The Knucklehead of the Day award

May 6, 2006

Today's winner is the Australian Tax Office. They get today's award for allowing strippers, prostitutes and lap dancers to get tax deductions for sex toys and lingerie.

This is unfair! Murderers should get deductions for bullets. Bank robbers for the pens they use to write hold-up notes. I should be able to bill police when I'm pulled over for a traffic stop. Heck my time is valuable. Time for sarcastic laughter.

The world is truly upside down and for giving further proof of it, The Australian Tax Office is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

SYDNEY, Australia – Prostitutes, strippers and lap dancers can claim tax deductions for adult toys and lingerie, officials said Friday, as the Australian Taxation Office issued a list of deductible items for the sex industry.

Condoms, lubricants, gels and oils are among a myriad of other items that these workers can claim against tax, according to a fact sheet issued on the office's Web site.

While they cannot claim deductions for fitness classes that keep them in shape, the tax office ruled they can claim the cost of dance lessons.

"You can claim the cost of replacing or repairing things like equipment, adult novelties and other apparatus used in your work," the office advises, under a section titled "tools of trade."

"This is just another one of our occupational lists that we put together to help people," a taxation office spokeswoman said on customary condition of anonymity.

The Knucklehead of the Day award

May 5, 2006

Today’s winner is St. Petersburg Times columnist Gina Vivinetto. Vivinetto gets today’s award for putting up a My space page representing herself as Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms. See Ms. Vivinetto doesn’t like Ms. Storms because she opposed giving support to a gay rights parade.

Here is a web cache of the My space page. Also this is Ms. Vivinetto’s blog.

People masquerade as all sorts of things on the internet. Some of them get caught but many don’t. The St. Petersburg Times fired Ms. Vivinetto and correctly so even though this blog wasn’t connected to her work. Vivinetto is supposed to be a professional journalist, this behavior can’t be tolerated.

Gina Vivinetto is today’s Knucklehead of the Day.

St. Petersburg, Florida — The St. Petersburg Times on Thursday night announced the resignation of an arts columnist who admitted to being involved with a fake My Space web site that mocked Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms.Gina Vivinetto wrote for the paper’s free tabloid, Tampa Bay Times. The paper says Vivinetto admitted posting several comments on the phony page that appeared to have been created by Commissioner Storms.Earlier this week Storms asked the county attorney to have My Space remove the page after reading comments that attacked her stand against government recognition of gay pride.

In a brief article to readers, Times Executive Editor Neil Brown said, “Sadly, Gina’s actions irreparably compromised her credibility as a journalist for our company.”

The article says Brown contacted Storms on Thursday to “inform her of the developments.”

The Knucklehead of the Day award

May 4, 2006

Today's winner is Abraham Alexander. Mr. Alexander was an accountant for the Cardiovascular Research Foundation. This week he was was sentenced to 2 to 6 years in jail for embezzling almost a quarter million in research funds. What did Alexander do with ill gotten gains? He bought the services of a dominatrix.

I'd horsewhip this man even if I don't have a horse(Apologies to Groucho Marx). Alexander is getting off light in my opinion. The damage he did is more than the money he stole, it certainly damaged this charity's reputation.

Abraham Alexander is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

NEW YORK – A charity foundation's former accountant, who admitted embezzling heart disease research funds that he used to pay an Ohio dominatrix to beat him, was sentenced Tuesday to two to six years in prison.Abraham Alexander, 45, of East Meadow, N.Y., pleaded guilty to grand larceny in March. Alexander admitted he stole $237,162 from the Cardiovascular Research Foundation between Nov. 2, 2003, and April 20, 2005.New York Supreme Court Justice Renee White said if Alexander made a timely repayment of at least 50 percent of the money he stole, she would reduce his prison sentence to one to three years.Alexander has been jailed without bail since he was arrested in November. Prosecutors said he used at least $11,000 of the money he stole to pay Through the Looking Glass, an online company run by Columbus-based dominatrix Lady Sage.

Alexander's lawyer, Herschel Katz, said when his client pleaded guilty that Alexander would raise as much of the money as possible by selling his interest in the Long Island house where he lives with his wife, who is divorcing him, and his two children.

The Web site of the dominatrix features numerous photographs of the 43-year-old pain professional in a leather, metal-studded thong and bra, high-heeled lace-up boots, a leather dress and in what appears to be a red latex rubber evening dress. It says she charges $250 an hour and declares: "Professional domination sessions are about good people having great fun."

The Knucklehead of the Day award

May 3, 2006

Today's winner is Kaavya Viswanathan. She gets the award for plagarizing at least two authors work in her book "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life". Yesterday Ms. Viswanathan's publisher cancelled the book deal they had.

Viswanathan is going to Harvard and look dumb she is. Then Harvard has its share of fools like anyone else. Writing takes time and hard work. I write fiction on the internet, and I can speak from experience. An author will put endless hours into their work, and even after publication we'll sometimes kick ourselves for things we did or didn't write. Also we're protective of our works, their like our children. We don't appreciate strangers stealing any of it away from us.

Kaavya Viswanathan is today's Knucklehead of the day.

NEW YORK – A Harvard University sophomore's debut novel has been permanently withdrawn by the book's publisher and her two-book deal canceled after allegations of literary borrowing piled up against her.Little, Brown and Co. will not publish a revised edition of Kaavya Viswanathan's "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life" nor will it publish a second book, Michael Pietsch, Little, Brown's senior vice president and publisher, said in a statement Tuesday.

Little, Brown, which had initially said the book would be revised, declined to comment on whether Viswanathan would have to return her reported six-figure advance.

The decision caps a stunning downfall for Viswanathan, 19, a Harvard sophomore whose novel came out in March to widespread attention. Viswanathan, who was 17 when she signed the deal, did not immediately return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

The novel had modest sales initially, but interest in used editions of the book remains strong enough that it was the No. 58 seller on Amazon.com on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, The Record of Bergen County said that it will review the news articles Viswanathan wrote for the 180,000-circulation daily paper in northern New Jersey while an intern in 2003 and 2004.

