kaiser, a true advocate for consumer safety.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Susan Powell Is Missing And Josh Powell Hires An Attorney. Unusual In A Post O.J. World? Update 2-6-12

Susan Powell is missing. So what does her husband do? He hires an attorney. Now, don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are attorneys. And the legal profession has felt the recession just like any other industry; however, does every spouse of a missing person really need an attorney? Apparently so. Josh Powell, husband of a 28-year-old Susan Powell, has hired defense attorney Scott Williams to represent him. Susan went missing a week ago while Josh and his boys were on a "boys outing." Apparently, Susan left the house without taking her purse or cell phone. It can happen, right?

Salt Lake City defense attorney Scott Williams is well respected in his field. Williams has represented high-profile defendants in criminal cases. His clients have included Wanda Eileen Barzee, who has pleaded guilty to federal charges in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, and Christopher Jeppson, one of two men charged in the 1995 murder of Kiplyn Davis. Consequently, Josh is probably getting some real good advice.

Susan Powell's father, Charles Cox, sounded like a voice of reason on "The Early Show" when he told the audience that he didn't think his son-in-law would do anything to hurt his daughter. Yet, the public suspicion lingers. Josh Powell apparently told police that he left his wife and took his boys, ages 2 and 4, on a camping trip around 12:30 a.m. Dec. 7. Not only is that a peculiar departure time for a boys night out, but it was also subfreezing weather. (Now before you jump to conclusions, I know of an attorney who takes his boyscout sons camping in subfreezing weather. So that in and of itself may not be completely bizarre. Yet timing is everything in this world.) Cox correctly cautioned against focusing too much on Josh Powell so early in the investigation. "I just don't want to focus on him exclusively when actually there might be another explanation."
Without jumping to any conclusion, it is difficult to discount the possibility of foul play. Susan did not reported to work on Dec. 7. The absence from work coupled with her failure to take her cell phone or purse, seems to be consistent with foul play. When asked about his whereabouts, Josh Powell apparently told police that he and his children slept in a van. He apparently said that he returned home about 5 p.m. and his wife was missing. Susan Powell?

Mean while, investigators in Utah are searching for Susan. Authorities have labeled the case as "highly suspicious." Police broke into the Powell home because it was locked. (It's unclear what time they entered the home.) Police allegedly found no signs of forced entry. However, police apparently found a wet spot in the house being dried by two fans. Top Stories (Perhaps the couple had a dog? If not, we all know how clumsy children can be. Let's not assume the worst when there is so little evidence to consider.) Ever since the days of O.J., the husband or ex husband is always an early target of investigators. But let's hope they wait for the facts to develop before lives are forever ruined.

Keep in mind all suspects are innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.



Update 2-6-12: The saga ends in tragedy, which is too often the case. Josh Powell apparently took his own life and the lives of his two sons,
"I'm sorry. Goodbye." A few minutes later, a social worker came by with his children fro a visit. Powell grabbed the kids and pushed the social worker out of the house. Several seconds later, the house went up in flames.

Why? Powell was involved in a bitter custody battle with Susan's parents. Last week, a Washington judge denied Powell custody of his two sons and ordered him to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation. Powell's fitness as a father has been questioned since the disappearance of his wife, Susan Cox Powell,in December, 2009. Powell denied any involvement in her disappearance. CBS News

Monday, December 14, 2009

Did Soange Magnano Die As A Result Of Complications From A Cosmetic Surgery?

When does the price for beauty become too high? No, the use of steroids for narcistic purposes has been discussed ad nausea. Rather, this concerns cosmetic surgery. By all accounts, Solange Magnano was an Argentine beauty. If fact she was an Argentine beauty queen. But something happened along the way. Solange Magnano began to grow old. She allegedly approached Dr. Guillermo Blugerman in 2004 about liposuction. He performed the procedure; however, when she returned five years later requesting silicone injections for a butt lift, he said no. (This procedure is not legal in Argentina or the U.S.)

