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Member since: Sat Dec 30, 2006, 01:56 PM
Number of posts: 38,035

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Prosecutor Paid Off Student Loan Debt With Funds Seized From Defendants

At a hearing last week first reported on by Oklahoma Watch, reform advocates highlighted abuses of the policy that raise broader questions about accountability and potential conflicts of interest in the state's justice system. In one particularly brazen example, an unnamed Oklahoma assistant district attorney used $5,000 from a forfeiture fund to pay off their student loan debt, according to a state audit of local forfeiture programs published in 2013.

This violated existing law, because the fund can only be used "for enforcement of controlled dangerous substances laws, drug abuse prevention and drug abuse education," the auditor noted.

Law enforcement groups didn't appear bothered by this discovery, however, and countered that any change to forfeiture policies would constitute an unnecessary attack on drug interdiction efforts.


Furthermore, the unnamed Oklahoma prosecutor's use of forfeiture funds for personal purposes suggests that this problem may not be limited to police. The incident raises concerns that some prosecutors could be swayed on civil forfeiture cases since they could benefit -- sometimes personally -- from their outcome. Effectively, they could be prosecuting for profit.

But the district attorney's office didn't see the Oklahoma prosecutor's actions as a conflict, and actually argued that the expenditure was appropriate because the assistant DA was in charge of prosecuting many misdemeanor drug cases and juvenile delinquent drug cases. The assistant DA eventually returned the $5,000.
Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 10:16 PM (1 replies)

lifeguard beaten after asking his assailants to stop smoking on the pier

A lifeguard whose attack by three people in Venice was captured on video had simply asked his assailants to stop smoking on the pier, one of the lifeguard’s supervisors said Friday.

The full-time lifeguard, who has been with the department for 10 years, was jumped by two men and a woman as soon as he hopped off the ladder at his tower at the Venice Pier on Thursday evening, authorities said.
See the most-read stories this hour >>

The LAPD identified the two men as Harutiun Balyan, 30, and Ara Sarkisyan, 28. The woman was identified as Arusiak Gekchyan, 28. All three were arrested on suspicion of battery on an executive officer, a felony. They have been freed on bail, LAPD officials said.

Video of Thursday night’s confrontation was captured by pier visitors and posted on social media.

“This is the first time something like this has happened that I can recall,” said county lifeguard Capt. Kenichi Haskett. “We don’t get into physical altercations.”

The video shows two men swinging wildly at the lifeguard the moment he was off the ladder. Haskett said the lifeguard got down from the tower so he could have a clear conversation with the group. There’s a no smoking sign when you walk on the pier and lifeguards routinely ask people to not break the rules, Haskett said.

Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:34 PM (6 replies)

singer of the hit song "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden" died yesterday

Lynn Anderson, whose version of the song "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden" was one of the biggest country hits of the 1970s, has died. She was 67.

Anderson died Thursday of a heart attack at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville after being admitted for pneumonia, publicist Mark Logsdon told CNN.

Anderson was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 1947, and grew up in Sacramento, California. Born to the music business -- both her parents were songwriters -- she got her start as a professional singer while still in her teens, releasing her first record, "For Better or for Worse," when she was 19.

Soon Anderson was having major success, with such hits as 1967's "If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away)" and 1969's "That's a No-No" and appearances on "The Lawrence Welk Show."

She had her biggest hit, the Joe South-penned "Rose Garden," in late 1970 and early 1971. The song was No. 1 on the country charts for five weeks and topped out at No. 3 on Billboard's pop charts.

Am I the only one who remembers that song?
Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 09:26 PM (18 replies)

Lawsuit claims 'Happy Birthday' song should be in the public domain

For the 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams,” filmmaker Steve James had to pay $5,000 to Warner/Chappell for the privilege of using a very brief rendition of “Happy Birthday To You."

For a low-budget movie such as “Hoop Dreams,” that’s a lot of money. The fees for using the song can go much higher for big-budget productions. It’s one of the reasons why you’ll often hear people singing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” at birthday parties in movies and TV shows, because that song is in the public domain and can be used for free.

Now, a new class-action lawsuit filed by documentary filmmaker Jenn Nelson argues that “Happy Birthday to You” should also be public domain. (Don’t worry, you can always sing it for no charge at your kids’ party.) The case, being argued before a federal judge in Los Angeles, puts New York-based Good Morning to You Productions against Warner Music Group publishing.


"In the film industry it's a bit of a joke to have to pay for the song," Nelson said on The Frame. "People think it's ridiculous, but they do it anyway because the fee ... doesn't hinder you from doing it. It's just sort of inconvenient and annoying. I took it to my lawyer, Randall Newman, and we decided that we actually had a good case and we decided to file."

Evidence submitted by the prosecution argues that the song really entered the public domain as early as the 1920s, and that music publisher Warner/Chappell's 1935 copyright is not valid. The firm currently collects an estimated $2 million a year in licensing fees for the song.

Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 08:38 PM (6 replies)

update on daycare sunburned boys. cops searched home for ointment that may have caused burns


Police told FOX23 officers are searching the boys’ grandparents’ home for an ointment that was applied to the burns.