Editor Frank Scandale said The Record, which has written several of its own articles about the plagiarism allegations, will hire a service to vet the dozen or so features she wrote while one of about 18 interns at the paper.

"To us she was a bright young kid that seemed to have the makings of a good writer. There were no alarms; nobody had ever questioned any of her stories," he said. "We have no reason to believe there's anything wrong with her copy. But in light of what's going on, we thought we should check her stuff out."

Little, Brown pulled "Opal Mehta" after extensive similarities were discovered to two works by Megan McCafferty, "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings." But until Tuesday, the publisher had not said whether the book would be canceled altogether or simply revised, as originally planned.

The Knucklehead of the Day award

May 2, 2006

Today's winner is the Toronto Argonauts Canadian Football League team. They get today's award for trying to woo suspended Dolphin Running back Ricky Williams to come north of the border to play football.

This is just dumb on several fronts. Williams is suspended and rightly for violating NFL drug policy. Does the Argonauts believe players can take any substances they wish? For what their actions show is they condone drug abuse.

Also there is Williams motivation and character. He retired two years ago just before training camp was to begin. Ricky doesn't care about anyone but himself. I think any football team is insane to want this guy on their roster.

All of this may be irrelevant. Williams can't play in the CFL without the Miami Dolphins' ok. He is still under contract.

The Toronto Argonauts are today's Knucklehead of the day.

The Toronto Argonauts are selling their coach's personality as part of the pitch to lure suspended Dolphins tailback Ricky Williams to the Canadian Football League.

Agent Leigh Steinberg said Monday that he hasn't spoken to Williams about his football future since last week's NFL announcement of a yearlong suspension following a fourth failed drug test. Steinberg, though, said the Argonauts have expressed a "high degree of interest" in signing Williams to play under coach Michael "Pinball" Clemons, who gained a CFL-record 25,396 all-purpose yards as a wide receiver and returner for 12 seasons.

"They seem to have a very dynamic coach," Steinberg said of Clemons. "The ownership appears to be very progressive, and they describe [Clemons] as someone Ricky could bond with and being a very humanistic, player-type coach."

Steinberg said Williams could play in the CFL if the Dolphins signed a waiver. Coach Nick Saban said last weekend he was uncertain whether he would agree to such an arrangement until Williams knows his future plans.

CFL teams begin training camps this month, with Toronto's regular-season opener scheduled for June 17.

The Knucklehead of the Day award

May 1, 2006

Today's winner is Monica Pippin. Five years ago at age 16 Ms. Pippin took place in a wet t-shirt contest. Monica won it, now she is suing Playboy, the hotel and some of the contest's sponsors because she appeared in videos shown by Playboy.

There is plenty of stupidity to go around in this story. Supposedly an underage minor wasn't checked and allowed into this event. On the other hand Ms. Pippin is little better than the event. She took part in it willingly at age 16. A 16-year-old is old enough to know what she is doing and now Monica is claiming embarassment and feeling like a prostitute! What do you expect if you take part in a wet t-shirt contest, showing your breasts for money?

Monica S Pippin is today's Knucklehead of the day.

TAMPA – Five years ago, when Monica S. Pippin was 16, she entered a wet T-shirt contest during spring break at Daytona Beach. The Plant City High School junior exposed her breasts as men doused her with $5 pitchers of water, she said.

She won the $100 grand prize.

Then one day, a neighbor saw Pippin in a Playboy video on cable television and called her parents.

Pippin sued, saying she never consented to be included in Playboy Exposed: All American Girls and Girls Gone Crazy: Spring Break.

"I find it disgusting and embarrassing," Pippin, now 21, said in a sworn statement as part of her 2002 federal lawsuit. "I think it makes me look like some kind of prostitute or porn movie star, almost like I am trying to show my body to the camera, which I was not."

Her lawsuit named Playboy Entertainment, Anheuser-Busch, Deslin Hotels, Best Buy and several other entertainment companies.

Pippin settled with Anheuser-Busch and Playboy earlier this month. She could not be reached for comment, and her attorneys would not disclose details of the agreements.

"Sometimes what happens in your childhood should stay in your childhood," said Arthur Tifford, Pippin's Miami attorney.

Public records show that Pippin comes from a family of east Hillsborough County farmers.

Her case resurfaced in Tampa federal court on Thursday with the ongoing litigation against Deslin Hotels, which operated the Desert Inn Resort Motel where the contest took place, and Daytona Beverages, an Anheuser-Busch distributor.

An attorney for Deslin Hotels tried to persuade a federal judge to drop the hotel chain from the suit.

Robert Bowling, Deslin's attorney, said the company had no role in producing or distributing the videos and did not profit from them.

Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich said she'd rule after further review.

Tifford's law firm filed a similar federal complaint in March 2004 on behalf of four minors who participated in sexually explicit contests during spring break at the same motel. They, too, have been featured in adult material produced and distributed by Playboy, the complaint said.

That case was referred to mediation this week.

Promoters asked whether they were "of age," she said. Pippin said she and others lied about their ages.

Pippin said no one asked for her written permission to include her in adult material.

"I only saw guests of the motel that I believed to be on spring break with personal video cameras," Pippin said in her statement. "I thought I would win the money and never see any of these people again in my life."

Pippin said she felt "uncomfortable" on the stage, allowing men to rub against her as they poured water on her. But she said she decided to do what was "necessary in order to "win' the cash prize."

A licensed clinical social worker wrote that she recommended Pippin call a lawyer because Pippin was a "sexually exploited minor." Pippin's primary care physician wrote that she prescribed antidepressants to Pippin for "mental pain, anguish, anxiety and disturbance of peace of mind … caused by her exploitation."

Pippin went to Daytona Beach with friends whose parents chaperoned. She said the first day she visited the Desert Inn, where some of her high school buddies were staying, the wet T-shirt promoters "accosted" her to participate. She declined, she said.

