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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NATIONWIDE, Americans Are Living (And Dying) In A Militarized Police State..

OFF THE WIRE, F.Y.I.
THE BLUE GANG
BY: Dave Gibson
Today, police departments across the United States more closely resemble an occupying army than they do public servants responding to calls for help. Police officers can now be seen wearing helmets and body armor and carrying AR-15's, just to deliver simple warrants. The militarization of our police departments not only gives the appearance of a military dictatorship but places the public at great risk.
No less than 70 percent of U.S. cities now have SWAT teams. In cities with a population of 50,000 or more, 90 percent have SWAT teams.
Eastern Kentucky University professor Peter Kraska told the Washington Post that SWAT teams are currently sent out 40,000 times a year in the U.S. During the 1980's, SWAT teams were only used 3,000 times a year. Most of the time, SWAT teams are being sent out to simply serve warrants on non-violent drug offenders.
Many municipalities are using Homeland Security grants to even purchase large armored vehicles. The Pittsburgh Police Department now uses their 20-ton armored truck complete with rotating turret and gun ports to deliver many of their warrants. Pittsburgh Police Sgt. Barry Budd recently told the Associate Press: "We live on being prepared for 'what if'."
Our police departments now regularly receive free surplus equipment from the U.S. military, which they readily accept. The training being given at many police academies appears to be the type of tactics one would use in Baghdad, rather than Baltimore. It would seem that our police officers are being readied for war, with the American public as the enemy. In the last several years, there has been a transformation from community policing to pre-emptive assaults
On January 24, 2006, Dr. Salvatore Culosi was shot and killed outside his house by a Fairfax County SWAT officer. Police used the SWAT team to serve a documents search warrant, after Dr. Culosi came under suspicion for taking sports bets. The investigation began after Fairfax Detective David Baucom solicited a bet with Dr. Culosi at a local sports bar.
Dr. Culosi was standing outside his home while talking with Det. Baucom, when SWAT Officer Deval Bullock quickly approached with his gun drawn and fatally shot Dr. Culosi in the chest. Court documents report that Culosi never made any threatening movements and made no attempt to run as he watched the SWAT team move in around him.
Dr. Culosi had no history of violence nor any criminal history whatsoever. He operated two successful optometry clinics at Wal-Marts in Manassas and Warrenton, Va. His parents have filed a $12 million lawsuit against the county of Fairfax, Va.
On the night of January 17, 2008, a police SWAT team surrounded Ryan Frederick´s home in Chesapeake, Va. The police were there to serve a drug warrant based on a tip from a criminal informant.
As usual, 28 year-old Ryan Frederick had gone to sleep early in order to leave the house before dawn for his job with a soda distributor. He awoke to a commotion of screams and the distinct sound of someone breaking down his front door.
Frederick´s house had been broken into a few days earlier, being a slight man of only a little over 100 pounds, Frederick feared for his safety. After the break-in, he purchased a gun.
Understandably frightened, Frederick grabbed his gun and when he got to the front of his house, he saw a man trying to crawl through the bottom portion of his door. Terrified that the intruders had returned, he fired.
The man he shot was not an aggressive burglar, nor a drug-crazed murderer, he was Det. Jarrod Shivers. The police detective and military veteran died almost immediately. Frederick was charged with first-degree murder and now sits in a jail cell awaiting trial.
As for the marijuana-growing operation for which police were looking, nothing was found. Only a very small amount of marijuana was discovered on the Frederick property, only enough to charge him with misdemeanor possession. Frederick has admitted that he uses marijuana occasionally but has never been involved with producing nor selling the drug.
Ryan Frederick has no prior history of violence, nor any criminal history whatsoever. He took care of his grandmother until her death two years ago, had a full-time job, and recently became engaged. In his spare time, he worked in his yard and tended to his Koi pond…Not quite the drug kingpin type!
However, based solely on the word of an informant, police obtained a warrant and stormed into this man´s house in the dark of night. The information turned out to be false, a police officer and father of three is dead, and a decent young man´s life is now over.
When Ryan Frederick awoke to the sounds of his home being invaded, he did what many of us would do. He acted reasonably when he grabbed his gun to defend himself and fired at a man who he believed was breaking into his home to do him harm.
Had the police simply went to his home during the daytime and knocked on his door, they could have questioned Frederick and found their information to be groundless. A little traditional police work could have saved the life of a police officer and the Shivers and Frederick families would have remained whole.
The Ryan Frederick story is truly frightening because this same scenario could play itself out in your home or mine. In the age of militarized police departments, we are all in danger.
Here are a few more recent victims of our militarized police departments:
Cheryl Lynn Noel, a mom who was shot by police for picking up her legally registered handgun. She went for her gun to defend herself after a SWAT team in the middle of the night, broke into her Baltimore, MD home. Police stormed her house that night because they claim to have found marijuana seeds in the family's trash can.
Rev. Acelyne Williams, 75 of Boston, died of a heart attack as a SWAT team broke into his home. Police actually had the wrong address.
92 year old Kathryn Johnston who was so fearful that she never left her home and would only open her door after friends who placed her groceries on the front porch had left, was killed by an Atlanta SWAT team last year. An erroneous tip from an informant was enough for the Atlanta Police Department to invade her home. Police have since admitted to lying to obtain a search warrant and to planting drugs in her home after killing her.
In 2006, a 52 member SWAT team stormed into a Denver home in search of a friendly small-stakes poker game. The same thing happened a few months later when SWAT and K-9 units barged in on a charity poker game in Baltimore.
When someone straps on body armor and large caliber weapons, their adrenalin levels begin to surge. As they arrive at the scene, those levels increase. When these now militarized police officers actually break into a dark home and begin shouting at terrified citizens, severe injury and death is likely to occur. It is beyond reason to employ these tactics on anyone other than hardened, violent criminals.
SWAT teams were created in the wake of the 1966 University of Texas sniper shooting spree by ex-marine Charles Whitman. Police did not have the firepower to reach Whitman, who was perched atop the 27-story clock tower. Civilians with hunting rifles came to the scene and joined with police in the effort to stop Whitman. Eventually, police officers and a well-armed citizen scaled the stairs of the tower and killed Whitman, but not before he killed 17 people and injured another 31. As a result of the incident, police departments began to assemble small teams of highly trained officers with equipment specific to sniper shootings, hostage situations, bank robberies, etc.
SWAT teams were designed to deal with very violent individuals who represent a clear and present threat to the public. However, they are now being used to execute warrants on non-violent offenders and even those who have no prior criminal history at all. Turning our neighborhood cops into shock troops will do nothing but erode public confidence in the police and endanger the lives of innocent Americans.
Recently, Boston´s new police commissioner William Fitchet announced that the department´s Street Crimes Unit will begin wearing military-style black uniforms, to instill a sense of "fear." At last week´s city council meeting, police Sgt. John Delaney told council members that the black uniforms would send the message that officers were serious.

Did someone declare martial law?

CYBER SCAMS, BE WARNED....The 12 cyber scams of Christmas

OFF THE WIRE
By Suzanne Choney
msnbc.com msnbc.com
Top on this year's list: Offers of free iPads.........
Shoppers looking for holiday bargains are already scouring the Web as well as incoming e-mails and text messages for deals — and cyber criminals are quite busy, too, hoping to lure you in with a deal that seems too good to be true.
"We’re all looking for a great deal online, but some sites offer electronics or luxury goods at prices that are too good to be true," said Alison Southwick of the Better Business Bureau.
"Every holiday season BBB hears from holiday shoppers who paid for a supposedly great deal online, but received nothing in return." (For more tips on shopping safely online, see the BBB's list here.)
Security software company McAfee recently released its "12 Scams of Christmas" list, and offers of "free" iPads — among this year's most coveted tech gadgets — comes in at No. 1.
"With Apple products topping most shopping lists this holiday season, scammers are busy distributing bogus offers for free iPads" via e-mail spam, McAfee said.
In the e-mail, "consumers are asked to purchase other products and provide their credit card number to get the free iPad. Of course, victims never receive the iPad or the other items, just the headache of reporting a stolen credit card number."
Meanwhile, in the Facebook, Twitter or other social media version of the ruse, users are asked to "take a quiz to win a free iPad and must supply their cell phone number to receive the results. In actuality they are signed up for a cell phone scam that costs $10 a week," McAfee said.
Here's the rest of the company's "12 Scams of Christmas" list:
2. "Help! I’ve Been Robbed" — "This travel scam sends phony distress messages to family and friends requesting that money be wired or transferred so that they can get home."
We and other news organizations have written about this before, especially as an issue on Facebook, where people feel like they trust information that's posted. With so many people traveling during the holiday season, though, it's easy to fall prey to this one.
3. Fake gift cards — Social media (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace as examples) are used by no-goodniks to "promote fake gift card offers with the goal of stealing consumers’ information and money, which is then sold to marketers or used for ID theft," says McAfee.
"One recent Facebook scam offered a 'free $1,000 Best Buy gift card" to the first 20,000 people who signed up for a Best Buy fan page, which was a lookalike. To apply for the gift card they had to provide personal information and take a series of quizzes."
4. Holiday job offers — Maybe for some, the recession is over, but not for many of us still. Which is why "as people seek extra cash for gifts this holiday season, Twitter scams offer dangerous links to high-paying, work-at-home jobs that ask for your personal information, such as your e-mail address, home address and Social Security number to apply for the fake job."
5. "Smishing" — You've heard of phishing? "Smishing" is when a phishing SMS, or text messages, arrives on your cell phone, wanting you to bite.
"These texts appear to come from your bank or an online retailer saying that there is something wrong with an account and you have to call a number to verify your account information. In reality, these efforts are merely a ruse to extract valuable personal information from the targets," McAfee says.
"Cyber crooks know that people are more vulnerable to this scam during the holiday season when consumers are doing more online shopping and checking bank balances frequently."
6. Suspicious holiday rentals — Many of us are looking to save on that Christmas-y cabin in the mountains or chic vacation apartment in the city of our dreams. "During peak travel times when consumers often look online for affordable holiday rentals, cyber crooks post fake holiday rental sites that ask for down payments on properties by credit card or wire transfer."
7. Recession scams continue — "Scammers target vulnerable consumers with recession related scams such as pay-in-advance credit schemes. McAfee Labs has seen a significant number of spam e-mails advertising pre-qualified, low-interest loans and credit cards if" — that emphasis is mine —"the recipient pays a processing fee, which goes directly into the scammer’s pocket."
8. Grinch-like greetings, involving e-cards — Electronic cards can save paper and postage, but "cyber criminals load fake versions with links to computer viruses and other malware instead of cheer ... Computers may start displaying obscene images, pop-up ads, or even start sending cards to contacts that appear to come from you."
9. Low price traps — Discussed above, as the "too good to be true" deals, which are promoted on some auction sites and fake websites. The aim, McAfee says: "the goal of stealing your money and information."
10. Charity scams — "Common ploys include phone calls and spam e-mails asking you to donate to veterans’ charities, children's causes and relief funds for the latest catastrophe."
11. Dangerous holiday downloads — "Holiday-themed screensavers, jingles and animations are an easy way for scammers to spread viruses and other computer threats especially when links come from an e-mail or IM that appears to be from a friend."
12. Hotel and airport Wi-Fi vulnerabilities — This is an anytime risk with thieves who are savvy enough to hack into public networks being used by hurried travelers. Hacker-thieves can steal credit card numbers, bank accounts and other forms of personal identity; try not to access bank accounts, for example, or give your credit card number online while using public Wi-Fi. It's a good rule for every day — not just for the holidays.

