Imagine my surprise when I found US 30 labeled as "Quebec Route 366" on Google Maps. Upon googling the phrase (ironically), I found that other folks have noticed the same thing. Hilarious!
Friday, June 24, 2011
5:30 a.m.. UPDATE: F. Chris Garcia has been released from the Albuquerque Metro Detention Center. According to a release list published on the county’s website, Garcia was released on June 23.
Garcia posted a $35,000 cash or surety bond late last night and was released.
Garcia is due in Metro Court at 1:30 pm for a felony first appearance on charges of promoting prostitution, evidence tampering and conspiracy.
Meanwhile, at UNM, an air of ... anticipation? Dread?:
I can’t wait to see the client list. Will there be more administrators, legislators, public safety directors? With over 1,000 clients and a UNM bigwig moderating the whole operation (not very well, I might add), there’s bound to be some names we recognize.Ha! If you Google "Chris Garcia, prostitution, Johns list", my Weblog pops up at the top of the list!
Let's see, who DON'T I like in the State of New Mexico? .... Who's been naughty, and who's been nice?
I'd better step back from that brink right now! This is serious stuff! Criminal charges, and all! But there will be a huge temptation for people with axes to grind to invent johns lists and scatter them on the winds of the Internet! Beware, reader!
Let's start with all the folks who persecuted UNM Roman & Greek History Professor Richard Berthold for his ill-advised comments on 9/11, and eventually forced him to retire prematurely. All those 'Patriots'! The G.W. Bush Fan Club! The Dittoheads! Yeah! That's the ticket!
The former president of the University of New Mexico has been arrested, accused of helping run an online prostitution ring through a website that recruited clients and prostitutes.
F. Chris Garcia, 71, is the second academic to be arrested in the prostitution ring, but investigators say the academia link appeared “purely coincidental” and that investigators did not know how the two knew each other. They also did not think students or other schools were involved.
...“This was about sex,” Roseman said, noting that a lot of the clients had too much to lose to go looking for prostitutes on the street. “They needed a safe place where they could go to do this.”
...“There are probably some very nervous people out there right now,” said Albuquerque Public Safety Director Darren White.
Garcia and Flory, 68, were among the ring's seven top members, police said. Six have been arrested, and warrants were issued for one more person, Albuquerque police Chief Ray Schultz said. He said human trafficking and racketeering charges were possible.
Police said Garcia used the online handle “Burque Pops” and was trying to delete his postings and other information linking him to the site.
He was accused of being part of the “hunt club,” whose job was to look for new prostitutes. Police declined to release the ages of the women targeted.
...Police said the site was started in 2005 by Cara Garrett, who first tipped off vice officers after she was arrested on drug, child abuse and prostitution charges in December. Garrett was arrested Wednesday in Roswell for investigation of threatening another informant in the case.
Police said she sold the site in 2007 to another suspect, Mike Dorsey. He then sold the site in 2009 to Flory, police said.
Two other men, Porter Smith and Douglas Plummer, also were arrested, and a warrant was issued for Virginia Harringer, of Santa Fe. It was not immediately known whether any of them had retained attorneys. Flory was released Wednesday after posting bond.
Garcia is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of New Mexico and served as its interim president from 2002 to 2003. A distinguished professor and well-known expert on New Mexico politics, Garcia served from 1987 to 1990 as vice president of academic affairs, a position now called provost. He was the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1980 to 1986.
Garcia is also an author whose 11 books include “Hispanics and the US Political System” and “Moving into the Mainstream.”
...“It kind of scares me because you have to trust these professors and then when they do this kind of thing, it's like, how can you trust anyone, especially someone who's in a higher power?” said Marie Gonzales, a recent high school graduate from Albuquerque who was visiting campus.
A longtime New Jersey physics professor who dabbled in scuba diving and harbored dreams of working in the theater had another hobby, New Mexico police say: operating a prostitution website that may have catered to as many as 200 prostitutes and 1,200 clients.Oh those professors with their hobbies! (I wonder if he used grant funding to get the project going?)