"I had never seen a wet T-shirt contest before," she said.

She asked if she could watch and said she might reconsider. The next day, she returned and paid the $5 entry fee. She wore bikini bottoms and a T-shirt cut by promoters to expose her breasts. Though alcohol was free, she said she drank none.

The Knucklehead of the Day award

April 30, 2006

Today's winner is funeral home director Jim Bostick. He gets the award for defrauding the family of Marine Jason Sepulveda. Jason was training for going to Iraq at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina when he died in an off-duty car accident.

Read the whole story. Mr. Bostick has seized Jason's savings account and despite a court ordering him to return the money to the Sepulveda family, Bostick hasn't. To top things off Bostick is the mayor of Fort Lupton Colorado. I used to tell a joke that prostitution and politics were the two oldest professions. Both take money for a favor and both want to screw you. Bostick has lived up to the saying, I just think prostitutes are more honest than he is.

For defrauding the family of a dead marine, Jim Bostick is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

FORT LUPTON, Colo. — The mother of a U.S. Marine was grieving for her dead son when she found that his savings account had been claimed by the director of the funeral home.

It was money that he had no right to and despite a court ruling, the funeral director refused to pay. What's even more puzzling is that he's not just any debtor, he's the mayor of the small town and a member of a City Council that has financial responsibility for the city's budget.

7NEWS also found that he has other debts as well, something his constituents may want to know.

Jason Sepulveda, a Marine, was training at Camp Lejune in North Carolina, preparing to go to Iraq, when in an evening off-base, he was killed in a car accident.

"My son died instantly and the other Marine died approximately two weeks after," said Elis Sepulveda, Jason's mother.

His parents, who spoke with him weekly, knew he had been saving his money for a long weekend when they would all be together.

"We were going on vacation for the Fourth of July to visit him," Sepulveda said. "I know he had been sacrificing because they don't get paid very much."

Jason's body was returned to Colorado for burial. Records show that the funeral was paid, in full, by the Marines. But after closing out her son's accounts, Jason's mother realized that the probate court had sent the proceeds of Jason's savings account to the funeral home, which is run by Jim Bostick.

"I called Mr. Bostick and I said, 'Well, the courts sent you my son's savings account.' He just kind of really blew me off a lot," Sepulveda said.

She said he didn't give her any receipts or bills and just kept the money.

In addition to his duties as mayor and member of the Ft. Lupton City Council, Bostick also owns two funeral homes. In his role with the city, he is heavily involved in overseeing the finances of the town.

Sepulveda took Bostick to court over the money he wouldn't return to her family. The judge's order in the case was final.

"She gave damages, interests, court fines, everything, and I assumed that if you go to court that you pay it," Sepulveda said.

But despite the judgment of more than $7,500, Bostick has refused to pay.

When 7NEWS Investigator John Ferrugia confronted Bostick and asked him why he was still holding money from the Sepulvedas, Bostick said, "I'm not holding the money for them. I don't want to be on camera right now."

But Bostick not only owes the Sepulvedas, he owes other people money.

"You've got other judgments out there. Do you want to talk to me about that?" Ferrugia asked Bostick.

"No, I don't," Bostick said.

In fact, court records show Bostick has several current unsatisfied debts to creditors from Greeley to Montana and that doesn't include money he owed when he filed bankruptcy in 2001. He claims he is trying to repay the money.

But Bostick didn't want to talk about the money he owes the Sepulveda family or whether, given his personal financial problems, he should be making fiscal decisions for the town of Fort Lupton.

"I want to know if you think it's appropriate for the mayor who has fiduciary responsibility to owe this kind of money," Ferrugia said.

7NEWS obtained letters written by Bostick to the family, saying that he would settle the debt.

"It got to the point where he would just not accept our phone calls and just say, 'I can't hear you, I can't hear you,'" Sepulveda said.

"You wrote. You said, 'I want to settle this,' and you never have. Why not?" Ferrugia asked Bostick.

"I don't recall ever writing letters to …" Bostick responded. "Well, I don't recall that, no. Right off, I don't recall it."

Finally, using the same double-talk that has frustrated the Marine family, Bostick seemed to make clear he has no intention of settling the claim.

"It will be worked out with them," Bostick said.

The Knucklehead of the Day award

October 18, 2005

Today's winners are Darlene Superville and her employer the Associated Press. Ms. Superville wrote an article on Karl Rove, advisor to President Bush. What revealing information did we learn? The contents of the man's garage!

This is journalism? AP and Darlene Superville get the Knucklehead award because they are both in need of one vital thing. A life! Hat tip- Betsy's Page

10-17) 16:57 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) —

He is "the architect" who steered George W. Bush to victory four times, twice as Texas governor and twice as president.

But can Karl Rove organize his own garage? Can the master of Bush's political planning figure out where to put the ladders, paint cans and cardboard boxes?

Rove's wife, Darby, raised the white garage door one morning last week to show journalists outside the million-dollar brick home that the deputy chief of staff, assistant to the president and senior adviser wasn't home. All the interest came on the eve of his testimony Friday before a grand jury investigating who in the White House might have revealed the identity of a CIA operative.

There was no car in the garage. And the stuff left behind turned out not to be much different from what gathers dust inside most American garages.

The inventory, seen from outside:

_Some cardboard file boxes stacked one on top of the other, labeled "Box 6,""Box 4" and what appears to be "Box 7." No sign of boxes 1, 2, 3 and 5.

_What appear to be paint cans stacked alongside a folded, folding chair.

_A rather large wood crate marked "FRAGILE" and painted with arrows indicating which way is up. On top of the crate, two coolers.

_A tall aluminum ladder.

_A snow shovel leaned in front of another cardboard box.

_Wicker baskets inside of wicker baskets on top of a shelf running the length of the rear wall. Transparent plastic storage bins crammed with indiscernible stuff. Another cardboard box.