It is likely that Magnano shopped around until she found someone who could give her the injections. Unfortunately, the former Miss Argentina died November 29, 2009 from an apparent pulmonary embolism. (Blood clot to the lungs.) Embolisms can occur as a complications of silicone injections or after any surgery. While we don't know if Magnano ever received any silicone injections, speculation runs rampant. Solange Magnano's Death

Seek out unapproved medical procedures at your own peril warns one patron. Another says, let the individual decide what risks are worth taking. Still another says, how else are you going to catch the eye of a politician or a golfer unless you take risks. For medical advice, try American Society of Plastic Surgeons or Food and Drug Administration.

Statistics reveal that for every 100,000 liposuction procedures in the United States, there are between three and 100 deaths. Food and Drug Administration. In the big scheme of things, that is not a very big risk. The key is to have a good and frank discussion with your physician. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. You can check a facilities credentials by consulting
the Joint Commission or the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. But the biggest criteria is "look yourself in the mirror and ask, do I really need this?"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Elizabeth Espinal Wants To Hit Spammers Where It Counts, In The Pocketbook!

Can you blame her? After all, unless you have an unlimited plan, text messages cost money. They can also be disruptive and annoying. So why the outrage when Elizbeth Espinal sues Burger King? Espinal filed a lawsuit against Burger King in April alleging that Burger King flooded her cell phone with annoying spam text messages. Miami New Times.

Elizabeth Espinal claims that she started receiving the annoying texts in April 2008. The plaintiff alleges "actual harm" and requests $5 million in compensation. Therein lies the rub. While most of us support stopping spam of any nature, the amount of money sought seems a bit high. One of the texts allegedly read: "Kick it up a notch with a loaded steakhouse burger. Try one today at BK." Another said, "Stop by BK for a refreshing Mocha BK Joe Iced Coffee. A perfect mix of rich coffee and chocolate syrup." Granted, not real offensive messages. However, spam flooding e-mail inboxes, text messages and blogs is getting out of hand. Something needs to be done to ground the spammers.

Rather than filing a million lawsuits, Legal Pub suggests that the consumer begin by signing up for a do-not-call list. You can also call your cell phone service provider and ask to block any number which provides spam. And perhaps most of all, don't provide fast-food chains or other advertisers your cell number. For more, read The Miami New Times.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chilling Warning About the Possible Danger From Old Tires ~by Doc

Warning! Check the age of your tires. Old tires may be hazardous to your health. When you buy a tire, ask the retailer for the date of manufacture. The tire is coded so as to reveal it's date of manufacture. Several accidents may have occurred because of the tread separating on old tires. While you may think your tires are new, the actual date of manufacture may be shocking! The British consumer is entitled to strict disclosure of the manufacture date. Not so here in the U.S.

Watch ABC for a chilling reality check: LINK

Monday, December 7, 2009

Do Kenneth Biros and Romell Broom Deserve Better?

One could say Kenneth Biros (pictured on the left) is on the cutting edge. After all, his execution may make history. Biros could become the first person in the United States to be executed with a single dose of an intravenous anesthetic if his execution proceeds on Tuesday. Proponents argue that such an injection eliminates unnecessary suffering. California and Tennessee previously rejected the one-drug approach; however, this is Ohio which is known for being progressive. Still, those planning to block the injection argue that this has never been used on an inmate in the United States.

Why the controversy? If this injection is used, Biros will likely die more slowly than inmates put to death with the traditional three-drug method. In essence, a lethal injection of thiopental sodium kills by putting people so deeply asleep that they stop breathing. (Sound like Michael Jackson? LINK.) The down side is that it takes longer for the injected person to die. How much longer? In theory about 7 to 15 minutes longer. Currently, Ohio inmates take about seven minutes to die after the three-drug IV injection, which combines thiopental sodium with the drugs pancuronium bromide (paralyzes muscles) and potassium chloride (causes cardiac arrest).