Media Campaign Begins, Head Injuries: Why Motorcycle and Bicycle Helmets Should Be Mandatory......

OFF THE WIRE
The media campaign has begun. This link is to an article on the Huffington Post news site.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-c-senelick-md/motorcycle-and-bicycle-he_b_786402.html

Those in favor of Freedom Of Choice need to actively speak out against this type of thing.
ROGUE

I posted a comment so angry and vicious they might perceive my free speech as terrorism and I'll be added to everyones watchlist.


Richard C. Senelick, M.D.Richard C. Senelick MD is a neurologist who serves as Medical Director of RIOSA.

Head Injuries: Why Motorcycle and Bicycle Helmets Should Be Mandatory...

"Grumpy" loved spending the weekend touring the Texas Hill Country with his pals -- the Seven Dwarfs Motorcycle Club. His Harley was his pride and joy and nothing gave him a greater sense of freedom than riding on a crisp, cool, fall day with his ponytail flapping in the breeze behind him. He never had time to see the sheep on the road, as his bike slipped out from under him, his unprotected head first bounced on the pavement and then into a culvert next to the road. Comatose and severely brain injured, he was transported by helicopter to the trauma center.
Cheryl couldn't wait to get home from school, feed her dog and hop onto her fluorescent pink bicycle. With her friends, they made a quick stop at the convenience store and decided to race to their favorite spot in the woods behind their neighborhood. For the first time she was in the lead as they careened down the big hill. Then, suddenly her front wheel struck a pothole in the road and she was headed over the handlebars. No helmet on her head, she suffered a terrible brain injury and lies motionless in her bed, staring as if awake, but in a deep coma.
The Most Wanted List
These are real people and real stories. It is why there is a "Most Wanted List." It is not the list of criminals hanging on the post office wall, but it is equally important. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently issued a press release putting mandatory motorcycle helmet use on its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. How can we still be debating such a clear cut issue in 2010? The truth is that we have been here before and are now heading steadily backwards.
Everything seemed to be heading in the right direction. It was 1966, the Beatles were hot, long hair was in and the Highway Safety Act mandated the use of helmets for motorcycle riders. By 1975, 47 states had enacted such laws and we were well on our way to a saner and safer approach toward preventing brain injuries. Then the Highway Safety Act of 1977 relaxed the pressure on the states to pass helmet laws and within a brief three years, 27 states repealed their helmet law. Motorcycle deaths dramatically increased. It is a fact: Motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 39 percent. Moderate to serious injuries increased dramatically and the costs associated with these injuries soared. Almost one-half of those injured have no insurance and their care is covered by public funds. Today, only 20 states have mandatory motorcycle helmet laws for all riders.
The period of time before and after 1977 gives a clear picture of what happens when you require people to wear a helmet. Deaths and serious brain injuries were significantly reduced by the use of helmets. A 1992 study in the Journal of Trauma compared helmeted and unhelmeted motorcycle accident victims. The chance of a severe brain injury was 66 percent in those without a helmet compared to 38 percent for those smart enough to wear a helmet. The cost of medical care for the unhelmeted was more than four times greater than those with a helmet and 44 percent of the medical care was paid out of public funds.
Who Are These Riders?
Severe brain injuries occur most frequently in young men between the ages of 15 and 24 -- aggressive and impulsive risk takers, whose judgment may be impaired by their hormones. It is no surprise that a study from the University of Southern California confirmed that motorcycle riders between 16 and 24-years-old were significantly over-represented in their sample. In this study, two-thirds of the accidents were caused by rider error such as over-braking, running wide on a curve or excess speeding. More than one-half of the riders had less than five months experience on the accident motorcycle and less than three years of total experience.
Therein lays the complaint of experienced motorcyclists who do not want to wear helmets. They feel that they shouldn't be penalized for inexperienced, show off drunk drivers who don't know what they are doing. The National Coalition of Motorcyclists claims that it is the other way around and that in two-thirds of the accidents the auto drivers are at fault. They claim they shouldn't be targeted because motorcycles represent only 2 percent of the total vehicles and less than 1 percent of all vehicular accidents.
The Right To Ride?
Motorcycle rights activists want to protect their right to ride and claim that the same goals we hope to achieve with mandatory helmet laws could be accomplished with motorcycle awareness campaigns and rider training courses. But, will it really protect those most likely to be brain injured -- our impulsive youth? It is not just an issue of those who ride; it's an issue for those of us who pay the bills.
Every study confirms that it is the public who bears a major portion of the cost of taking care of motorcycle crash victims. It is clearly a societal issue, for the cost of caring for severely brain injured people can rarely be totally funded by insurance. We, the taxpayer, pay for the medical costs of acute care, rehabilitation and, for many, the lifetime cost of custodial care. Nor could we deny medical care to a rider who was willing to sign a waiver, permitting the denial of care should they be injured riding without a helmet. We couldn't do it as physicians or as a civilized society.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons issued a position statement on the use of motorcycle and bicycle helmets. Similar position statements have been issued by the professional organizations of neurologists, pediatricians and neurosurgeons. The AAOS believes "that the issues of personal freedom should be seen in the context of the fact that the public at large incurs a major part of the cost for injuries to motorcycle riders. Society must evaluate the claim of infringement on freedom versus the funding of these costs." The need for a helmet law is a public health issue, proven in the data of past mistakes. It is a broader issue than motorcycles and stands to threaten the rapid growth in bicycle helmet use.
Children And Helmets
There were 653 bicycle deaths in 2008 and only 8 percent of them were wearing helmets. Three-fourths of the bicycle related deaths and one-third of the injuries involve injuries to the face or head. We know that bicycle helmets reduce serious traumatic brain injuries by 95 percent, yet fewer than 35 percent of all cyclists wear helmets all of the time.
Stop a minute and look at the box that your latest computer or television came in. It's packed securely and safely in expanded foam similar to what helmets are made out of. Sony or Apple wouldn't think of shipping their product without this security, but we send our children out to play with less protection than a $100 DVD player. We must not be thinking clearly. The once nerdy white foam shell helmets now come in colorful and stylish designs that any child or adult would be proud to wear. You can protect your child for the $30 that you might spend on a pizza dinner.
So what's the problem? Is there a revolt of 5-10-year-olds who refuse to wear their helmets or is it a lack of parental responsibilities that expose our children to these risks? I suspect we just don't think about it in terms of protecting our children from a serious health hazard. After all, we did crazy things on our bikes and survived those Evil Knevil jumps.
Brain injury associations around the country are actively educating school age children about the importance of bike safety and helmets. We can tell them about the rules of the road and to avoid stunt driving, but children will always behave like children and it is our job to help protect them. Adults need to wear their bicycle helmets and set a good example -- it is possible to wear a helmet and have fun.
Several states and many communities have passed mandatory bicycle helmet laws for children and a national mandate is needed. Allowing people to ride motorcycles and bicycles without helmets is a giant step in the wrong direction and demonstrates an abundance of poor judgment. I know the "collective wisdom" of our society today is demanding civil liberties that allow for more individual freedoms, but this one makes no sense. Mandatory seat belt laws save lives and reduce injuries. It is time for mandatory helmet laws in all 50 states.