_In one corner, the rear wheel of a bicycle sticks out, along with what appears to be a helmet.

_Another ladder, this one green, leaning sideways.

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

October 17, 2005

Today's winners are the five Broward County Commissioners. They are Lois Wexler, Ilene Lieberman, Diana Wasserman-Rubin, Ben Graber and Josephus Eggelletion. They get today's award for their bungling of a $45 Million office complex that among other things has landed the county with a useless run down warehouse they must lease for the next 30 years.

Below is just the beginning of a lengthy Sun-Sentinel article. How much this stupidity will cost Broward County taxpayers in the end is unknown. If Commissioners Wexler, Lieberman, Wasserman-Rubin, Graber and Eggelltion were honorable, they would all resign. It will never happen, no matter. They are all deserving knucklehead winners.

Broward County commissioners trying to explain how a plan for a $45 million office complex got so far off track blame themselves and their staff for an embarrassing lack of leadership that allowed decisions to be made without their approval or taxpayer input."I don't want to be too brutal or too cruel about accountability around here, but this is a rudderless ship," Commissioner Lois Wexler said on Friday. "Things are being moved forward behind the scenes rather than at public meetings."

Commissioner Jim Scott was equally chagrined. "This was a harum-scarum operation," he said.

At issue is an effort started three years ago to find a warehouse, estimated to cost less than $10 million, for Broward County's new voting machinery. It ballooned into a $45 million proposal to build offices and warehouses for the elections supervisor, the property appraiser and county revenue collection division.

The project collapsed when Property Appraiser Lori Parrish opted out of the deal after reports in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Oct. 8 that lobbyists and developers were pushing to have the complex built on land outside of downtown owned by the chairman of the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Agency, Charles Ladd.

Commissioners last week ordered an examination of what happened and plan to discuss what to do next at their meeting on Tuesday.

The county will have to pay $110,000 a year for the next 30 years for a dilapidated warehouse at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport it doesn't want. Parrish and Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes need more room quickly, but most solutions will take more than two years to accomplish.

A central issue on how the deal went astray is the actions of a committee appointed by commissioners to shepherd the warehouse project. That negotiating committee, along with staff, skirted protocol by making major decisions without commission approval or public input.

Records and interviews also reveal that plans to renovate the warehouse chosen for the elections office went on for more than a year even though Snipes disliked them. And work repeatedly stalled amid second-guessing about what to do. That was because of problems with another county office renovation project.

CHAIN OF EVENTS

The commissioners who sat on the negotiating committee for the warehouse project were Wexler, Ilene Lieberman, Diana Wasserman-Rubin, Ben Graber and Josephus Eggelletion. Snipes and three high-ranking county employees were also on the committee.

Although they were tasked with choosing a company to renovate the warehouse leased for Snipes, the group rejected all bids in a committee meeting on June 30.

The final say on such a move should rest with the County Commission. But rather than submitting its recommendation and allowing the full commission to decide what to do next, the committee ordered county staff to research sites where Parrish and Snipes' offices could be housed together.

Minutes of the meeting show the motion came from Eggelletion. He could not be reached for comment despite calls to his office.

Subsequently and without the full commission's agreement, staff narrowed the field to sites owned by Ladd and Tarragon South Development. That's the recommendation that landed on the commissioners' agenda last week and was rejected.

"These were policy decisions and they belonged with the board," Commissioner John Rodstrom said. "This had not been fully cooked, and it's disturbing how it got this far."

The Knucklehead of the Day award

October 16, 2005

Goes to Carole Ketterhagen Executive Director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau or CVB for short. A recent audit showed CVB overpaid an ad agency $330,000 over a three year period.

Does Ms. Ketterhagen admit a mistake? Will the CVA try to recover the money? Want to take a guess at the answer to those questions? The answer is no to both. No Ketterhagen says the CVB disagrees with the audit and won't try to recover taxpayer money.

For thinking taxpayer money is monopoly money, Carole Ketterhagen is today's Knucklehead of the day.

Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Stop the ACLU, Basil's Blog and Political Teen

CLEARWATER – — Pinellas County's tourism department overpaid an advertising agency nearly a half-million dollars that it has no intention of recovering, a critical county audit released Friday said.

The St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau overpaid FKQ Advertising & Marketing about $330,000 between 2002 and 2004 because a service fee paid to the agency was calculated improperly, according to the 24-page audit report released on Friday.

"They included a 15 percent service fee in the base, then calculated the 15 percent service fee" on top of it, said Robert Melton, the chief internal auditor for Pinellas Circuit Court Clerk Ken Burke. "So they were getting paid a service fee on the service fee."

An additional $150,000 was paid to the Clearwater ad agency for services that were ordered and done by CVB staff — not FKQ, the audit states.

The agency also took $5,039 in cash discounts in remitting invoices, but credit was not passed back to the CVB, according to the audit.

Melton attributed the overpayments to sloppy internal controls rather than fraud.

"My understanding is they're not going to try to recover this money," he said.

Carole Ketterhagen, CVB's executive director, said she does not think her department is owed any money by FKQ. County attorneys said it is unlikely Pinellas will ask for money back.


The ad agency's invoices, Ketterhagen said, were paid by the clerk's finance division "as stipulated in the contract." CVB pays the finance division $70,000 annually to provide financial services, she said.


CVB's current contract with another ad agency it hired has been tightened, Ketterhagen said.

"I certainly regret and apologize that this unfortunate situation has arisen," Ketterhagen said in a written statement. "However, we at the Convention & Visitors Bureau work very diligently to ensure that all Tourist Development Tax proceeds are spent legally and economically, and we do not agree with most of the items as presented in the audit."

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

October 15, 2005

Today's winners are Jacksonville police officers M.H. Sirmons and J.D. Mills. They get today's award for chasing Melanie Dawn Williams first to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Jacksonville but for also tackling the 7-month pregnant woman in the hospital emergency room. The officers had pulled over Ms. Williams who was speeding to the hospital fearing she may be losing her baby. The officers claim Melanie never told them she was pregnant. Witnesses at the hospital say otherwise.