Why the switch in technique? The switch from three drugs to one was ordered last month because Ohio's failed attempt on Sept. 15 to execute convicted rapist and killer Romell Broom (pictured above on the right.) Executioners unsuccessfully tried to find a usable vein for injection for two hours. They hit bone and tried 18 needle sticks. Gov. Ted Strickland subsequently halted the execution. Broom, 53, is appealing any attempt by Ohio to execute him again. Ohio has executed 32 men by injection since 1999. Three of the cases involved complications. In 2006, executioners needed over sixty minutes to end Joseph Clark's life. Similarly, in 2007, executioners struggled for several minutes to find a suitable vein for Chistopher Newton's execution. Then it took Newton 15 minutes to die.

Why should Biros be executed? Biros, 51, killed 22-year-old Tami Engstrom near Warren, Ohio in 1991. He had driven her home from a bar. After killing her, he scattered her body parts in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
What are other states doing? Thirty six states have the death penalty. All use some form of lethal injection. Thirty five states use the three-drug method. Nebraska hasn't finalized their injection procedure. Euorpean euthanasia typically utilizes thiopental sodium and pancuronium bromide. Do those sentenced to death deserve the same humanity? The State of Ohio apparently says yes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Maurice Clemmons Demonstrates Reform Just Does Not Work?

There is at least one American golfer that has to be relieved that someone else is hogging the headlines. That some one is Maurice Clemmons. Nine years ago, Clemmons proclaimed that he could change. He wrote in his clemency application, "I come from a very good Christian family and I was raised much better than my actions speak... I'm still ashamed to this day for the shame my stupid involvement in these crimes brought upon my family's name." Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee believed in the 27 year-old Clemmons back in 2000. After all, Clemmons had spent 11 years in an Arkansas prison, convicted of offenses including robbery, burglary, theft and taking a gun to school. Potentially spending 95-years in prison just seemed to harsh for someone demonstrating such remorse.

Who would have thought that nearly a decade later Clemmons would be the subject of an intense manhunt? Was it foreseeable that he would become the prime suspect for the deaths of four Lakewood, Washington, police officers? The officers were gunned down in a coffee shop. Investigators tracked Clemmons to a Seattle home, but he some how eluded police.

Huckabee is now the center of blame for commuting Clemmons' sentence in 2000. Monday night quarterbacks always come out of the woodwork. "It was not something I was pleased with at the time," said Larry Jegley, who prosecuted Clemmons for aggravated robbery and other charges in Pulaski County, Arkansas. But was the commuting the wrong thing to do?

In 1989, Clemmons demonstrated violent behavior. Clemmons apparently hid a piece of metal in his sock at a pretrial hearing. In another instance, before the start of a hearing he grabbed a padlock off his holding cell and threw it at a court bailiff. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that Clemmons was arrested for aggravated robbery and theft and taken back to prison on a parole violation in 2001. Clemmons was not served with the new arrest warrants for the robbery and theft charges until he was paroled three years later in 2004. Consequently, the charges were dismissed because too much time had passed. Huckabee claims that Clemmons' commutation was based on the recommendation of the parole board that determined that he met the conditions for early release. Clemency documents

Clemmons was shot and killed when the police finally caught up to him. Now, only his maker can grant a pardon.
12-03-09 Update: Darcus Allen, 38, the convicted murderer who allegedly drove Maurice Clemmons away from the coffee shop waited in the getaway truck while Clemmons committed the crimes. Allen did time with Clemmons in an Arkansas prison. Allen has pleaded not guilty and is held without bail. Possible additional charges may include criminal assistance charges.
Keep in mind that all suspects are to be presumed innocent!
12-04-09 Update: Seattle police officer Benjamin L. Kelly is considered a hero by most. Like Sherrif Pat Garrett (he killed Billy The Kid) Kelly single-handedly shot and killed Clemmons. The man who allegedly killed four Pierce County officers was stopped in his tracks.
Update 12-10-09: Latanya Clemmons was the seventh person charged in connection with the November 29 police killings and manhunt for Maurice Clemmons. Latanya Clemmons, Maurice's sister, was charged Wednesday with rendering criminal assistance, according to Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Is Tiger Woods Really Human Or Does The Press Have Tiger By The Tail (He Has Been Allegedly Getting?)