Football Helmets - NY Times, Used helmets worn by the vast majority of young players encountered stark lapses in the industry’s few safety procedures.

OFF THE WIRE
SENT BY JAN,GOOD INFO TO SHARE..........
Here's an article in the NY Times about football helmets. It has many
tidbits of information someone might find helpful.
More than 90% of players start a season with a used/reconditioned
helmet, many of the helmets are 10 or 20 years old. That's not
surprising, but what I didn't know is, there is a helmet reconditioning
and recertifying industry,
BY ALAN SCHWARZ
NORMAN, Okla. — Moments after her son finished practicing with his fifth-grade tackle football team, Beth Sparks examined his scuffed and battered helmet for what she admitted was the first time. She looked at the polycarbonate shell and felt the foam inside before noticing a small emblem on the back that read, “MEETS NOCSAE STANDARD.”
“I would think that means it meets the national guidelines — you know, for head injuries, concussions, that sort of thing,” she said. “That’s what it would mean to me.”
That assumption, made by countless parents, coaches, administrators and even doctors involved with the 4.4 million children who play tackle football, is just one of many false beliefs in the largely unmonitored world of football helmets.
Helmets both new and used are not — and have never been — formally tested against the forces believed to cause concussions. The industry, which receives no governmental or other independent oversight, requires helmets for players of all ages to withstand only the extremely high-level force that would otherwise fracture skulls.
The standard has not changed meaningfully since it was written in 1973, despite rising concussion rates in youth football and the growing awareness of how the injury can cause significant short- and long-term problems with memory, depression and other cognitive functions, especially in children.
Moreover, used helmets worn by the vast majority of young players encountered stark lapses in the industry’s few safety procedures. Some of the businesses that recondition helmets ignored testing rules, performed the tests incorrectly or returned helmets that were still in poor condition. More than 100,000 children are wearing helmets too old to provide adequate protection — and perhaps half a million more are wearing potentially unsafe helmets that require critical examination, according to interviews with experts and industry data.
Awareness of head injuries in football was heightened last weekend when helmet-first collisions caused the paralysis of a Rutgers University player, a concussion to Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson and injuries to three other N.F.L. players. Although some injuries are unavoidable results of football physics, helmet standards have not kept up with modern football, industry insiders said. The one helmet standard was written by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, or Nocsae, a volunteer consortium that includes, and is largely financed by, the helmet makers themselves. Nocsae accepts no role in ensuring that helmets, either new or old, meet even its limited requirement.
One frustrated vice president of Nocsae, Dr. Robert Cantu of the Boston University School of Medicine, said the organization has been “asleep at the switch” for five years. Cantu joined other prominent voices involved in youth sports concussions in calling for stronger standards.
Recent engineering advances made by Riddell, Schutt, Adams and other manufacturers have undoubtedly improved the performance of the football helmet, which from its leather roots has always symbolized football’s duality of valor and violence. But helmets communicate a level of protection that they do not provide, experts said, in part because of lax industry standards and practices.
As she looked again at the helmet of her 11-year-old son, Hunt, Ms. Sparks said: “You just trust. You care so much about your kid, and then you just trust.”
One Limited Standard
After more than 100 high school and college football players in the 1960s were killed by skull fractures and acute brain bleeding, Nocsae was formed to protect players against the extreme forces that caused those injuries. The resulting standard, phased in by all levels of football through the 1970s, requires helmets to withstand a 60-inch free fall without allowing too much force to reach the skull.
This standard has accomplished its intent: skull fractures in football have essentially disappeared, and the three or four football-related deaths each year among players under 18 are caused by hits following a concussion that has not healed (known as second-impact syndrome) rather than by a single fatal blow.
As the size and speed of players have increased since the full adoption of the Nocsae standard in 1980, concussion rates have as well. An estimated 100,000 concussions are reported each season among high school players alone, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, but many times that figure are believed to go unreported or unrecognized.
Preventing concussions — which are typically marked by confusion, disorientation, nausea and other symptoms following a blow to the head — is trickier than preventing skull fractures. The brain can crash into the inside of the skull through a wide range of forces, some arriving straight to the head and others suddenly rotating it. Scientists have yet to isolate where thresholds are in different players at different positions and at different ages.
While bicycle helmets are designed to withstand only one large impact before being replaced, football helmets can encounter potentially concussive forces hundreds of times a season. Helmets cannot get too large or heavy, so helmet designers say they face a trade-off: make helmets stiff enough to withstand high impacts and allow less violent forces to cause concussions, or more softly cushion against concussive-type forces while allowing large impacts to crack the skull.

As Injuries Rise, Scant Oversight of Helmet Safety....

The helmet industry has essentially chosen the former. With some differences among brands, helmets are generally made of polycarbonate plastic shells cushioned inside with foams of various stiffnesses and some air-pocket cushioning. Headgear worn by pee-wees to professionals differs primarily by size; Nocsae’s standard makes no distinctions for the wearer’s age.
Because of the uncertainty of how concussions occur in football, experts said there was no way to cite real-life examples of players whose injuries might have been avoided by a stronger helmet testing standard. But requiring headgear to perform across a spectrum of impacts would undoubtedly decrease the total number of injuries, they said.
Nocsae’s standard for lacrosse and hockey helmets includes tests for concussive-type forces. But because football helmets have already prevented deaths so effectively for decades, and because football’s faster and more violent environment leaves biomechanists unsure of how to prevent concussions in the sport, Nocsae has not asked helmets makers to even try.
“When you have something that has worked well for a lot of years, you have to be pretty cautious,” said Mike Oliver, Nocsae’s executive director and general counsel since 1995. “If we save 15,000 concussions with a new standard but allow one skull fracture, if we save 5,000 concussions and allow one subdural hematoma, is it worth it? I can’t tell you that would be the trade-off, but you’ve got to basically be really sure that change wouldn’t adversely affect something else.”
Some experts, both within and outside Nocsae, question why helmets still are not required to handle the less violent impacts believed — although not scientifically proven — to cause concussions. Blaine Hoshizaki, director of human kinetics at the Neurotrauma Impact Research Lab at the University of Ottawa, said he lobbied Nocsae to strengthen its standard five or six years ago but, “It was like punching a balloon; they, yeah, understand, and then do nothing.”
“They say they don’t know what the thresholds are; O.K., but I can tell you that less angular acceleration is better than more,” said Mr. Hoshizaki, referring to the forces that cause the head to rotate suddenly. “To suggest we have no idea so we’ll do nothing is not an excuse to me. This has become a serious impediment to making a safer football environment.”
Helmet companies say they are making inroads on their own, pursuing improvements that they say decrease the number of concussions that players receive.
Riddell has gained the largest share of the overall helmet market in part because of the 2002 introduction of its Revolution model, which the company markets aggressively as having features, like thicker jaw padding, that reduce concussion risk by 31 percent compared with previous helmets. Riddell’s president, Dan Arment, said: “We think we’ve taken great strides to improve the protective features of our helmets, and we’re not done. We see it as an open frontier.”
Outside experts have criticized Riddell for overselling the protective properties of the Revolution and its successors. Dr. Cantu noted that the 31 percent figure — derived from a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a Riddell vice president — resulted from reports of concussions among high school players, which are notoriously inaccurate, and compared new Revolution helmets with old helmets of unknown age and condition.
Dave Halstead, the technical director of Nocsae, said: “It’s a good helmet. But I don’t believe that 31 percent for a Yankee minute.”
Schutt, which runs a close second to Riddell in market share, has unveiled helmets with plastic-based cushioning that its Web site says are “designed with the intent to reduce the risk of concussions” and feature “breakthrough technology providing maximum protection to athletes.” No scientific information is provided, although Schutt’s YouTube channel has a video demonstration in which a head-sized watermelon bearing the plastic does not break when struck by a 15-pound bowling ball.
“That was meant to be a parody,” Robert Erb, Schutt’s chief executive, said. “I don’t believe that there’s any single one test that will tell you whether a helmet can stop a concussion. We communicate with coaches, equipment managers and other people in the football community. We have years of experience, test different conditions, temperatures, putting the helmets through a variety of contexts to see if it has superior dampening ability for a range of impacts.”
Helmets produced by Adams U.S.A., worn by about 650,000 high school and younger players, are focused on meeting the Nocsae skull-fracture standard, David Wright, the chief executive of Adams, said. “Once we see evidence that says we can reduce these types of injuries,” he said, referring to concussions, “then we’ll do it. We haven’t seen that.”
Art Chou, vice president of Rawlings, agreed: “We’re not in the standards-making business. We make equipment focused on standards given to us.” Chou also serves on the Nocsae board.
Along with Riddell, the company most emphasizing concussion safety is Xenith, whose X1 model is making inroads among high schools, colleges and the N.F.L. The X1 features a radical new design: air-filled shock absorbers that attempt to withstand a wider range of forces than traditional foam. Xenith’s founder and president, the former Harvard quarterback Vin Ferrara, said the Nocsae standard had discouraged innovation among other companies and was “wholly inadequate” for modern football.
“The fact that there’s only one standard for everything, designed 30 years ago for a different problem, indicates how far off the industry is right now from having an acceptable standard,” Mr. Ferrara said.
Dangerous Misconceptions......