What kind of twits have to tackle a pregnant woman? They couldn't tell Ms. Williams was pregnant? Officers Simmons and Mills are going to face internal discipline. They should be suspended with out pay for their knucklehead actions if not fired. Other witnesses say they are lying and to me an officer who lies in the course of his work has no business doing it. Ms. Williams was wrong but Simmons and Mills actions were worse. They could have endangered both mother and child by their stupidity. For that MH Simmons and JD Mills are the Knuckleheads of the Day.

Open Post- Point Five, Political Teen

Two Jacksonville police officers will face internal discipline for chasing a pregnant driver to a hospital and tackling her in the emergency room after she said she told them she was bleeding and heading to get help.

Seven-months pregnant Melanie Dawn Williams was driving herself to St. Vincent's Medical Center on doctor's orders about 7:30 p.m. May 8 after she began bleeding and feared she was having a miscarriage.

One officer told investigators Williams didn't them she was pregnant until after she was handcuffed. The other said she never told them.

But witnesses told investigators they heard Williams saying she was pregnant as police struggled with her in the emergency room of St. Vincent's Medical Center.

Officers M.H. Sirmons and J.D. Mills had pulled Williams' car over at Stockton and Park streets after seeing her driving erratically, according to police records. Sirmons told police Williams, 24, said at the time that she was bleeding, not that she was pregnant. He said she refused his offer to get paramedics to the scene. The officer later told investigators he believed Williams was lying about her medical condition at the time, trying to get out of a ticket.

Police said Williams drove away after a brief encounter during which she handed over her identification, and the officers pursued her in their marked police unit about 40 mph for the one-minute drive to St. Vincent's, according to police documents.

After arriving at the hospital, the woman pulled away from Sirmons and ran inside screaming for help, according to authorities. But the officer took the woman to the floor, dislocating his right shoulder, before Mills helped restrain Williams so they could handcuff her, according to authorities.

Police then took the Jacksonville woman outside to their patrol car, but a nurse came out to check on her and insisted she be taken to the hospital's Labor and Delivery unit, records show.

Police investigators this week sustained a charge of unnecessary force against Sirmons and a charge of improper action against both Sirmons and Mills.

The Knucklehead of the Day award

October 14, 2005

Goes to North Carolina Judge Chester Davis. He was presiding at a trial where a woman Jennifer Lynn Atwood was accused of assaulting her boyfriend. During testimony, the boyfriend Ronald Wayne Childress Jr. changed his testimony against his Ms. Atwood saying he wasn’t assaulted by her. When the trial was over, Ms. Atwood was found guilty and sentenced to four days in jail. Then Judge Davis found Mr. Atwood guilty of contempt of court for lying and sentenced him to four days!

Another out of control knucklehead judge. Where do these idiots come from and why do they think if they wear a robe they are God? This is getting way too common, the victims and innocent getting thrown in jail. Judge Davis was out of line, another judge released Mr. Atwood saying Davis didn’t follow the right procedure. Lets throw Davis in jail now, that would finally send a message to these knuckleheads that they need to serve and protect t he people not their egos.

For being an out of control maniac, Judge Chester Davis is today’s knucklehead of the Day.

Open Post- Political Teen Indepundit, Cao’s Blog and Soldier’s Angel

A judge in Forsyth Superior Court ordered yesterday the release of a man who was jailed for contempt after he didn’t testify against a girlfriend who was accused of assaulting him.
Prosecutors in domestic court had expected Ronald Wayne Childress Jr. to testify Tuesday against his girlfriend, Jennifer Lynn Atwood. However, when Childress took the stand, he testified that Atwood had not assaulted him.

Judge Chester Davis of District Court nonetheless found Atwood guilty of simple assault and sentenced her to four days in jail. Davis then ruled that Childress had lied under oath and sentenced him to four days in jail as well.

Judge William Wood Jr. of Superior Court ruled yesterday that Davis did not follow the proper procedure in sending Childress to jail.

Wood did not try to determine whether Childress actually lied. But he said that a defendant must be given written notice of a contempt finding and be given an opportunity to respond.

There is no record of that happening in the Childress case.

“I feel Mr. Childress should have been given the opportunity to respond,” Wood said. “It’s a procedural matter.”

In the hearing yesterday, prosecutor Eric Saunders cited cases that he says show that a person can be held in criminal contempt and jailed if that person’s testimony is obviously untruthful.

Another witness had testified in domestic court Tuesday that she saw the assault, Saunders said.

Public defender Pete Clary, who sent out a memo in February about “inappropriate” contempt citations, represented Childress at the hearing. He argued that a state statute lists 10 reasons for a person to be held in contempt, and that none of them applied to Childress.

“There are other remedies for this,” Clary said. “Perjury (charges) … or to be called a damned liar.”

Saunders said yesterday that it is unlikely that he will seek a perjury charge against Childress.

The Knucklehead of the Day award

October 13, 2005

Goes to Denver Nuggets basketball player Marcus Camby. Recently NBA Commissioner David Stern brought up the idea dress policy for the league's players. Mr. Camby says it won't happen unless the players get a stipend for clothing.

A stipend for clothing? Marcus Camby you make $7 million a year, get real! A busload of Nuggets fans don't make that much money and no problems dressing themselves. For being removed from reality, Marcus Camby is today's knucklehead of the day.

Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Political Teen, Basil's Blog

The Knucklehead of the Day award

October 12, 2005

Goes to Republican Indiana State Representative Patricia Miller. This clueless knucklehead proposed legislation that would have regulated people who got pregnant by invitro fertilization. The person would have to be married, or if they were married then like adoptive couples these people would have to be assessed by the government if their fit to be parents.