Officials said they are concerned the ingredients of the ointment may have caused the blisters.


Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 04:51 PM (8 replies)

Madison mayor wants to limit bench sitting to one hour

Madison's mayor says he has a way to deal with the city's growing transient population. Paul Soglin would limit the time one could spend sitting on a bench in the downtown area. Lying down on the bench would be prohibited.

Soglin planned to talk about his idea with City Council members Friday and formally introduce the proposal Tuesday. The mayor says the city's "no rules" policy for the homeless and drifters had led to violence, drunkenness, drug use and trading sex for drugs. Soglin say the city has created a "circus atmosphere where anything goes."

Homeless advocate Brenda Konkel is blasting the proposal which would make bench-sitting for more than an hour a fineable offense.
Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 04:35 PM (19 replies)

Cecil's cubs are being protected by Cecil's brother

Source is daily fail but hopefully it is true

The cubs fathered by Cecil the lion are being protected by his brother amid fears they will be killed by a male rival, researchers said today.
The much-loved lion was killed by American dentist Walter Palmer earlier this month, sparking outrage around the world.
After his death, there were fears his cubs would be killed by the next lion in the hierarchy so he could father his own offspring with the females in the pride.
But a team at Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Unit, which had been studying Cecil before he was shot dead, said the lion's brother had stepped in to safeguard the young.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3181277/Saved-Cecil-lion-s-cubs-protected-BROTHER-fears-evil-rival-Jericho-kill-pride-says-Oxford-University-expert.html#ixzz3hVBJELij

Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 04:14 PM (2 replies)

'Abortion pill' legalised in Canada

Canadian health authorities have approved the drug RU-486, commonly known as the abortion pill.
The pill, a combination of misoprostol and mifepristone, had been pending approval by Health Canada since 2012.
It has been in use in the United States since 2000 and in France since 1988.
Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation called it "great news" for women in Canada but anti-abortion campaigners disagreed, calling it a "human pesticide".
The pill causes a medically induced abortion earlier in the pregnancy than most surgical abortions. Earlier terminations are considered safer than late term abortions by pro-choice campaigners.
It is already available to women in about 60 countries, and has been in use in the UK for almost a quarter century.
Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 09:21 PM (1 replies)

Whole Foods shares down. can't shake "Whole Paycheck", too expensive reputation

Whole Foods may be toast. Granted, it's toast made from pricey, gluten-free, organic honey oat bread. But toast nonetheless.

Shares of Whole Foods (WFM) plunged more than 10% Thursday after the high-end natural grocery chain reported sales and profits that missed analysts' forecasts. Its outlook did not impress investors either.

Whole Foods has been cutting prices to try and counter its bad reputation for being too expensive. But doing that has hurt its profit margins.
Making matters worse, many people STILL refer to the company as Whole Paycheck.

It doesn't help that Whole Foods was found in late June to have been overcharging customers for some packaged, weighed goods in New York City.

Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 08:41 PM (5 replies)

GOP’s epic trainwreck: Jeb Bush flails and Donald Trump ascends

GOP’s epic trainwreck: Jeb Bush flails and Donald Trump ascends
Republicans like to console themselves by pointing to 2012, when most of the mediocre GOP candidates took a turn running first in the polls. But Donald Trump isn’t Herman Cain.

I’ll admit Trump’s rise, and his persistent lead in the polls, surprises me a little. But it shouldn’t. All the things people think ought to damage him – his attacks on illegal Mexican immigrants and John McCain; his attorney’s claim that marital rape isn’t rape; ugly comments about a breastfeeding attorney – aren’t going to matter to the GOP base. They don’t like immigrants, McCain, feminist talk about “marital rape” or uppity breastfeeding career women.

I suggested Tuesday that Trump might be hurt by attorney Michael Cohen’s bizarre attack on the Daily Beast journalists who unearthed a 1989 Ivana Trump deposition accusing her husband of rape, as well as by his claim that there’s no such crime as marital rape. Indeed, Cohen quickly apologized and Trump moved to distance himself from his close associate and regular campaign surrogate. There was no such reaction to outrage over his comments about McCain or Mexican immigrants. So Trump recognized that he couldn’t brazen through a claim that marital rape doesn’t exist (the attack on journalists wasn’t as big a deal.)

Meanwhile Jeb, the man who was running to save his party from scary guys like Trump, is fading. But maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise, either. It took Bush two weeks to condemn Trump’s remarks about Mexicans who come to this country illegally. He quickly denounced his attacks on John McCain, but he’s been otherwise silent about the threat Trump’s right-wing populism poses to his party and the country. Jeb was supposed to be the guy who was willing “to lose the primary to win the general,” but he hasn’t had the courage, or even the apparent impulse, to go after Trump.

The Republican Party is like an old, ramshackle house long neglected by its owners. A crazy squatter moved in, and now they can’t get him out. For now, anyway, it’s Trump’s house.
Posted by Liberal_in_LA | Thu Jul 30, 2015, 04:46 PM (3 replies)
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