Does Tiger Woods have a right to privacy? If not, how far may the police and the public intrude? In perhaps the poorest kept secret in the universe, Florida State police have announced that they will continue investigate Tiger Wood's single-vehicle crash. On Sunday, Woods canceled his meeting with police investigators who want to know his side of what happened early Friday. What we do know is that Tiger pulled out of his driveway in his Orlando neighborhood about 2:25 a.m. Tiger was driving a 2009 Cadillac SUV that struck a fire hydrant, and then crashed into a tree. While the injuries were first reported as serious, it turns out that they were relatively minor.
Tiger's web site offered no details of his wreck except to say he had cuts, bruises and was "pretty sore." Woods went on to say, "This situation is my fault, and it's obviously embarrassing to my family and me... "I'm human and I'm not perfect. I will certainly make sure this doesn't happen again." TIGER WEBSITE. Tiger's statements have only further fueled the rumors started by the National Enquirer which last week alleged that Woods has been seeing a New York nightclub hostess. The Associated Press contacted the woman and she apparently denied having an affair with Woods.

Why does it seem like so many successful African Americans are targeted by the press and public? No one can deny Wood's domination on the greens. The 33-year-old has won the Masters tournament and the PGA tournament each four times. He has also won three U.S. Open Championships. Off the greens, the rumors continue to accumulate like Woods acculades.
An initial police report indicated that the wreck was not alcohol-related. But Woods has three times cancelled interviews with State troopers.

Agent Mark Steinberg has stated, "We have been informed by the Florida Highway Patrol that further discussion with them is both voluntary and optional... Although Tiger realizes that there is a great deal of public curiosity, it has been conveyed to FHP that he simply has nothing more to add and wishes to protect the privacy of his family." Under Florida law, Steinberg is apparently well grounded in his remarks. Under Florida law, Woods must show his license, registration and proof of insurance to police; however, he is not obligated to give a statement on the crash. Wood's attorney Mark NeJame handed over the required documents to the troopers Sunday at Woods' home. Woods is only human

Police requested any surveillance tapes of the accident from neighbors, but none were apparently given to police. Wood's wife broke out the windshield with a golf club. Rather than spin this as domestic violence, Woods instead praised his wife Elin Nordegren. According to Woods, she "acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble." Nordegren apparently told police that she used a golf club to break out the rear window of the vehicle, then pulled Woods from the SUV. She has also been quoted as saying, "This is a private matter, and I want to keep it that way." Wood's final statement on the matter is that "...The only person responsible for the accident is me."

So why can't the public just let Tiger be? Afterall, Woods and his wife have two children, a 2-year-old and a nine month old. Is it really our business what really happened? Whether Tiger plays in this week's Chevron World Challenge in California ought to be secondary to his health and his family's happiness. While the tournament raises money for Tiger Woods Foundation programs, some times charity needs to start in the home. It might just be because Tiger is hiding some deep down dark secrets....
Update 12-7-09: Apparently Tiger has been spreading more than just holiday cheer. Perhaps as many as 7 women claim to have had extramarital affairs with Tiger. Last week's three. So many possible mistresses, so little time. How could any one do it? Well, he is Tiger... So who are the potential mistresses? Jamie Jungers is a 26 year old waitress and aspiring model. Tiger may have been getting with her for 18 months. Daily Mirror. Mindy Lawton is apparently a 36 year old manager at Perkins Restaurant. She has allegedly had Tiger's attention for about a year. News of the World. (Not so sure how credible this one, folks.)
Cori Rist is a 31 year old MILF who has allegedly known Tiger for six months. NY Daily News. Tiger may have transported her to various destination on the PGA tour as a good luck charm. Rist has a 7-year-old son. Proof of this one is sketchy at best. Holly Sampson is a 36 year old actress who has apparently appeared in soft porn. While questionable, the Daily Mail referred to her as a potential Tiger mistress. Some of her body of works include: 'Flying Solo 2,' 'Diary of a Horny Housewife,' 'Descent Into Bondage. ' Some how I am guessing that this lady has never been with Tiger.
Kalika Moquin is a Vegas Nightclub Marketing Manager. She allegedly has known Tiger for a few months. Life & Style. Did Tiger hook up with her a few times because he was not happy with his marriage? Life and Style elude to a hookup as recently as Oct. 23. Jaimee Grubbs is a 24 year old cocktail waitress and reality star. She may have had the tiger by the tail for over two years. Us Weekly exclusive. Grubbs was recently on VH1's 'Tool Academy' . She claims to have voice mails and text messages from Tiger. Us has one of the voice mails, in which Tiger allegedly tells Grubbs: "I need you to do me a huge favor. Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and may be calling you." With any voicemail evidence, Tiger may have a difficult time shedding these accusations.
Rachel Uchitel is a 34 year old club promoter. She has denied all reports of a fling with Tiger. Days before the accident, the National Enquirer alleged that Uchitel and Tiger were more than buddies. RadarOnline, took it a step further in their allegations concerning a rendezvous in Australia. Woods paid for Uchitel? Maybe it was just a coincidence. According to TMZ, Tiger's wife called Rachel on the night of his crash. Tiger may have some explaining to do on this one...