The fact that helmets are held to no standard regarding concussions surprised almost every one of dozens of people interviewed for this article, from coaches and parents to doctors and league officials. Even one member of the Nocsae board, Grant Teaff — who represents the American Football Coaches Association — said he was unaware of it.
“Obviously if you’re protecting against skull fracture, you’re protecting against any type of concussion,” Teaff said, incorrectly.
Nocsae receives no oversight from any independent agency, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Its 16-member board features five representatives of the helmet industry, six volunteer doctors, two athletic trainers, two equipment managers and one coach.
Nocsae’s annual budget of about $1.7 million is funded mostly by sporting-goods manufacturers whose products bear the Nocsae seal of approval. The largest share of that comes from football helmet makers and reconditioners.
“That’s pretty scary,” said Dr. David Price, who is heavily involved with youth football as a sports medicine physician for Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. “You would think there would be some sort of third-party oversight.”
Mr. Oliver, Nocsae’s longtime president, said that helmet companies do not unduly influence the organization’s policies. Dr. Cantu agreed, but said that the board has become as concerned about legal liability as about child safety. If Nocsae were to supplement its helmet standard in an attempt to address concussions, it could open itself to lawsuits brought by players saying that their helmet did not prevent the injury.
“I have been calling for a new standard to be written for football helmets for years, and Nocsae has been sitting on their duffs,” Dr. Cantu said. “Everyone’s afraid of being sued, because if you say that certain helmets are better, you’re saying that millions of them out there now aren’t safe.”
Nocsae officials insisted that the organization does not mandate adherence to its standard; it is merely used, voluntarily, by every level of football from Pop Warner to the N.F.L. Nocsae goes so far as to state in its testing instructions that its standard “does not purport to address all of the safety problems, if any, associated with its use.”
One use of the standard often emerges after a young player sustains a head injury and sues a school district or helmet manufacturer. In the 42 lawsuits in which he has testified as an expert, Mr. Halstead of Nocsae said, the primary (and usually successful) defense is that the helmet met the Nocsae standard.
“Manufacturers and schools, equipment managers and the coaches — the whole football industry — don’t want to go after or even criticize the security blanket of Nocsae,” said Sander Reynolds, Xenith’s vice president for product development. “If there’s a lawsuit, they all look to Nocsae to say, ‘Hey, see, the product met the set standards.’ They’re all ultimately on the same side when it comes to liability. Nocsae exists for two reasons — to avoid skull fractures, and to avoid liability.”
USA Football, which oversees tackle football among players ages 6 to 14, requires only that helmets have a Nocsae seal of approval. In the slightly more explicit rule book of the National Federation of High Schools, before several paragraphs that regulate the size of uniform numbers, decorative stripes and the like, helmets are required only to have “met the Nocsae test standard at the time of manufacture.”
This has allowed thousands of older youth helmets to be re-used — particularly in poorer, rural communities — that would not even meet the Nocsae standard if they were examined critically through an industry procedure called reconditioning.
To the extent that 1.7 million helmets do undergo reconditioning each year, they encounter procedures and practices that industry experts described as laughable if they didn’t compromise the safety of children’s brains.
Borrower Beware
Everyone with experience in youth football has his favorite horror story. The helmet with socks inserted where the padding should have been. The helmet with a nail holding parts together. Hundreds of cracked helmets with detached foam that had no business being worn at all.
At Stadium System, a family-operated business in northern Connecticut that for decades has been the primary helmet reconditioner for New England schools and youth leagues, the owners Mike and Ken Schopp shook their heads last August at one typical rack of helmets awaiting work. One youth helmet had torn ear padding that compromised safety for who knew how many games or seasons. Another’s inflatable air liner was ripped and useless. Another high school helmet, covered with skull-and-crossbones stickers, had padding that was switched from front to back and placed upside down, probably because it was itching the player’s neck.
“That’s a fairly common thing for kids to do — and the kid’s wondering why he has a bloody forehead,” Mike Schopp said. Ken, his brother, added, “And it would probably pass the Nocsae test no problem.”
Only about 10 to 20 percent of football players of high school age or younger wear a new helmet, which can cost from $150 to $300. The vast majority of headgear is handed down for years and at various points undergoes a reconditioning process that costs about $25 to $45. Most get reconditioned every one or two seasons, which most experts recommend. But data closely held by the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association, Naera, indicated that about 500,000 young players this fall were wearing helmets that had not undergone this basic safety check, which encounters glaring failures of its own.
About 25 facilities are authorized by Nocsae to recondition helmets and recertify them as meeting the original testing standard. The dozen-step process involves removing and washing all padding, inspecting parts for cracks and other deformities, washing and repainting the shell, and reassembling the helmet with either used or new parts. About 15 percent of helmets are deemed unfixable and discarded.
Nocsae’s sole means of quality control is to require each reconditioning facility to perform the Nocsae drop test — in which a helmet is placed on a fluid-filled polyurethane head-form and dropped along wires from a height of 60 inches — on a random sample of about 3 percent of their helmets to see if they still absorb enough force to protect against skull fracture. The test is designed to help identify the rare helmet model that requires recall, not to pinpoint individual helmets that need replacement.
The test is failed by about 1 in 300 reconditioned helmets, according to Naera reports. All of the passing helmets — along with the vast majority that undergo no testing at all, just a visual assembly-line inspection — receive a sticker that indicates they continue to meet Nocsae standards, and are returned to the league or school.
This largely faith-based process allows for significant errors. Hundreds if not thousands of supposedly reconditioned helmets emerge still unfit for use, according to interviews with coaches, parents and helmet-industry principals.
This summer two reconditioners, Clean Gear in New Jersey and Maxletics in Hawaii, skipped the drop testing altogether and sent back all its helmets to schools, said Ed Fisher, Naera’s executive director and a longtime high school football coach in Washington state. He added that he discovered this only because an athletic trainer happened to complain about the condition of the helmets at a trade show. The helmets were recovered by Nocsae, which terminated the companies’ licenses to recertify helmets.
During a tour of Stadium System in Connecticut, Fisher walked into the drop-testing room and found the technician testing helmets that were far too loose on the head-form to be measured correctly. The Schopps said that they were following Nocsae instructions — although those instructions require a “reasonable fit” — and that they had been testing helmets like that for the entire summer, or longer.
“I need to have a critical eye,” Fisher said. “And to the people that say they’re doing it correctly, I need to have some procedures that will allow me to walk in and be able to say, show me and prove it. We’re working on that.”
Some helmets are returned to teams with obvious defects. This summer, high schools in California, Wisconsin and several other states received reconditioned helmets (all bearing the Nocsae seal) that had missing harness cables, improperly attached face masks, incorrect padding and other problems that would almost certainly pose a danger to a young player. One of them was received by Jim Rudloff, the coach of Marblehead High School near Boston.
“We’re rolling the dice and trusting that these things are done right,” Mr. Rudloff said. “There is that blind faith in a lot of towns that you put on whatever they give you.”
Mr. Halstead, the technical director of Nocsae, added: “School districts are so strapped that they just go to the cheapest place and hope. They’ll always want to fix an old bus rather than find the money to buy a new one. That means they keep using old helmets, and sometimes not recondition them for way too long. For example, I would never let my kid wear a helmet that is more than 10 years old.”
Mr. Fisher of Naera and most everyone involved in the helmet industry agreed that helmets older than about 10 years present an unacceptable safety risk. Riddell and Adams both strongly recommend that their helmets be discarded after 10 years. Schutt sets no such limit.

Naera data indicated that more than 100,000 helmets more than 10 years old were worn by players in the 2009 season, thousands were close to 20 years old.

Helmets made before 1997 could pose an additional safety risk of which few people outside of Nocsae are aware. The standard to which helmets are now held — a drop-test score of less than 1,200 in a measure of force called severity index — had been 1,500 until 1998, when Nocsae lowered it. (This was done because new helmets were easily passing the 1,500 test and would easily pass the new figure, Nocsae officials said.) But helmets produced before 1997 were grandfathered in. So any one of the 70,000 pre-1997 helmets currently in use can test above 1,200 but below 1,500 — a range now agreed by most to be unsafe — and still be certified as meeting the Nocsae standard.

“There’s no scientific evidence that a helmet has to be pulled after 7, 10, 12 years, that there’s some line in the sand,” Schutt’s Erb said. “There are helmets that are out there that are performing fine. Do you want your car manufacturer to tell you that your car, at the end of 10 years, you have to destroy it? That’s a decision for the user.”

Some players at Cooperstown Central High School in New York are wearing helmets made in 1991, the school’s athletic coordinator, Jay Baldo, said. They were Schutt helmets reconditioned this summer by Stadium System.

“Our plan is to replace them next year,” Mr. Baldo said. “The money’s going to have to come from somewhere else. Our whole budget is about $300 for football.”

Only two people have access to the test logs that would determine just how many non-Schutt helmets more than 10 years old are being recertified and used in which areas of the country: Naera’s Mr. Fisher and Nocsae’s Mr. Halstead. They provided data to The New York Times that indicated that the number is minuscule.

Mr. Oliver, Nocsae’s executive director, said he does not receive or consult reconditioning data. Asked if helmets more than 10 years old should be worn by a child, he said: “I can’t say it should or shouldn’t be. All I can go on is how it tests on the standard.”