For once I'm in agreement with the GLBT crowd. Rep Miller is clearly out of control. Either Miller is a homophobe or she wants to regulate a part of people's lives she has no business doing. What differentiates people who get pregnant by IVF and other methods from couples who get pregnant the usual way? Why would the government feel it needs to approve.

If Rep. Miller was logical she would be asking this for all pregnancnies. We know that it isn't feasible of course. Not just because of the outrage but the cost. No I think its pretty obvious, Rep. Miller don't like gay people. There is no other logic behind her bill. Why else would this knucklehead be proposing legislative crap like this.

As the Indianapolis Star chronicled, Representative Miller withdrew the legislation. No matter whether she hates homosexuals or is just a meddling busy body, Patricia Miller is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Hat tip- Overlawyered
Open Post- Basil's Blog, Political Teen and Mudville Gazette

A controversial proposed bill to prohibit gays, lesbians and single people from using medical procedures to produce a child has been dropped by its legislative sponsor.


State Sen. Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, issued a one-sentence statement Wednesday saying:


"The issue has become more complex than anticipated and will be withdrawn from consideration by the Health Finance Commission."

Miller said later that the issue of regulating assisted reproduction, just as the state regulates adoption, is multifaceted. She said there was not enough time for the committee — a panel of lawmakers that meets when the Indiana General Assembly is not in session to discuss possible legislation — to work through all of the issues involved by its next meeting Oct. 20.

Miller had planned to ask the committee to vote at that meeting on whether to recommend the proposed bill to the full legislature when it meets in January.

Under her proposal, couples who needed assistance to become pregnant — such as through intrauterine insemination; the use of donor eggs, embryos and sperm; in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer; or other medical means — would have had to be married to each other.

In addition, married couples who needed donor sperm and eggs to become pregnant would have been required to go through the same rigorous assessment of their fitness to be parents as do people who adopt a child.

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

October 11, 2005

Goes to Rocky Rodriguez and Lori Parrish. They are the previous and now current Broward County property appraisers.

Mr. Rodruiguez only held the job for 8 months but used almost 200,000 in taxpayer money to give himself a bigger pension. This is according to an audit just done.

During his eight months as Broward County's interim property appraiser last year, Rocky Rodriguez paid himself an inflated $25,346 in sick leave and used another $191,000 in tax money to buy himself and eight others a bigger pension.