Elin Nordegren is Tiger's 29 year old, gorgious, wife. If she has not "gotten with him" much since their marriage in 2004, is that any excuse for infidelity? Elin has yet to speak publicly about her estranged marriage or the alleged affairs. One hopes for the kids that all of these allegations of infidelity are unfounded. Even if some are true, for the sake of the kids let's hope things work out. If not, maybe Tiger can star in a reality show to replace John and Kate...
Update 12-8-09: Tiger Woods apparently offered a post nuptial agreement which would pay his wife $80 million dollars to stay with him for another 7 years. But that may not be enough... Reports of a 911 run to the Woods home this morning may be consistent with Ms. Woods not feeling real good about the whole situation... While it was Tiger's mother in law that went to the hospital, one has the feeling that she is not the only one with a sick feeling in the stomach at that residence...
Update 4-23-10: Tiger is now the subject of "Tiger Woods Affair Tour 2010," a raunchy, sexually explicit video game. The creators describe the game as a mixture of "Grand Theft Auto" and "South Park."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Treat ~by T. Jethro

One day an Irishman, who had been stranded on a deserted island for over 10 years, saw a speck on the horizon. He thought to himself, "It's certainly not a ship" As the speck got closer and closer, he began to rule out even the possibilities of a small boat or a raft. Suddenly there strode from the surf a figure clad in a black wet suit.Putting aside the scuba tanks and mask and zipping down the top of the wetsuit stood a drop-dead gorgeous blond!

She walked up to the stunned Irishman and said to him, "Tell me, how long has it been since you've had a good cigar?" "Ten years," replied the amazed Irishman. With that, she reached over and unzipped a waterproof pocket on the left sleeve of her wet suit and pulled out a fresh package of cigars and a lighter. He took a cigar, slowly lit it, and took a long drag. "Faith and begorrah,"said the castaway, "that is so good! I'd almost forgotten how great a smoke can be!"

"And how long has it been since you've had a drop of good Bushmill's Irish Whiskey?" asked the blond. Trembling, the castaway replied, "Ten years." Hearing that, the blonde reached over to her right sleeve, unzipped a pocket and removed a flask and handed it to him. He opened the flask and took a long drink. " 'Tis nectar of the gods!"shouted the Irishman. " 'Tis truly fantastic!!!"

At this point the gorgeous blond started to slowly unzip the long front of her wet suit, right down the middle. She looked at the trembling man and asked, "And how long has it been since you played around?" With tears in his eyes, the Irishman fell to his knees and sobbed, "Jesus,Mary and Joseph! Don't tell me that you've got golf clubs in there too!"

Happy Thanksgiving!

T Jethro

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No Need For Chinese Walls When It Comes To Chinese Drywall

Here is a Thanksgiving practice building tip to all the hungry attorneys looking for work. It can be summed up in two words: "Chinese Drywall." The federal government has provided ammunition for plaintiffs hoping to link Chinese drywall to the toxic effects reported by thousands of U.S. homeowners. Air sampling has provided a strong link came from an analysis conducted inside dozens of homes containing drywall made in China. The Consumer Product Safety Commission executive summary of the study provided poster board quotes for use at trial when it stated: "While the study of 51 homes detected hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde ... at concentrations below irritant levels, it is possible that the additive or synergistic effects of these and other compounds in the subject homes could cause irritant effects."