David Flory was arrested Sunday at a Starbucks in Albuquerque, N.M., and charged with 40 counts of promoting prostitution.
...Albuquerque Police Lt. William Roseman told The Associated Press that Flory's password-protected website, Southwest Companions, had been the subject of a vice investigation for the last six months after police received tips from prostitutes and johns.
Roseman said the site had been in operation about three years and had about 1,400 members — about 200 prostitutes and about 1,200 johns. Most of the members were in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe area, though some postings originated in Phoenix and Denver.
Freshman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is facing new and uncomfortable questions about the deferred compensation package he received from the plastics company he ran before entering the Senate.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes that Johnson received $10 million from the company, Pacur, weeks after his $9 million self-financed campaign came to an end.
From the Journal-Sentinel:The first-term Republican declined to say how his Oshkosh firm, Pacur, came up with a figure that so closely mirrored the amount he personally put into his campaign fund.The similar figures raise a key question whether he and his company designed the package to elide laws limiting corporate donations to political candidates. Johnson says this is a coincidence. But while most deferred compensation are designed in advance, and vary in size based on the length of service, Johsnon says the $10 million figure was "an agreed-upon amount."
"You take a look in terms of what would be a reasonable compensation package, OK?" Johnson said this week. "It's a private business. I've complied with all the disclosure laws, and I don't have to explain it any further to someone like you."
"Agreed upon by whom?" the Journal-Sentinel asked.
"That would be me," Johnson said.
Johnson made well over $1 million annually before running for Senate from a mix of capital gains, corporate earnings, and real estate.
Gov. Rick Perry received a tepid response when he addressed the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials on Thursday, joking about the pronunciation of a Hispanic appointee's last name and frequently staring blankly at the audience when they failed to respond to his conservative applause lines.
In his defense, Hispanic politicians had earlier spoken passionately against his policies, deriding them as hurtful to Hispanics. Perry chose to ignore those topics and instead touted his appointments of the first Hispanic women to serve as secretary of state and to both of the state's highest courts.
But a joke about how perfect it was to appoint Jose Cuevas to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission because his name sounds like Jose Cuervo - a brand of tequila - fell flat.
...The state's longest-serving governor has tried to walk a fine line between appealing to Texas' growing Hispanic population - now 48 percent - and rightwing groups that have demanded tougher stances on immigration and voter identification laws. Perry declared bills requiring a photo ID to vote and mandating that local police to enforce federal immigration laws as emergency items for the Legislature.
Both measures have provoked angry reactions from Hispanic groups. Police chiefs and sheriffs overwhelmingly objected to the immigration enforcement measure. Hispanic groups say both laws will lead to greater voter intimidation and racial profiling against Hispanics.
The politicians and public policy professionals were unimpressed with his stock-speech touting the state's business-friendly climate. Perry often stopped for applause and heard only the clink of forks on plates as he stared out at the crowd, a stark contrast to the jubilant reception he's received at recent Republican events. Many in the audience had never heard of him before.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Omgitsmadonna went to the Britney/Nicki concert.
LESLIE, Ga. -- It's 3:25 p.m. in a dusty cucumber field in south Georgia. A knot of criminal offenders who spent seven hours in the sun harvesting buckets of vegetables by hand have decided they're calling it quits - exactly as crew leader Benito Mendez predicted in the morning.
Unless the cucumbers come off the vine soon, they will become engorged with seeds, making them unsellable. Mendez's crew of Mexican and Guatemalan workers will keep harvesting until 6 p.m., maybe longer. Not so for the men participating in a new state-run program aimed at replacing the Latino migrants Georgia farmers say they've lost to a new immigration crackdown with unemployed probationers.
...Republican Gov. Nathan Deal started the experiment after farmers publicly complained they couldn't find enough workers to harvest labor-intensive crops such as cucumbers and berries because Latino workers - including many illegal immigrants - refused to show up, even when offered one-time or weekly bonuses. One crew who previously worked for Mendez told him they wouldn't come to Georgia for fear of risking deportation.