The payments were discovered recently by County Auditor Evan Lukic and Lori Parrish, who succeeded Rodriguez as property appraiser in January. At Lukic's suggestion, Parrish is asking state Attorney General Charlie Crist whether Rodriguez broke any laws.Rodriguez said his attorneys have told him that he acted properly and is entitled to the money.

~~~~~

Rodriguez was the property appraiser's southwest Broward director and a Republican activist when Gov. Jeb Bush appointed him in April 2004 to replace William Markham, who had died suddenly. Rodriguez did not run for the job that fall and retired when Parrish took office.

Parrish discovered the payments a few weeks ago when a retired employee inquired about having the office pay for him to receive extra pension benefits. She turned the information over to Lukic, who already was auditing the office.

"There is a question here of whether it is good public policy or not," Lukic said. "The intent of the law would seem to be to stop a local official from enriching themselves."

State law prohibits officials from taking actions that result in receiving a special benefit or gain and specifically sets how much property appraisers may earn annually.

Lukic said it's common practice for government employees to use their own money to buy extra time in the state pension system, but said the use of public tax money is highly unusual.

The state retirement system is based on years of service and how much the employee earned. Employees are allowed to pay the state to count other time spent in public service toward their seniority in order to enhance future pension benefits.Records indicate Rodriguez used $16,960 in public tax revenue to buy extra retirement benefits for himself and another $174,000 to buy more time for eight other employees, including his chief deputy, Tony Hodge.

Rodriguez's lawyers said he bought the extra pension time for all office workers who served in the military. Parrish, though, said her discussions with office staff lead her to question if all employees were surveyed and that other eligible employees didn't benefit.The payments gave Rodriguez and the other eight credit for time they served in the military.

In his 2004 memo, Rodriguez authorized the pension payments to show "our commitment to our military and those who have served." He said Monday that Markham wanted to give the extra benefits before he died.

"I'm not a greedy guy," said Rodriguez, 59, who lives in Fort Lauderdale. "I wouldn't embarrass myself and my government and my community and my good reputation and my people."

By adding his two years in the U.S. Army, Rodriguez's pension payments are based on 11 years of service rather than the nine years he was employed by the Property Appraiser's Office.

Ms. Parrish was not involved with any of the above. She gets a Knucklehead award for her whiney reaction.

But his reasoning has not appeased Parrish, who was angered by a Sept. 9, 2004, memo she found in which Rodriguez authorized paying himself the extra two years of retirement.

"I've made do with used furniture and have my staff come in on the weekends with their own Pledge and paper towels to make this place presentable, and he was off spending all that money on himself. I can't believe it," Parrish said last week.

As my wife would say "Poor baby." She has to use used furniture. What a disgrace. NOT! I also have to wonder if using her employees to clean her office is improper use of taxpayer money. Broward County has gotten themselves two knuckleheads in a row for Property appraiser.
Trackbacks- Jo's Cafe, Cafe Oregano, Political Teen and Mudville Gazette

The Knucklehead of the Day award

October 10, 2005

Goes to the Jacksonville Florida Times-Union newspaper and their website. Despite AOL having a pop-up stopper, I get pop-ups regularly. FTU is no exception. Yesterday while looking for noteworthy Florida news, I went to the the FTU website. A popup appeared saying I won a free Gateway laptop.

Now go to this link and you'll see it isn't very free at all. To get the laptop you'll have to sign-up for multiple offers. None of which is free or it isn't you have to give over info like your social security number. So much for a free laptop. Of course you also got to take the word of consumergain.com that they're going to ship you the gift. What did Robert Heinlein say? Their ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

For selling their souls to the devils like Consumergain.com instead of selling newspapers, The Florida Times-Union is today's Knucklehead of the day.

Open Post- Political Teen, Basil's Blog and Mudville Gazette

The Knucklehead of the Day award

October 1, 2005

Today's winner is Mark Scott-Crossley from South Africa. Calling this man a Knucklehead is being kind, he's a sick barbarian. Mr. Scott-Crossley and a man working for him were sentenced to prison yesterday in the death of Nelson Chisale. Mr Chisale was killed by being thrown to the lions in a South African game park.

Open Post/Trackback- Mudville Gazette, and Stop the ACLU

PHALABORWA, South Africa (AFP) – A court has sentenced a white South African to life in prison and his black accomplice to 12 years in jail for feeding a black farm worker to lions.Mark Scott-Crossley, 37, a white building contractor, and farm labourer Simon Mathebula, 43, were in April found guilty of murdering Nelson Chisale, whose bloodied remains were found in a lion reserve near the famed Kruger National Park.

Judge George Maluleke of the Phalaborwa circuit court sentenced Scott-Crossley to life imprisonment Friday but gave Mathebula 15 years, of which three years were suspended.

The state had called for life imprisonment for both men, citing the exceptionally gruesome nature of the crime that took place on January 31, 2004 near the northeastern city of Hoedspruit.

Scott-Crossley, who minutes earlier married one of his prison visitors at a nearby courthouse, showed no emotion as the sentence was read out at the hearing.

"We did expect a heavy sentence," Scott-Crossley told journalists following the sentencing.

"We are sorry that the family didn't accept our offer of financial compensation. It was not an effort to try and bribe them, but we really feel sorry for them and we are going to fight the sentence," he said.

About 100 people packed in the courtroom cheered and ululated after the sentence was read, while Chisale's niece Fetsang Jafta declared "I'm satisfied with the outcome."

During the trial that opened in Phalaborwa in January, a year after the murder, a judge heard that Chisale was savagely beaten with pangas at Engedi farm where he had returned to collect his belongings, two months after being fired for apparently running a personal errand during work hours.

Chisale was tied to a tree and later loaded onto a pick-up truck and driven to the Mokwale White Lion Project where he was thrown over a fence into a lion camp.

The Knucklehead of the Day award

August 26, 2005

Goes to former Southern Illinois University student Jaimie Reynolds. She hoodwinked SIU student newspaper The Daily Egyptian into believing a story about a little girl and her letters to her father serving in Iraq. I posted part of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article below, it's truly incredible. The people at the college newspaper are almost as big a knuckleheads, they never bothered to do any elementary fact checking in the two years this story ran.

Hat tip- Michelle Malkin

CARBONDALE, Ill. – For two years, Carbondale residents have been riveted by the writing of a little girl imploring her father in Iraq: "Don't die, OK?"Only now are they learning there was never any danger of that.

The Daily Egyptian, Southern Illinois University's student-run newspaper, today will admit to its readers that the saga – of a little girl's published letters to her father serving in Iraq – was apparently an elaborate hoax perpetrated by a woman who claimed to be the girl's aunt.

In fact, the newspaper will report today, the man identified as the girl's father was never in Iraq, and it was the woman who apparently wrote the letters and regular columns that were published under the little girl's name – and even impersonated the girl in telephone interviews.

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

June 30, 2005

One of today's winners is Texas Ranger pitcher Kenny Rogers who shoved two cameraman who were trying to film him. One of whom had to be taken to the hospital. If MLB is smart, Rogers would be suspended the rest of the season without pay and someone would press criminal charges. Its all on film. Grow up Kenny!

Also getting knucklehead awards are Texas GM John Hart and team owner Tom Hicks who seem to want to sweep this under the rug. Set an example instead, release the buffoon.

ARLINGTON, Texas – Kenny Rogers' angry close-up with a couple of television cameramen put one of them in the hospital and could result in a suspension for the Texas Rangers ace. Rogers shoved two cameramen before the Rangers' game against Los Angeles on Wednesday in a videotaped tirade that included throwing a camera to the ground and threatening to break more."Kenny is having anger issues right now," Rangers general manager John Hart said. "I don't know what's going on inside. We're responding to something that's very unusual."

Rogers, who missed his last start with a broken pinkie he sustained during an outburst earlier this month, lashed out at the cameramen as they filmed him walking to the field for pregame stretching. He wasn't scheduled to pitch and was sent home by the club following the incidents.