Two other preliminary studies found copper sulfide corrosion in metal components taken from homes containing the Chinese drywall. Chinese drywall was imported from 2005 through 2007 during a housing boom following two active hurricane seasons. It was a time when demand created a shortage of building materials in the southern United States. Shortly thereafter, the product safety agency was bombarded by almost 2,100 complaints from over 32 states. The most complaints arose in Florida, Louisiana and Virginia. However, complaints by homeowners of a rotten-egg smell, sickness, failed appliances, and corroded wires and pipes has occured in 32 states in some form or another. In some cases, the problem was so bad that residents had to move out of their homes. Air studies of 41 houses containing Chinese drywall were compared to 10 homes in the same geographical areas whose homeowners had not complained. Jack McCarthy, president of Environmental Health & Engineering Inc., carried out the study.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Senator Bill Nelson

Investigators discovered that materials such as copper pipes and wires were checked for corrosion. Silver strips were left in the home for two weeks and then examined for corrosion.
In the 41 homes containing Chinese Drywall, there was a "strong association" between the high levels of hydrogen sulfide and the corrosion of the metals... "Temperature, humidity and air-exchange rates also appear to be contributing factors, " according to Jack McCarthy. Note that higher moisture and temperature levels and lower air-exchange rates were connected with more advanced corrosion. Formaldehyde was also found in both complaint and noncomplaint homes. McCarthy also added, "... we can say that the levels of the pollutants we found, particularly the hydrogen sulfide and formaldehyde, could possibly contribute to some of the health problems that have been reported to the CPSC."

The challenge to plaintiff's counsel is to identify homes with the corrosive materials. The government will help as Scott Wolfson, the product safety agency's director of information and public affairs, has publically acknowledged that the investigation into this matter will be the largest in the agency's history.

Even though none of the offending drywall entered the United States this year, how much of the contaminated drywall board had been stocked in warehouses across the country? The number of contaminated homes has been reported as high as 100,000 homes. While the studies help, more work has to be done to prove the causal association between Chinese Drywall and the ill effects. But it looks promising for plaintiffs counsel.

When will the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] say whether Chinese Drywall is harmful to people's health? Common sense suggests they should act now. But when has common sense ever been the strong suit of the government?
Update 6-21-10: A horrible experience with this litigation? LINK.
Update 6-22-10: Legal Pub gave this practice building tip well in advance! Is this the first to cash in on a trend? A Miami jury has awarded $2.5 million to a family whose home was ruined by defective Chinese drywall. Armin and Lisa Seifart sued Banner Supply after Chinese drywall corroded copper pipes, fixtures, and ruined their air conditioner. It also made their home smell. Banner allegedly received complaints about the defective drywall years ago and could have prevented such building materials from being used. See: Miami Herald

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Encourages Counseling For Parents of 8 Year old Rape Victim

Back in July, Legal Pub carried a tragic story which illustrated a clash between culture and the law as it pertained to the victim's parent's reaction to the crime. As you may recall, an 8-year-old Liberian girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by four boys when she was lured into a storage shed and forceably raped. (The oldest boy was 14 years old.) At that time of the crime, the parents had felt shamed by their daughter and blamed her for being victimized. The parents did not want the matter prosecuted. Now, in a not unexpected turn of events, the girls parents are now themselves arrested for alleged child abuse. The father, 59, and mother, 47, were arrested in Phoenix and charged with seven counts of child abuse.