Farmers told state authorities in an unscientific survey that they had more than 11,000 unfilled agriculture jobs, although it's not clear how that compares to prior years or whether the shortage can be blamed on the new law.
For more than a week, the state's probation officers have encouraged their unemployed offenders to consider taking field jobs. While most offenders are required to work while on probation, statistics show they have a hard time finding jobs. Georgia's unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent, but correction officials say among the state's 103,000 probationers, it's about 15 percent. Still, offenders can turn down jobs they consider unsuitable, and harvesting is physically demanding.
..."Those guys out here weren't out there 30 minutes and they got the bucket and just threw them in the air and say, 'Bonk this, I ain't with this, I can't do this,'" said Jermond Powell, a 33-year-old probationer. "They just left, took off across the field walking."
Mendez put the probationers to the test last Wednesday, assigning them to fill one truck and a Latino crew to a second truck. The Latinos picked six truckloads of cucumbers compared to one truckload and four bins for the probationers.
"It's not going to work," Mendez said. "No way. If I'm going to depend on the probation people, I'm never going to get the crops up."
Their struggles to rebuild, end:
Maureen Marshall had tears in her eyes as the reality sank in of having to leave the home she and husband Denne built 15 years ago. "We always hoped we could stay but ..."More information at the CERA Web Site.
The Dallington couple, aged in their 70s, were among 5100 Christchurch homeowners told yesterday that they would have to abandon their homes in the newly designated red zone.
Prime Minister John Key and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced a package for insured homeowners in the city's east, northeast and Waimakariri beach areas that will see the Government buying them out within nine months. Their houses are on land too severely damaged to allow rebuilding in the short term.
They're trying to work on a plan to care for the penguin. Apparently it's been putting sand in its mouth, in the mistaken belief that the sand will melt, like snow, and help with thirst. It can continue to drink seawater, for now, but eventually its distance from home will be a problem:
The emperor penguin from Antarctica resting up on a Kapiti Coast beach now has its own bodyguard.
The juvenile emperor penguin, which stands about a metre tall and weighs about 10 kilograms, was first spotted on Peka Peka Beach on Monday afternoon, standing up and flapping its flippers.
It is only the second recorded incident of an emperor penguin on New Zealand shores.
Nicknamed Happy Feet by Peka Peka resident Chris Wilton, the bird has attracted global interest and bird enthusiasts are flocking to see it.
A group of residents kept guard on the beach on Wednesday night and told the Conservation Department that drunken youths were "making a bloody nuisance of themselves".
To prevent cars driving too close to the rare visitor and an onslaught of flashing cameras, Kapiti Coast District Council has assigned a security guard to safeguard Happy Feet.
...Returning the bird to Antarctica was not feasible because there was no transport there in winter and experts advised that large birds could suffer trauma if transported long distances.
While Happy Feet seemed content to lie on the beach, go for an occasional swim and seemed to be feeding and drinking sea water, DOC biodiversity programme manager Peter Simpson said staff were investigating long-term intervention plans if needed, but there was not a lot they could do.
"There are no facilities in New Zealand that can care for it long term.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The role of Peter Pan, the boy who refuses to grow up, is traditionally played by a female and this was no exception. McKinley Carlisle is a high school junior but with a professional adult stage presence. She is a gymnast in school, which helped her make all of Peter’s flying sequences beautifully realistic.
...The Darling children, while somewhat tall for the roles (especially John, Noah Papagni) were all wonderful. Wendy (Amanda Jane Melhuish) moved seamlessly into her mother role and Michael (William Chan) was just adorable, carrying his teddy bear around with him.
The Darling parents are played by Jenny Plasse and Michael Cross (who later appears as Captain Hook). Cross, in particular, was effective in his role. Plasse was very sweet.
...Michael Cross as Captain Hook was simply wonderful. His performance was strong and intimidating without being over the top, as he leads his bumbling band of pirates in an attempt to capture the Lost Boys in general, and Peter Pan in particlar. His sidekick Smee was appropriately deferential.