The Rangers held a clubhouse meeting before the game to address the situation. After the game, a 7-6 victory over the Angels in 11 innings, they lent their support to Rogers.

"It's something we're going to keep in-house," said Gary Matthews Jr., who hit a two-run homer for the Rangers. "It's going to be between Kenny and the front office."

Hart said late Wednesday that the team contacted Major League Baseball, and wouldn't say whether the team would suspend Rogers.

Hart said he had talked to Rogers and "Kenny obviously realizes his actions were incorrect."
"His comment to me was, `I didn't handle this right. I'm frustrated. My integrity and toughness is being called into question,'" Hart said.

The 40-year-old left-hander first shoved Fox Sports Net Southwest photographer David Mammeli, telling him: "I told you to get those cameras out of my face."

Rogers then approached a second cameraman. He wrestled the camera from Larry Rodriguez of Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW, threw it to the ground and kicked it.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound pitcher saw two other cameramen who were recording from the Rangers' dugout and walked toward them. He did not make contact with the men, who were backing away.

"I'll break every … one of them," Rogers said before he was escorted to the clubhouse by catcher Rod Barajas.

The Rangers sent Rogers home about an hour later.

KDFW news director Maria Barrs said paramedics took Rodriguez to an Arlington hospital.

"He does have quite a bit of pain, in his shoulder and his arm and his leg," Barrs said. Rodriguez was treated and released.

Fox Sports Net Southwest spokesman Ramon Alvarez said Mammeli wasn't injured.

Footage shot by Dallas-Fort Worth station KTVT shows Rogers pushing Rodriguez's camera, which goes over the photographer's head and falls to the ground. As Rodriguez puts the camera back on his shoulder, Rogers approaches again, pushing the lens away and having words with the photographer.

As players begin to intervene, Rogers pulls the camera to the ground and kicks it before walking away.

Rodriguez said that when he picked up the camera the second time, his intentions were to keep getting footage of Rogers.

"I figured since now he vented that he was all good, but the second time was just a little bit too much," he said in an interview on KDFW.

"There's no question he was upset. I don't understand why we were the … I don't know if we were the stem of the problem or what," he said. "I don't think we did anything wrong."

Texas lost eight of nine entering Wednesday night's game.

"I think it demonstrated an appalling lack of control," Barrs said. "The team doing poorly is no excuse for assaulting a guy who's just doing his job."

Arlington police spokeswoman Christy Gilfour said the department was investigating. No charges had been filed, she said.

"What Kenny did was wrong and we won't condone it," Rangers owner Tom Hicks said. "It will be handled internally."

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

June 23, 2005

Goes to five members of the US Supreme Court, Justices Kennedy, Stevens, Souter, Breyer and Ginsburg for their decision today in Kelo et al v. City of New London.

Yesterday I blogged about how the City of Hollywood Florida condemned property so a developer could use it. Using the law of eminent domain to justify these unconscionable acts. Now the US Supreme Court just ruled 5-4 that the City of New London Conneticut and any other municipality has the right to do that.

This is unspeakable. Our governments now the right to take away anyone's land and home on whatever political whim they wish. This is the a dangerous supreme court decision and legal precedent that can be abused at any time. People are worrying about Roe. Now they should be worried for their homes instead when five liberal justices decide we have no right to them. Unbelievable.

Professor Bainbridge has some good commentary on this decision. The trackback is-

By HOPE YEN,
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth often is at war with individual property rights.

The 5-4 ruling — assailed by dissenting Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as handing "disproportionate influence and power" to the well-heeled in America — was a defeat for Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex.

They had argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.

The case was one of six resolved by justices on Thursday. Still pending at the high court are cases dealing with the constitutionality of government Ten Commandments displays and the liability of Internet file-sharing services for clients' illegal swapping of copyrighted songs and movies. The Supreme Court next meets on Monday.

Writing for the court's majority in Thursday's ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens said local officials, not federal judges, know best in deciding whether a development project will benefit the community. States are within their rights to pass additional laws restricting condemnations if residents are overly burdened, he said.

"The city has carefully formulated an economic development that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including — but by no means limited to — new jobs and increased tax revenue," Stevens wrote in an opinion joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy' David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.

"It is not for the courts to oversee the choice of the boundary line nor to sit in review on the size of a particular project area," he said.

O'Connor, who has often been a key swing vote at the court, issued a stinging dissent, arguing that cities should not have unlimited authority to uproot families, even if they are provided compensation, simply to accommodate wealthy developers.

"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," she wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."

Connecticut residents involved in the lawsuit expressed dismay and pledged to keep fighting.
"It's a little shocking to believe you can lose your home in this country," said resident Bill Von Winkle, who said he would refuse to leave his home, even if bulldozers showed up. "I won't be going anywhere. Not my house. This is definitely not the last word."

Scott Bullock, an attorney for the Institute for Justice representing the families, added: "A narrow majority of the court simply got the law wrong today and our Constitution and country will suffer as a result."

The Knucklehead of the Day award

May 23, 2005

Goes to the Ft. Lauderdale News Sun Sentinel for their coverage of the story of the rape and burying alive of an 8-year-old girl here in Florida got nationwide publicity since last night. Here is the how the Palm Beach Post covered the story.

LAKE WORTH — The two officers stared down at the pile of stones, saw only a small hand and a foot sticking out and assumed the little girl they had frantically searched for was dead.

Finally, they had found her at a secluded landfill, her body stuffed inside a large bright yellow recycling bin, with rocks and crushed concrete covering her. The bin lay inside a trash container, a dismal last resting place.

The officers summoned a superior, Lake Worth Detective Lt. Dave Matthews, who, after seven tense hours of hunting, also thought the case had ended in the worst of tragedies.

And then something happened.

"Her hand just moved!" Matthews shouted.

Moments later, the officers had unearthed an 8-year-old girl who had lived through a nightmare but survived to identify a teenager as her abductor, sexual attacker and would-be killer, police said.

Kudos to Sgt. Michael Hall of the Lake Worth Police Dept. and Sheriff's Cpl. Bob Cresswell who found the girl who had left for dead piled under some rocks in a recycle bin. They are heroes for saving this girl's life.

The girl was in St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach Sunday, where medical staff said she was in good condition. Her alleged assailant, Milagro Cunningham, 17, of Lake Worth, was in custody, on charges of attempted murder, sexual battery and false imprisonment. Police said he had confessed.

Only animals do this to children that young an age. Mr.Cunningham is the scum of the earth and spending the rest of his rotting in prison is far too easy on him. Castration with a dull knife, cutting off his balls would be more appropriate.

That goes too to the other scum in Broward County who was sent to jail for life. That animal(I won't call him a man, because he isn't one) sexually assaulted a two-year-old.

Contrast the Palm Beach Post coverage of this story with the one in today's Sun Sentinel.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is not identifying the suspect or the victim because of their ages and the nature of the charges. Their relatives are also not being identified.

I understand not identifying the girl, but can someone please tell me why this paper is protecting the identity of her attacker? He is a minor but he commited rape and attempted murder! For christsakes the guy deserves to be hung by his balls for the heinous acts he did the paper feels he should be protected!!!!!!!

What the hell is wrong with this country? We can't protect our young ones from scum like this. What this country needs to do is serve out punishment appropriate for the crime instead of watching out for their rights. That's the way we'll stop these obscene acts and the animals that perpertrate them. Till then this is going to happen again and again.

For protecting scum, the Sun Sentinel is the Knucklehead of the Day.


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