The Future
Most experts agree that regarding concussions and growing evidence of their health risks — particularly among young athletes — the first order of business is to get players, coaches and parents to recognize the injury and then keep the player away from sports for as long as it takes to heal. Others added that football leagues and referees must more vigilantly penalize players who lead with their head while tackling. This dangerous maneuver received heightened news media coverage this week given several high-profile injuries, but it occurs in almost every game at every level.
The Wild West culture regarding helmets must also change, they said. Some call for Nocsae and Naera to set stronger standards and more proactively enforce their rules, but that would almost certainly require greater legal protection, said Dr. Cantu, the Nocsae vice president. Mr. Ferrara, the president of Xenith, called for the industry to receive governmental oversight.
“I want to answer to a higher authority than Nocsae,” Mr. Ferrara said. “I want to answer to the F.D.A.”
After four years of national debate over sport-related concussions as a public-health concern, and after several officials were interviewed for this article, Nocsae decided earlier this month to consider moving on the matter of a concussion-related helmet standard. Strongly pressured by Dr. Cantu, Mr. Oliver scheduled a meeting for Saturday to have experts in the field discuss possible adjustments — specifically a test for the less violent forces believed to raise concussion risks. Even if adjustments begin that day, the process will take at least three or four years.
Meanwhile, and pending more effective industry oversight, young football players will continue to wear helmets whose limitations are obscured by their communities’ love for football. Nowhere was this more clear than here in Norman last August, when fifth-graders lined up to receive their headgear for the season. No one thought to question what helmets are designed to do, how old the helmets were, if and when they had been reconditioned, or whether their sweat-stained and dirty padding retained its safety properties.
One of them, Joseph Kirk, stood at attention as his team, the Punishers, received their primary brain protection for the season. A league volunteer reached into a rack of helmets and chose No. 5045 — a worn white Riddell Little Pro with no known age, no known history and one Nocsae sticker.
“That good, big man?” the volunteer asked as Joseph peered unblinkingly from behind the face mask. The man fiddled with the fit, handed Joseph a leather chin strap and said, “Put this on when you get home.” The entire process took nine seconds.
Joseph shuffled to the next station to get his shoulder pads as the volunteer beckoned, “Next!”

New Zealand, Warehouse new gang base

OFF THE WIRE
BLAIR ENSOR - The Marlborough Express
Trouble: Police talk with Lone Legion members outside a warehouse at 14 Stuart St, Blenheim, which is thought to be the club's new headquarters. Second from left is Roger Turnbull, the director of Legionnaire Ltd, which owns the warehouse.
Residents say they were intimidated by patched gang members during a rowdy weekend at a warehouse in Blenheim that police believe could be the new headquarters of the Lone Legion Motorcycle Club.
The Lone Legion marked its 30th anniversary last Wednesday, and celebrations continued through the weekend.
The Marlborough Express saw at least six members of the Outlaws MC from Napier arrive on motorbikes at 14 Stuart St on Saturday.
Yesterday afternoon, four Lone Legion members, including Legionnaire Ltd director Roger Turnbull, were seen talking with police.
A New Zealand flag hung at half-mast at the entrance to the warehouse on the property, which has a high corrugated iron fence and gate along the street front.
Acting Marlborough area police commander Senior Sergeant Ciaran Sloan said police were called to Stuart St after an incident stemming from a noise complaint. Inquiries were continuing.
A resident in the area said a gang member attacked a neighbour across the road in Stuart St after a complaint on Saturday night about loud music. The fight lasted several minutes.
The music from the warehouse on Saturday night was a "constant thud in the distance", the resident said.
Mr Sloan said police were aware that associates of the Lone Legion owned the warehouse at 14 Stuart St.
Asked whether the building was the club's new headquarters, Mr Sloan said he did not know, "but one could assume that it is going to be".
Police would be monitoring the gang, he said.
"[Gangs] are usually up to criminal activity, and I would say the Lone Legion ... is up to no different. When they attract our attention, they will receive it," Mr Sloan said.
Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman said he had not been briefed about the Lone Legion setting up in Stuart St, but gangs were not welcome in Blenheim.
"For some time, [the Lone Legion] have kept a pretty low profile and haven't been a concern to the public.
"If they're lifting their presence and associating with other gangs, then of course it's a concern.
"The police have kept a lid on things gang-wise, and I want to see it kept that way."
The Lone Legion Motorcycle Club and the Outlaws MC are part of the A-Team, an alliance of several biker groups.
According to the New Zealand Companies Register, Mr Turnbull is the sole director of Legionnaire Ltd, whose registered office for several years was 18 Gascoigne St, the Lone Legion's old gang house. It was pulled down in 2007 after a murder.
Mr Turnbull could not be contacted by the Express this morning, but earlier this year he said the new building was a warehouse and would be rented out when it was finished.
Neighbours said they had heard that motorcycles would be stored in the building, but Mr Turnbull would not give any more details.
The building consent for the warehouse shows that it cost about $188,000.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/4401687/Warehouse-new-gang-base

Growth of San Diego's Navy fleet tied to tension in Korea

OFF THE WIRE
By Gary Robbins, UNION-TRIBUNE
The U.S. Navy has been shifting warships to San Diego from other ports in recent years to better prepare the Pentagon to respond to exactly the sort of military and political tension now occurring between North Korea and South Korea.
North Korea bombed the small South Korean island of Yeonpyeong on Nov. 23rd, killing four people. The bombing came as a US strike group led by the carrier George Washington was preparing to leave for a long-planned exercise with the South Korean Navy.
That exercise is going on now in the Yellow Sea.
The George Washington is homeported in Yokosuka, Japan. But the Navy has been sending many ships and personnel from the East Coast to the the West Coast, notably, San Diego. Southern California also is expected to get a large percentage of the Littoral Combat Ships that will be build for the Navy.
"The shift shows that we're going from worrying about NATO and Russia to worrying about China and Iran," defense analyst and author Eric Wertheim told us in August. North Korea also is a major concern because it has nuclear weapons, and it can fire long-range offensive missiles.
San Diego is currently home to about 60 surface ships and submarines, a figure that will rise to more than 80 by 2014. The Navy already has made such high profile moves as sending the carrier Carl Vinson from Virginia to North Island. The carrier arrived in April.
The city hosts two other carriers, the Nimitz and the Ronald Reagan. The Nimitz is scheduled to leave for a port change on Dec. 2. But the ship will remain on the West Coast, porting in Bremerton, Washington.
The carrier Lincoln briefly visited North Island Naval Station in September to take on crew, supplies, and, offshore, its air wing.
Two other carriers, the Truman and the Lincoln, are currently operating in the western Pacific. The Lincoln took on its air wing off San Diego County in September, and is currently operating with support from a pair of San Diego-based ships, the cruiser Cape St. George and the destroyer Halsey. Lincoln, like other carriers, stocks about 75 aircraft. And ships like Cape St. George and Halsey are designed to fire long-range cruise missiles.
"If the situation escalates, short of general war, I could easily imagine the US wanting a stronger show of force," John Pike, a defense analyst for Globalsecurity.org, said today. "If the CHICOMS (Chinese Communists) are unhappy about one carrier in the North China Sea, possibly their unhappiness at two carriers sailing in their Exclusive Economic Zone might prompt them to get off the dime and lean on North Korea."
The shift in ships and personnel was meant to anticipate such trouble. And the build up has occurred quickly. San Diego County had the highest active duty military payroll in the country last year, pulling ahead of the huge Naval complex in and around Norfolk, Virginia. The local active duty payroll, which includes Camp Pendleton Marines, now stands at about $11.2 billion.
Much of that money is regularly used to put together the sort of carrier strike group that the carrier Washington is now leading. That flat-top is being shadowed by the cruiser Cowpens, and the destroyers Lassen, Stethem and and Fitzgerald. There also may be a submarine in the mix.
“While this exercise, which is defensive in nature, has been planned for some time, it underscores the importance of the ROK-U.S. alliance and our collective commitment to regional security and stability,” said Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd, Commander, said in a statement issued early today.
- US Navy
The San Diego-based cruiser Cape St. George fires a missile.
The West Coast build up goes beyond simply creating strike groups. Increasingly, surface warships, including some stationed in San Diego, are being fitted with SM-3 missiles, a new and evolving weapon that was designed to knock down missiles fired by countries like North Korea and Iran, if necessary. Even older vessels are part of the geopolitical equation. The Navy is considering selling the San Diego-based frigate Jarrett to Taiwan next year to give that nation more protection against China.
All this shifting comes during period when the Defense Department says there will be deep budget cuts. But analysts say that San Diego will largely be spared because of its strategic importance.
"San Diego is in as good if not better position to get through these cuts than any other place," said John Pike, said earlier this year.

