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October 07, 2010

Vandals do $100,000 worth of damage to SF's public golf course

The city is already flat broke and reeling from massive vandalism wreaked in Golden Gate park. Vandals damage Golden Gate Park golf course
Vandals have struck the city's gem, Golden Gate Park, yet again, this time leaving one of three damaged golf course holes "destroyed beyond all recognition." At least one four-wheeled vehicle ran over and severely damaged holes six, seven and eight the night of Sept. 30. The same holes were hit again on Monday night, said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the Recreation and Park Department. The damage was so severe that "it looked like they literally set off a bomb," said the course's gardener, Joe Faulkner. "The folks were brazen enough to leave orange cones indicating they were taking off-road racing quite passionately," Ginsburg said. "It's disgusting, and I'm pissed off."

Innocent man sues U.S. military after seven years of torture, confinement

Ex-detainee sues the U.S., saying captors tortured him
A Syrian man released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay last year sued the U.S. military Wednesday, saying that he was the victim of a "Kafkaesque nightmare" in which he was tortured by al-Qaeda after being accused of being U.S. spy, liberated, then tortured by the Americans, who held him for seven more years by mistake. Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al-Janko, 32, who has been resettled outside the United States, filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the court that ordered his release in June 2009. At the time, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon concluded that the U.S. government's case for holding Janko "defies common sense." Janko was tortured by al-Qaeda and imprisoned by the Taliban for 18 months on suspicion of being a spy for the United States or Israel. Leon found no evidence that the Syrian was loyal to either group.

October 06, 2010

Some states now charging the poor for public defenders

Reports: Some states charge poor for public defenders - USATODAY.com
States increasingly are imposing fees on poor criminal defendants who use public defenders even when they can't pay, causing some to go without attorneys, according to two reviews of the nation's largest state criminal justice systems. A report out Monday by New York University School of Law's Brennan Center for Justice found that 13 of the 15 states with the largest prison populations imposed some charge, including application fees, for access to counsel. "In practice, these fees often discourage individuals from exercising their constitutional right to an attorney, leading to wrongful convictions, over-incarceration and significant burdens on the operation of courts," the Brennan report concludes. In Michigan, the report says, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association found the "threat" of having to pay the full cost of assigned counsel caused misdemeanor defendants to waive their right to attorneys 95% of the time. Three states studied — Florida, North Carolina and Virginia — have no provisions for the courts to waive some of the fees if defendants can't pay. In Virginia, defendants may be charged up to $1,235 per count for some felonies, the report says.

October 02, 2010

CNN fires Rick Sanchez after he suggests that upper class jews run the media

Yes, Sanchez was out of line in the interview, but compared to all of the ridiculous anti-Muslim hate other anchors routinely say, did he deserve a firing? How many CNN anchors has Stewart destroyed now, three? Why can't he do the same for Fox? Does this mean Erick Erickson is next? If Sanchez had been a Tea Party candidate saying these kinds of things, would CNN have said anything to him? The sad thing is, Sanchez was one of the better anchors at CNN. He often called people on their bullshit. I liked Sanchez. But dude's been a reporter for 27 years, he should know better. CNN Fires Sanchez After He Calls Stewart a Bigot - NYTimes.com
NEW YORK (AP) — CNN fired news anchor Rick Sanchez on Friday, a day after he called Jon Stewart a bigot in a radio show interview where he also questioned whether Jews should be considered a minority. Sanchez, who was born in Cuba and had worked at CNN since 2004, was host of the two-hour "Rick's List" on CNN's afternoon lineup. He did a prime-time version of that show in recent months, but that ended this week because the time slot is being filled by a new show featuring former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and columnist Kathleen Parker. Stewart had frequently poked fun of Sanchez on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," most recently for saying on the air that his show had received a tweet from House Republican leader John Boehner. Stewart called it a case of "send a twit a tweet."