This is not a production that has been rendered politically correct by changing the portrayal of the Indians, and Emily Jo Seminoff is fun as Tiger Lily, doing several Indian dances with her cohorts — Danielle Debow, Isabel Machado, Monica Parisi, Jenny Plasse, Madelyn Robinson, Anissa Smith, Lydia Smith and Hannah Wallace.
Thomas Eredia is very funny as the crocodile who hungers for the rest of Captain Hook, having had a taste of one hand years before
Others in the cast include Monica Parisi as the maid Liza, Kimmi Kuanto as the grown-up Wendy’s daughter Jane, and a multitude of actors of all ages as Lost Boys, Pirates, Indians, Trees, Animals and Shadow Dancers.
Choreography is by Cyndi Mitterholzer and is lively and appropriate for the abilities of the dancers.
Costumes by Jean Henderson, are wonderful, as always, and in this case, very colorful as befits the cartoonesque story.
Steve Isaacson’s sets are better than many DMTC sets and deserve kudos.
Despite his differences with Obama on Libya, McCain said this is no time for Congress to try to limit U.S. military action in the North African country. Doing so, he said, would demonstrate to Qaddafi, his inner circle, U.S. NATO allies, and all the world that "our heart is not in this, that we have neither the will nor the capability to see this mission through, that we will abandon our closest friends and allies on a whim."This is a fascinating time, when the Republicans and Democrats alike are split with regards to our way forward in foreign policy. Some presidential candidates sound isolationist; others are interventionist; others are trying to find implausible reconciliations between the two impulses.
...The law requires Congressional approval when the U.S. military is engaged in "hostilities" for more than 60 days, with a 30-day extension. The U.S. action in Libya has exceeded the three-month time frame, but the Obama administration has said it doesn't believe the airstrikes in Libya amount to hostilities because it does not involve U.S. ground troops and no U.S. servicemen have been killed in the fighting.
...McCain Tuesday said he agrees with Obama that the actions in Libya do not amount to a full-fledged state of war, but took issue with the administration's explanation that U.S. airstrikes in Libya did not amount to "hostilities," saying he found that explanation "hard to swallow." The implausible explanation, he said, as well as the administration's failure to seek Congress to authorize intervention in Libya months ago, has led to the full-scale House revolt against his Libya policy.
But McCain warned his Congressional colleagues - "especially my Republicans colleagues" - against taking any action that would limit the commander-in-chief's ability to declare and wage war. He reminded Republicans of the condemnation President Bush endured for launching the Iraq war - "the other side of the aisle savaged" Bush, he said.
"We were right to condemn this behavior then, and we would be wrong to practice it now ourselves, simply because a leader of the opposite party occupies the White House," he said. "Someday, a Republican will again occupy the White House, and the President may need to commit U.S. armed forces to hostilities.
"So if my Republican colleagues are indifferent to how their actions would affect this President, I would urge them to think seriously about how a vote to cut off funding for this military operation could come back to haunt a future President when the shoe is on the other foot," he continued.
There is no question that Obama's Libyan policy is patently unconstitutional. Nevertheless, there is also no question that all of American foreign interventions since World War II have been patently unconstitutional, for similar reasons.
The American Constitution is very clear and very plain on how these things are to be done. Congress declares war; not the President. No exceptions. But it is also very clear and very plain that the nuclear-weapons revolution at the end of World War II decidedly blew up this stable arrangement. For years now, particularly since the Vietnam War, it's been acutely-apparent that a new arrangement needs to be established. The War Powers Act is a step forward, but no President has ever fully-complied with it. Laws that are routinely-flouted do not help the situation. We need a new constitutional arrangement. We risk the future of American democracy if we don't get it.
If the GOP succeeds in wrapping Obama in paralyzing duct tape on foreign policy this week, that will be very, very bad for the Libyans, but the ultimate beneficiaries may be the Democrats, and the American people. The day is coming, perhaps not that far from now, when Democrats will similarly-wrap a warmongering Republican President and his Congressional colleagues in paralyzing duct tape. McCain wants to avoid that trap. It's a trap maybe we should yearn for.