Canada, ,Salmon Arm, Kelowna. 'They were up to no good': RCMP Lone Mountie brings in four Hells Angels

OFF THE WIRE
BY: Susan Lazaruk
Source: theprovince.com
A cache of weapons seized from the vehicle of a full-patch Hells Angels member near Salmon Arm -- including loaded guns, ammo, knives, bear spray, a baseball bat and balaclavas -- shows the organization is more than just a group of fun-loving "rowdy rebels."
"If you look at the weapons that were found, the question is: Why would somebody in a club of peace-loving motorcycle enthusiasts need that kind of weaponry?" said Julian Sher, the author of several books on the Hells Angels.
"I think it's fair to say they were up to no good," said RCMP Staff Sgt. Kevin Keane of the Salmon Arm detachment.
Four men, now in custody, were arrested after an RCMP traffic officer working by himself near Salmon Arm pulled over a rental vehicle for speeding on Highway 1 around 11 p.m. Thursday.
"It was snowing and the roads were under winter conditions and these people were going down the road pretty quick," said Keane.
The traffic officer smelled marijuana smoke coming from the vehicle and a search turned up an array of prohibited weapons and other items: two handguns and eight ammo cartridges, a revolver and six bullets, a sawed-off shotgun and three shotgun bullets, four knives, a baseball bat, an axe handle, a can of bear spray, a bulletproof vest, two balaclavas, a walkie-talkie set, a radio jammer capable of blocking cellphone transmissions, six cell-phones, Hells Angels insignia and a baggie of marijuana.
"All persons arrested are associated to the Hells Angels motorcycle club and were sporting insignia of the Hells Angels organization," Keane said in a release.
The loaded weapons were within reach of the men in the vehicle, he said. One of the guns was registered to one of the occupants.
Possession of a shotgun that has been sawed off shorter than 18 inches is prohibited in Canada. Sawing off the barrel makes the shotgun easier to conceal and quicker to shoot, and also increases the chance of a shooter finding the target even if the aim is off because the shot spreads out over a greater area.
Arrested and charged with various weapons offences are Joseph "Bruce" Skreptak, 43; Cory Montemurro, 40; Carl Ennis, 39; and Dennis Miner, 35, all of Kelowna.
It's not known which of the four was driving. According to B.C. court records, Skreptak has more than a dozen speeding violations across the province dating back to 1995, while Montemurro and Miner had about a half-dozen each. Ennis had one speeding violation.
The four men remain in custody in RCMP cells in Salmon Arm awaiting their next court appearance this week, said Keane.
Forensic investigators were examining the weapons for any clues yesterday and officers from the Integrated Gang Task Force were also investigating, said Keane.
Skreptak, a full-patch HA member and credited by Kelowna police years ago as being one of the founding members of the club's Kelowna chapter, had his Kelowna house busted as a marijuana grow-op in 2005.
Skreptak's truck was parked outside the house but he denied any knowledge of the grow-op, instead blaming tenants, and charges were never laid.
Police said Skreptak's fellow Hells Angels would likely have seen the grow-op incident as a sign of carelessness.
Sher said the same could be said of these four, who failed to follow the cardinal rule when engaged in illegal activity of obeying the speed limit.
"It's delightful that a member of the Hells Angels shows their IQ is about the same size as their neck size," said Sher.
"People always get a laugh when they win the stupid criminal of the week award."
slazaruk@theprovince.com
Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/They+were+good+RCMP/3895481/story.html#ixzz16bDspq6y

SPINELESS PUKE BAG DISTRICT ATTORNEY, JONATHAN BLODGETT, CONDONES MURDER BY MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE; MURDERERS ALLOWED TO INVESTIGATE THEMSELVES!

OFF THE WIRE
Massachusetts State Police Beat & Choke An Already Handcuffed Kenneth Howe. Kenneth died from the beating he received that night, at the hands of blood thirsty & abusive Massachusetts State Police Goons !

ON NOVEMBER 25, 2009 KENNETH HOWE, 45, A MARRIED FATHER OF THREE, WAS VICIOUSLY BEATEN TO DEATH AT A “SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT” BY BLOOD THIRSTY, ABUSIVE MEMBERS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE .

MR. HOWE WAS RIDING IN A FRIEND’S VEHICLE WHEN THEY CAME UPON THE ROAD BLOCK. MR. HOWE HAD ALLEGEDLY BEEN SMOKING A MARIJUANA JOINT IN THE VEHICLE.

WHEN THE VEHICLE MR. HOWE WAS A PASSENGER IN STOPPED AT THE CHECK POINT, THE ALMIGHTY MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE GODS DECIDED THAT PHYSICALLY MANHANDLING MR. HOWE (WHO WAS IN THE BACK SEAT) AND VIOLENTLY RIPPING HIM THROUGH THE VEHICLE’S WINDOW WAS AN ACCEPTABLE AND APPROPRIATE WAY TO HANDLE SOMEONE WHO MAY HAVE SMOKED A MARIJUANA JOINT.

THE BLOOD THIRSTY GESTAPO TROOPERS CLAIM THAT ONCE THEY HAD MR. HOWE OUTSIDE THE VEHICLE, THEY WALKED AWAY AND LEFT HIM WITH A FEMALE STATE TROOPER. REALLY ?

GIRLIE COP ALLEGEDLY YELLED OUT THAT MR. HOWE ASSAULTED HER, AND THE BLOOD THIRSTY MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE GOONS CAME A-RUNNIN’!

IT WAS AT THAT TIME MR. HOWE ALLEGEDLY MADE A BREAK FOR IT ! THE RUN FOR HIS LIFE, LITERALLY !

THE FOAMING AT THE MOUTH, ALL WHITE BLOOD THIRSTY GOON SQUAD CAUGHT UP WITH MR. HOWE AND PROCEEDED TO BEAT HIM TO DEATH.

IMAGINE THE SOUNDS MADE BY THIS, HELPLESS, FRIGHTENED, HANDCUFFED SOUL, AS HE WAS VICIOUSLY BEATEN BY A GANG OF BRUTAL GUN TOTTING, BADGE WEARING MURDERERS !

IMAGINE THE SOUNDS MADE BY THE DOGS PARTAKING IN THE KILLING OF A HANDCUFFED, INNOCENT, FRIGHTENED, HELPLESS HUSBAND; THE FATHER OF THREE !

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHOM HAVE NEVER HEARD THE SOUNDS OF A VICIOUS BEAT DOWN, ALLOW ME TO ATTEMPT AND FAMILIARIZE YOU AS BEST I CAN THROUGH THE WRITTEN WORD–YOU COULD EXPECT TO HEAR THE FOLLOWING, IN LOUD, MONSTER-LIKE EVIL TONES COUPLED WITH THE BLUNT FORCEFUL THUDS, SLAPS AND PUNCHES MADE UPON THE BODY BY THE ATTACKERS:

” YOU MOTHER FUCKING COCKSUCKER ! YOU NO GOOD NIGGER MOTHER FUCKER ! PIECE OF SHIT MOTHER FUCKER ! YOU NO GOOD COCKSUCKER ! DIE YOU PIECE OF SHIT ! DIE YOU MOTHER FUCKER !

THE ABOVE EXAMPLE OF LANGUAGE YOU COULD EXPECT TO HEAR DURING A VICIOUS BEAT DOWN IS UN-MISTAKENLY ACCOMPANIED WITH THE SCREAMING CRIES FOR MERCY, SCREAMING CRIES TO GOD FOR HELP, SCREAMING CRIES TO FAMILY MEMBERS AND YES, EVEN THE SCREAMING CRIES FOR THE POLICE TO HELP !

ONLY MR. HOWE WAS BEING MURDERED BY THE POLICE ! THE VERY ONES WHOM ARE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT HIM FROM SUCH VIOLENT, UNPROVOKED PHYSICAL ATTACKS !

1) DOES ANYONE HONESTLY BELIEVE THAT AFTER VIOLENTLY MANHANDLING AND RIPPING MR. HOWE THROUGH THE VEHICLE’S WINDOW, THE GOON SQUAD WOULD WALK AWAY AND LEAVE THEIR PREY ALONE–WITH A GIRLIE COP ?

2) CAN ANYONE HONESTLY BELIEVE MR HOWE, WHO WAS HANDCUFFED AND IN FEAR FOR HIS LIFE, ACTUALLY ASSAULTED THE GIRLIE TROOPER- RIGHT IN FRONT OF AT LEAST 10 BLOOD THIRSTY GESTAPO GOONS WHO ALREADY ROUGHED HIM UP; AND WHO NEVER WITNESSED THE ALLEGED ASSAULT ON THE GIRLIE COP THEMSELVES ?

3) CAN ANYONE HONESTLY BELIEVE THAT THE BLOOD THIRSTY BEASTS CHASING DOWN MR. HOWE USED ONLY THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF FORCE TO SUBDUE A SUSPECT– AS MR. HOWE ATTEMPTED TO FLEE THE VICIOUS BEATING HE KNEW HE WAS ABOUT TO RECEIVE BECAUSE SOME FEMALE COP (WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN AT HOME IN AN APRON BAKING PIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS) ALLEGEDLY YELLED SHE HAD BEEN ASSAULTED; BY A MAN HER ABUSIVE FRIENDS HAD ALREADY MANHANDLED & WHO WAS ALREADY HANDCUFFED-TREMBLING IN FEAR ?

4) CAN ANYONE HONESTLY BELIEVE KENNETH HOWE’S MURDER WAS INVESTIGATED IN AN HONEST, OPEN, INDEPENDENT, JUST, AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST FREE MANNER, BY THE VERY AGENCY WHO’S OFFICERS MURDERED KENNETH HOWE: THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE ?

WELL ONE IDIOT DOES, OR AT LEAST HE WANTS US ALL TO THINK HE HONESTLY BELIEVES IT ALL HAPPENED THE WAY THE MURDERERS SAY IT DID !

THAT IDIOT IS MASSACHUSETTS, ESSEX COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY JONATHAN W. BLODGETT !

THAT’S RIGHT ! THIS FOOL ALLOWED THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE TO INVESTIGATE THEIR OWN MURDERERS AND IN A TOTAL SHOCKER: THEY DETERMINED THEIR MURDERERS, I MEAN TROOPERS, DID NOTHING WRONG !