This article is not to infer that the parents reaction to the crime was the sole reason for the charges. Afterall, incidents forming the basis of the charges include numerous referrals to Arizona Child Protective Services dating back to 2005. But one can not ignore the possibility that their public comments after the rape served as a catalyst for the charges. But what role does culture play in determining the fairness of these charges? The defendant parents are refugees from the West African nation of Liberia. It is alleged that they used sticks, wires and their fists to disipline their daughter. (Legal Pub has been told that this is not uncommon in the homeland of Liberia. ) Allegedly, the suspect parents also allowed their daughter to wander their apartment complex alone at night, begging for food. KTVK's coverage But on inquiry, one suspects it was within the norm of their homeland to allow children of such age to wander in their villiages in search of handouts of food and clothing.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf commented that the parents' reaction after the rape was wrong and that they needed counseling. (In some parts of Africa, women often are blamed for being raped for enticing men or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Girls who are raped often are shunned by their families. In recent years, Liberia has made efforts to combat rape under Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s leadership.) Given the cultural differences one must wonder if education of the parents concerning our cultural norms is preferable to punishment. Indeed, the filing of formal criminal charges against the parents makes one wonder what cultural counseling these parents will get behind bars if they are convicted?
In the mean time, Child Protective Services have custody of the girl. Prosecutors charged Steven Tuopeh,the 14-year-old Liberian refugee, as an adult. Three other boys — ages 9, 10 and 13 — were charged in juvenile court. Could the victim's parents who are facing charges of child abuse end up joining the alleged perpetrator in jail?
Update 2-5-10: For any further comments on the subject, send your post to

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dustin Reader Suspended For Supporting His NFL Team?

Some times, school authorities lack common sense. That seems to be the case with Ashley Payne (story below) and with Dustin Reader, a young Cincinnati Bengals fan. Dustin Reader was suspended from school on Nov. 9 because of this haircut. Dustin says his hair cut is not offensive nor is it gang related. Justin says his hair cut merely expresses his support for his beloved team. (Incidentally, Cincinnati had a big win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday so the haircut could become even more popular.

School officials in the Ohio city of Hamilton said they prohibit extreme and distracting hairstyles. Seems like school officials simply don't believe in freedom of expression. Shouldn't kids have some rights? Sure, schools need to prohibit outfits advertising gang affiliation. And profanity, certainly that is inappropriate. But a hair cut? Come on, school officials. Get your priorities in order.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Teacher Ashley Payne Experiences Facebook Related Pain?

At what point does a teacher give up the right to have her own life outside of the classroom? That seems to be a question that extends to both sides of the controversy surrounding Ashley Payne. The Facebook account of Payne, a language arts teacher at Apalachee High School in Georgia, launched a controversy concerning the private life of teachers. School administrators questioned the material she posted on her Facebook page which included pictures of her trip to Europe. She also posted comments about a game she plays with friends. (Photos show Ashley holding beer mugs and glasses of wine. The game referred to on her account was apparently "Bitch Bingo.") Payne claims that none of the material was inappropriate. However, she says she was pressured to resign because a parent complained about a picture of her holding a drink in her hand.

Payne is now suing to get her job back. We endorse her right to do so.

Barrow County Schools officials responded to the former high school English teacher's lawsuit by saying that the 24-year-old teacher jumped at the chance to resign after officials told her she could be suspended because of photographs and profanity on her Facebook page. According to school officials, Payne quit before officials could explain the school's disciplinary process or her right to a personnel hearing.
Has their been a violation of the Georgia Fair Dismissal Act? It is clear that no one told her she was entitled to a hearing or that a suspension would not have lasted more than 10 days, according to her attorney, Richard Storrs. However, the schools response is equally clear, "...these disclosures were precluded by Plaintiff's request to resign." It is the school's position that a teacher who resigns is not entitled to a hearing.

School district officials are seeking to dismiss the suit. Payne is seeking compensation for back pay with reinstatement of her job. The rest of us are interested in what if any rights teachers have with regard to their private lives. If a teacher can be disciplined for being photographed with an alcoholic beverage, can they also be disciplined for drinking in public? Is the same true for school officials at the Christmas Party at an administrator's home?
Update 11-16-09: Ashley, if you want to give us an update, please email
Update 12-28-09: An excellent written report is available to the public at LINK. The author, Maureen Downey, theorizes that the anonymous parent of a student never existed. Rather, it was likely a fellow teacher with access to her account that sent the anonymous email complaining of Ms. Payne's facebook page. The link above contains the actual email complaint and the school's response.