Federal police captured Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, also known as "The Monkey," in an operation in the state of Aguascalientes, Mexico's national security spokesman said.
Spokesman Alejandro Poire called Mendez the "principal head" of La Familia Michoacana cartel and said his capture was the federal government's "most overwhelming blow" to the group.
"This capture destroys what remained of the leadership structure of this criminal organization," he said.
...La Familia began operating in the state of Michoacan more than a decade ago, the country's national security spokesman told reporters last year. But it grabbed national attention in 2006 after reportedly hurling five decapitated heads of rival gang members onto a dance floor.
...The cartel is known for its violence and the rules it imposes on its members.
Last year Mexican federal police gunned down Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, whom they described as the group's "spiritual leader."
Mexican authorities say the ideology advocated by the cartel's leaders includes banning members from consuming drugs and alcohol with the goal of keeping a tighter emotional grip on subordinates.
"The indoctrination of this group consists of courses in self-improvement, values, ethical principles and morals in keeping with the purposes of the criminal organization. With the objective that their subordinates separate themselves from drugs and alcohol and they unite with their families," Mexico's public safety ministry said in a 2009 statement after capturing the alleged head of La Familia's training operations.
La Familia's approach shows a "strong religious background," the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a 2009 statement.
"It purportedly originated to protect locals from the violence of drug cartels. Now, La Familia Michoacana uses drug proceeds to fuel their agenda that encompasses a Robin Hood-type mentality -- steal from the rich and give to the poor," the statement said. "They believe they are doing God's work, and pass out Bibles and money to the poor. La Familia Michoacana also gives money to schools and local officials."
Intelligence reports indicate that the cartel is "heavily involved in the production of methamphetamine" for export to the United States, according to the DEA, in addition to the distribution of cocaine and marijuana.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
"There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally," McCain, R-Arizona, said Saturday at a press conference. "The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border."McCain's attack on illegal aliens owes no doubt to the fact that one specific fire, the Monument Fire, started near Ft. Huachuca, Sierra Vista, and the border. There is also the Horseshoe 2 Fire in the Chiricahua Mountains, not that far away (but not adjacent to the border). Coincidence, or illegals running amok?
The Arizona senator, however, did not say what the evidence is, prompting a swift rebuke from Latino civil rights advocates.
...Parraz called McCain's remarks "careless and reckless" but not entirely surprising given the political climate in Arizona. The Latino advocate is co-founder of Citizens for a Better Arizona, a group trying the recall the legislator who authored the state's controversial anti-illegal immigration law.
It's important to note that illegal aliens do start fires, and in theory could be responsible for the Monument Fire, but it's also important to note that along that stretch of border, there are many more people present on the American side of the border than on the Mexican side. All things being equal, it is much more likely that an American was responsible for starting the fire.
Some perimeter maps:
Two days ago, I interrupted an attack by the neighbor's cat on the Baby Chicken. I gave my best acting interpretation of a howling, hairy ape (something like in "2001: A Space Odyssey") and chased the cat out of the yard. Panicked, Baby Chicken ran over to be next to Big Chicken, from whom Baby Chicken has been learning the artful ways of the Chicken.
Big Chicken is distracted of late, though, and has been showing nest-making inclinations, particularly in the leaf litter behind the tree next to the alley. Maybe she is going to start laying eggs? The two chickens like each other's company, true enough, but defense against cats requires muscle and sacrifice, and who knows how invested Big Chicken really is in Baby Chicken's health? Who knows how useful Big Chicken will be in warding off cat attacks on Baby Chicken?
I worry that Baby Chicken might have run afoul again of the cat. Nevertheless, Joe The Plumber says he saw Baby Chicken just yesterday, so maybe not all is lost.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Opening night sold out - the first sellout of an opening night in years!
The run of "Peter Pan" has started off well, for the most part. Monica suffered a leg injury near the end of the show Saturday night, but was able to perform the critical parts of her role on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully five days of healing will be sufficient to recover the rest.
Left: The fire (here, recently doused) was ignited at the base of this gravesite at the southwestern corner of St. Joseph's Cemetery, near 21st Street and 2nd Avenue in Sacramento.