THIS SPINELESS MORON BLODGETT, SHOULD HAVE IMMEDIATELY CALLED FOR AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION, OR FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO STEP IN AND INVESTIGATE THIS DEATH BY BEATING.

BUT NO ! THIS MAGGOT, ESSEX COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY JONATHAN W. BLODGETT LACKS THE BALLS TO PUT THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE IN THEIR PLACE AND REFUSE TO LET THEIR BLOOD THIRSTY GOONS KILL PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY MAY HAVE SMOKED A JOINT !

NEWSFLASH: EVEN IF MR. HOWE HAD SPIT IN THE FACE OF THAT GIRLIE COP, AND IN THE FACES OF THE GOON SQUAD–YOU DON’T GET TO KILL HIM FOR IT ! EVEN IF HE CALLED THE GIRLIE TROOPER A CUNT, A WHORE, A DIKE: YOU DON’T GET TO KILL HIM FOR IT !

TUNE INTO “HERMIS LIVE!”–THE WORCESTER EDITION–FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2010 11:00AM AT “HERMIS LIVE!” DOT COM– FOR MY COMMENTARY REGARDING THE SPINELESS, BALL-LESS, DESPICABLE, ESSEX COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY JONATHAN W. BLODGETT AND THE UNACCEPTABLE ACTIONS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE !

What are some good responses to this helmet statement?

OFF THE WIRE
SCREWDRIVER RESPONDS,
I can relate since, last summer (July 09) I was hit going 80 mph and kept upright till I slowed down long enough to actually go down (BOT DOTS helped the bike come out from under me.) and land on my rt shoulder and head. which resulted in 3 plates, 48 screws, 9 staples in my back, and a fractured jawbone.. Had I been wearing a full face helmet,I would not be here to write this since I would have snapped my neck.... AS told to me by the Surgeon who patched me up..........

A few months ago, one of the QuickThrottle writers made the statement that she started wearing a helmet to prevent her from getting sun damage to her face. And she said, "It's a good thing I did because I had an accident and without a helmet I would have injured my face."
And more recently I heard another person say, "A helmet saved my life."
What would a good BOLT response to that specific statement be?
I'm brainstorming:
1. Is that a fact? Or is that your impression?
2. Is it possible that wearing a helmet gave you a false sense of security?
3. Is it possible that you felt confident to lay your head on the ground because you knew you were wearing a helmet?
4. Did the helmet contribute in any way to the accident by:
Obstructing your vision?
Causing extra head buffeting to wind?
Was it so heavy that it delayed your reaction to turn your head and better anticipate the problem to avoid the accident?
5. If you hadn't taken the extra time to don a helmet is it possible you could have avoided being at the wrong place at the wrong time?
6. Have you ever ridden without a helmet to compare your level of traffic awareness and riding competency?
7. If you had been wearing a full-face helmet would it have been easy to perform CPR on you if you were unconscious?
And then after getting them to answer all those questions, how about this one:
Are you so confident that helmets always save lives that you would bet your house on that statement?

TigerLilyFrom Whodabob:

Great questions Lily. I was just thinking that the author either missed his target audience or intentionally preached to the choir because it's an easy audience to target. What I mean is it's easy to tell an audience of bikers that helmets should be a choice, but that's not persuasion. Bikers already agree it should be a choice. To protect and fight for freedoms this author's pen ( and remember pen and sword anaologies, this author and yourself are fighting for our freedoms with pens) needs to persuade John Q Public and those with legislative votes that these freedoms should be protected.

Here's where I think John Q public stands:

* "I didn't like them passing a seat belt law...but I got used to it and it saved thousands of lives"

* " Those bikers will probably do the same thing, they'll get used to it and lives will be saved."

* "If fewer people are killed, then it's for the greater good and sometimes the greater good is worth sacrificing some rights"

* " Hey they're all either punks on crotch rockets disobeyeing the traffic laws I do, or they're loud piped scofflaws that annoy the hell out of me anyway. Why should I care if they're inconvienenced with wearing a helmet?"

Now if I'm right and this is what the general public thinks, how is presenting a case that lidless riders don't really cost the taxpayers the money that helmet law proponents say they do going to change a mind? See where I'm going? It's not a persuasive enough argument to get them to call their congressman and tell them how they want the rep to vote. And that's what ultimately needs to be done to protect freedoms. SO... I think the challenge for the pen wielder is to write for the non biker, not the biker. How are you going to get the soccer Mom to make a fight for your freedom also a fight for hers? She's made minority rights her own and she's made homosexuals rights her own, can you get her to make biker's rights her own? I'm probably way too naive but I think that's the angle that will actually change votes.

DOT vs. ECE Helmet Safety Standards

OFF THE WIRE
http://www.webbikeworld.com/eicma-2010/nolan-helmets/dot-vs-ece-helmet-safety-standards.htm DOT vs. ECE Helmet Safety Standards.
Motorcycle Helmet Safety Standards
by Rick Korchak for webBikeWorld.com
[http://www.webbikeworld.com/includes/google/336x280-2010.htm]
Background
In Part 1 of this article, I described my detailed tour of the Nolan Helmets factory in Brembate di Sopra, Italy.
I learned about the polycarbonate motorcycle helmet manufacturing process and all of the work that it takes to create a Nolan helmet.
During my tour, I also visited a separate Nolan facility used for manufacturing the composite shells of the Nolan Group X-Lite helmets.
The process is completely different, although the painting and decal work is similar.
Nolan has developed many trade secrets for manufacturing their composite helmets and I was sworn to secrecy at the front gate, so unfortunately I'm not at liberty to discuss it.
However, I also visited the helmet safety standards test labs at Nolan, where both the polycarbonate and the composite X-Lite helmets are developed and tested and the designs certified to meet the various worldwide standards in the over 70 countries where Nolan helmets are sold.
I'd like to again thank the Nolan staff for providing this most excellent and enlightening tour and for allowing me such free access to the entire facility. And don't forget lunch!
Introduction
A huge amount of information -- or should I say misinformation -- exists regarding the differences between worldwide motorcycle helmet safety standards.
Unfortunately, even with all that information, there isn't a consensus among motorcycle riders on which standard provides the most protective, or "safest" helmet. Even the experts don't agree (and apparently don't really know) which test and what type of forces will optimize protection for the rider's head.
Another facet of this controversy is that many of the tests have apparently been developed without solid scientific evidence or backing for their efficacy, which has resulted in differences among the standards, such as the maximum G force over time that are called out. This is the source of some of the confusion; surely the criteriae and testing procedures among the standards would be similar if the data and evidence was available (and everyone agreed)?
Thus, the subject of motorcycle helmet safety standards is highly complex, so it's no wonder the general riding public is confused.
I wish I could say that I have learned enough to give you some concrete answers and facts on the differences. But although I've either owned or worn over 200 helmets in the last 10 years and am deeply immersed in the subject for a living, I'm still far from an expert on these matters. I pity the beginning rider that walks into the local shop to buy a first helmet.
Knowledge is power, so they say, but where there is power, there is danger. Too much or too little or misunderstandings are rife when it comes to helmet standards. So at the risk of adding even more confusion to the discussions, I'll convey some of the information gleaned during my visit to the Nolan labs and I will describe some of the rather surprising (at least to me) findings.
Notes and Disclaimers
This article is absolutely not designed to provide any type of definitive answers on this topic. I am far from an expert on this. It is simply one rider's observations on some of the differences and issues surrounding this complex subject.
Although I have labored to ensure that all of my facts and information are correct, it is possible that more clarification may be required, so contributions from readers who have expertise in the area of motorcycle helmet safety standards are welcomed and in fact, encouraged. It would be nice to develop a dialogue about this topic that could be shared with our readers.
OK, let's begin!
The Metalheads
Nolan has complete testing laboratory facilities that include drop rigs and all of the other technology needed to test helmets to all worldwide applicable safety standards. The facilities are also used for research and development on new designs, new materials and helmets for the Nolan, X-Lite and Grex lines of helmets that the Nolan Group produces.
Attached to the testing lab is Nolan's internal quality control facility, with all sorts of custom-made devices and machinery to "torture test" helmets, visor and face shield operation, sun shades and everything else that makes up a modern helmet. They even have an environmental test chamber to provide accelerated testing on moisture and humidity, temperature extremes and more.
The largest testing structures in the standards testing lab are the helmet drop test rigs. These are used to drop the helmets from a specified distance on to various metal devices, or "anvils", to measure the amount of energy absorbed by the helmet and liner.
In the drop test, a helmet is placed on a headform, which is a standardized metal form that is more or less in the shape of a human head. The design and weight of each headform is very specific and is called out in each standard.
The Headform
Which brings us to the first real difference in the DOT and ECE (and Australian) standards: the headforms are not the same shape. I might even say they're completely different, although there are specific technical reasons behind each design.
As you can see from the following photos (and in the video below), the DOT headform, on the right in the photos, looks wider and flatter. The ECE headform (on the left in the photo directly below) bears more of a resemblance to a human head shape, while the Australian headform is sort of a hybrid of the DOT and ECE shapes.
Headform Shapes, Rear View: DOT (left); Australian (Center); ECE (Right).
[http://www.webbikeworld.com/includes/google/468x60-2010.htm]
Headform Sizes and Shapes
The DOT headform comes in three different sizes: S, M and L (reference the 571.218 standard information in the next section). Size small weighs 7.8 lbs. (3.5 kg); size medium weighs 11.0 lbs.(5.0 kg); and size large weighs 13.4 lbs. (6.1 kg). This range is designed to cover the estimated range of human head weights, which is said to range from about 3.5 kg to 5.0 kg.
Surprisingly, there doesn't seem to be a consensus on exact head weights or head dimensions vs. head size (but we all know that some human heads are much lighter than others, right?). In any case, for purposes of motorcycle helmet protection, I'd guess that a few grams here or there isn't going to make much of a difference. But what about those shapes?
The ECE headform comes in 8 different head sizes, ranging from size 50 to 62 with a mass of 3.1 kg for the size 50 to 6.1 kg for the size 62 (reference the ECE Standard No. 22 in the next section).
To summarize the headform differences, DOT uses three headforms and ECE uses eight. Their weight ranges are about the same. In theory, the ECE headform weights, spread across a larger range of headform sizes, might allow the helmet manufacturer to calibrate the EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner for the particular helmet size.
So which headform more accurately represents your head? Like most of the other issues surrounding motorcycle helmet protection standards, there really isn't an answer. I know of no studies that have compared the relative protection capabilities of the headforms (although such studies may exist), so it's difficult to say whether one approach is more valid than the other.
Headform Shape vs. Helmet Fit?
One other noticeable difference is in the shape of the headforms. The DOT, ECE and other helmet standards go into great detail on the size, weight, shape and construction of the headforms. Each headform has a large matrix of dimensions that are used to program the computer-controlled machine tools that make the headforms. This ensures the accuracy of the standard headform size and weight.
Looking at the headforms, the ECE shape appears to be narrower than the DOT shape. The DOT headform runs from 4.784 in. for the size small to 5.350 in. for the size medium to 5.720 in. for size large, while the ECE headforms range from 88.1 mm (3.4685 in.) for the size A to 108.7 mm (4.2795 in.) for size O -- quite a difference.
Again, I'm not sure what inferences can be drawn from these differences other than perhaps the narrower range of sizes for the ECE headforms may be in some way responsible for the differences we experience in the internal shape of ECE-only helmets? If the helmet is optimized for a specific headform shape, then it's possible that shape will carry over into the fit that the rider experiences.
DOT headform specifications (size M).
Standards and More Standards...
Monitoring changes to worldwide standards can be difficult, but motorcycle helmet safety standards are relatively stable, which is both good and bad news.
For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Part 571, which contains the 571.218: Standard No. 218; Motorcycle Helmets that is colloquially known as the "DOT helmet safety standard", was first published under section 103 of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (reference).
Standard No. 218 was amended several times since then, with the last revision having been published way back in 1988 -- April 15th, to be exact.
Much has changed in the world since then, with technology, traffic and vehicle differences and in motorcycling and motorcycle helmets, so I'll leave it up to you to decide the merits of using a safety standard that hasn't changed in 22 years. Although I suppose we can look at the bright side and imagine that the standard is so good that it doesn't need to be changed, right?
Nevertheless, comparing the DOT and ECE standards is difficult at best and much like comparing apples and oranges. Depending on how you interpret the information, there are good points and not-so-good points about both standards.
And don't forget that DOT and ECE aren't the only helmet safety standards in the world. There is the Australian/New Zealand AS/NZS 1698:2006 standard; the Japanese JIS T 8133:2000 standard; the UK SHARP testing regime (info), which may or may not be a "standard" per se and more standards from Indonesia, India, Brazil and others.
By the way, the standard commonly referred to as "ECE 22.05" should probably more accurately be called "Regulation No. 22" because over 2 hours of searching while researching this article came up empty on any search results for "ECE 22.05".
This is discussed on the webBikeWorld ECE 22.05 information page, but to repeat, here is the page with .pdf downloads of the European motorcycle helmet safety standards.
And here is the direct link for the .pdf file of Regulation No. 22 "Protective Helmets and their visors for drivers and passengers of motor cycles and mopeds", which actually doesn't use the phrase "ECE 22.05", so I wonder where the term came from?