While talking on the phone on Sunday afternoon, I could smell smoke, but didn't investigate at first.
When I pulled out of my driveway in order to drive west to Davis, I passed a homeless man scurrying in the opposite direction, east, down the alley. I could see abundant smoke coming from the southwestern corner of the nearby cemetery.
I noticed another man watching the fire. I pulled up in my car, introduced myself, and asked him what was happening. It turned out that man, V., was one of my new neighbors, and he was worried about the fire.
"I called 911 to report the fire. You can hear the sirens approach now. That man," gesturing at the homeless man in the distance, now halfway down the alley, "was at the place where the fire started. I asked him: 'Did you start that fire?', and he replied, 'I might have.'"
Left: My new neighbor V. (on the right) discusses what he saw with a firefighter. Apparently V. did not see the man actually set the fire on the cemetery grounds, but he did see the man (the only person remotely-close to the fire), leave the immediate vicinity.
Incensed by the utter stupidity of someone starting a fire - upwind of my house! - on a hot, gusty afternoon, I turned my car around and followed the man. I mean, what kind of dumbass would do something like that? I was protected somewhat by the firebreak of the parking lot, true, but what if the fire had gotten into the crowns of the bordering palm trees? Fire can spread quickly under those circumstances! Tragedies like wind-whipped fires are a Californian specialty. There's no reason I couldn't lose my house to a fast-moving fire, even so close to downtown!
I saw the man sit under a tree two blocks away. I returned to report the miscreant's location to the firefighters, so they could go all medieval on him, firefighter-style.
Left: The fire fighter/investigator talks to the Dumbass. (For the more-circumspect among you, the Alleged Dumbass).
The firefighter reached the man just as I walked up with my camera. The firefighter addressed the man as follows: "Some people say they saw you next to the fire in the cemetery. Do you know why these people would say that?" With shocked innocence, the man replied: "I have no idea why they would say that!" Meanwhile, I grit my teeth and took photos.
One of the other firefighters, a lady, called me over for a gentle, understanding reprimand. "That fellow there is a trained fire investigator. Simply by asking questions, he might be able to get the fellow to admit to things he otherwise wouldn't if you are standing right in front of him, taking pictures. The witness didn't actually see the man start the fire. That puts us in a funny spot. Unless the fellow actually admits to it, there isn't much we can do."
So, knowing that Mr. Dumbass was escaping the reach of the law, I grit my teeth and drove away. But I do know one thing: that guy is NOT welcome in my neighborhood! If he shows up again anywhere close to my vicinity, he will feel the heat of my anger.
As my friends know, over the years, I've known and hired homeless folks (even befriending them, in the case of Joe The Plumber). Tolerance goes only so far, though. This particular guy needs to 'Get Lost'!
Queenstown is set to get even chillier next month with the opening of a new ice bar, believed to be the biggest in the southern hemisphere.
Under construction in a large ground-floor lot in Searle Lane, the new bar - to be created using 33 tonnes of ice imported from Las Vegas - is to open early to mid-July.
Blair Pattinson, general manager of the Below Zero brand establishment, on Friday told the Queenstown Times it would be, at the very least, the biggest ice bar in New Zealand and Australia.
...Freighting the ice alone is costing more than $100,000.
Although they would have preferred to construct the bar from homegrown ice, Mr Pattinson said every time their Christchurch supplier's tried to make it "there's an aftershock and it disrupts it".
Once the ice arrives, two ice carvers "respected as some of the best ice carvers in the world", and also behind Las Vegas' two ice bars and Christchurch's Below Zero bar, will come from Philadelphia in the United States, to build the bar.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Eating some of the trip-tip catered by the 'Dadz' as part of a fundraiser, I could hear marching band practice in the distance. You could tell choreography was underway. At one point, the speaker on the PA system announced his dissatisfaction: "There is something funky happening in the corner."
Well, that won't do at all! The funky stuff has to be over here, not over there! Get the funk out of the marching band, and put it onto the Rio Cosumnes High School stage where it belongs!