Australia, Sydney, Strike force digs deep into deadly world......

OFF THE WIRE
BY: Michael Duffy
Source: smh.com.au
AT 3.30AM on August 3, 2001, Ian Draper finished work at Mounties. The cellarman at the big club in south-west Sydney was 37 and engaged to be married. He got into his car, drove off and was never seen again. Six weeks later, his white Ford Falcon sedan was found in Bringelly Road, Leppington, outside the Rebels Motorcycle Club headquarters.
Police have no reason to suspect Mr Draper of criminal activity and are continuing to investigate how his car came to be there.
Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin said: ''We are currently reviewing extensive forensic analysis of the car.''
Advertisement: Story continues below Inspector Jubelin heads Strike Force Tuno II, the state's biggest homicide investigation and reportedly the subject of the next series of Underbelly.
Starting with the kidnap and murder of criminal and police informer Terry Falconer in 2001, a large team of detectives and analysts has been chasing one of the most brutal groups of criminals in NSW history in relation to suspected crimes including a dozen murders and suspected murders.
''We had no idea the extent of violence we would uncover when we first commenced the investigation,'' Inspector Jubelin said.
It was these inquiries that provided a connection with Mr Draper's disappearance, although at this stage police are not prepared to be more specific.
One of Tuno II's successes was the conviction earlier this year of former army commando Sean Waygood for offences including shootings, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder and seven cases of armed robbery. Waygood's criminal career was so violent and active he will apparently be the central character in the Underbelly portrayal.
Tuno got on to him initially because he was one of those who posed as police to kidnap Falconer. He helped cut up the victim's body. It was dumped, in seven plastic bags, in the Hastings River near Port Macquarie.
Despite violent crimes, Waygood was not a good hitman. Commissioned to shoot but not kill Gary Mack at the Peakhurst Inn in 2001, he aimed for his buttock from 60 metres away but struck him in the hip and caused more injury than intended.
According to the judgment by Judge Deborah Sweeney, in 2002 Waygood decided to kill Dallas Fitzgerald, a leading member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, at JB's Bar and Grill in Haymarket. It was arranged an accomplice would identify Fitzgerald to Waygood, who would carry out the hit. Waygood prepared for the job, buying mobile phones so he could communicate with the accomplice, two pistols and a van obtained under a false name.
Waygood, standing outside, fired eight bullets through the window, three of them hitting the victim. He then went to the van, changed his clothes and set fire to the vehicle with the phones and guns inside, then walked away across Hyde Park.
There were two problems. One: the victim survived. Two: he was the wrong man. His name was Raniera Puketapu. Waygood told the court earlier this year he felt ''dreadful'' about the mistake. He was sentenced to 15 years' jail, with no parole, for all his crimes. He received a 50 per cent discount for pleading guilty and assisting the police.So far Strike Force Tuno II has laid 131 charges, for murder and other serious offences including armed robbery and the large-scale manufacture of illegal drugs. Six people have been arrested in connection with Falconer's murder, four for the murder of Melbourne drug dealer Paul Elliot in 2008, two for the shooting of Raniera Puketapu, two for the shooting of Gary Mack in 2001, and two for a conspiracy to murder two senior Bandidos. Some of those responsible have been convicted.
Others have not yet been found, including those responsible for the deaths of an elderly couple, Anthony and Frances Perish, at Leppington in 1991; Gypsy Joker gang member Greg McDonald, who was shot off his bike in 1991; failed businessman Michael Davies, who was shot on the Gold Coast in 2002; Benita Forster and her three-year-old son, who were found at the foot of a waterfall on the Gold Coast in 2003, and others.
Police are keen to talk to anyone who knows how Mr Draper's car ended up outside the Rebels clubhouse in 2001.
''Since Ian went missing, life has changed for our family, it has been a living hell,'' his mother, Janet Draper, told The Sun-Herald.
''We would like anyone who has information on what happened to him to contact the police.''

South Africa, Car driver causes chaos at PE bikers’ charity rally

OFF THE WIRE
By GARETH WILSON The Herald..
MAYHEM erupted yesterday morning when a charity biker rally for under- privileged children in Port Elizabeth turned chaotic after a suspected drunk driver “zigzagged” and “swerved” through a convoy of bikers.
At least five bikers were hit, and a 10- year-old girl was wounded .
The charity event, known as the Toy Run, is part of an annual biker rally that aims to donate toys and money to under-privileged children in the Port Elizabeth area.
The accident happened outside Moffett-on-Main Shopping Centre shortly after 10am while thousands of bikes drove in convoy down William Moffett towards Buffelsfontein.
Witnesses said the 23-year-old driver of a dark blue Uno jumped a red traffic light and chased up William Moffett, hitting numerous bikes, as he swerved in an attempt to flee .
Biker and witness Gerald van Rensburg described the accident as a “scene from the movies” when the Uno driver drove straight into the middle of the convoy and started swerving back and forth.
“He drove as if he owned the road and after driving about 400m he rear-ended a bike with his front fender.”
A pursuit ensued during which time the driver went through “numerous” stop streets before his front left tyre came off the rim.
He managed to keep driving until he stopped outside a Martin Street house where he ran inside.
This later turned out to be his parents’ home.
Bikers ran after the man and when he ran inside he slammed the door shut.
But the bikers kicked it open and held him for the police to arrive and arrest him.
The driver of the vehicle was charged with attempted murder, driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving.
He is due to appear in court today. —

Washington, DC, EDITORIAL: TSA's security charade

OFF THE WIRE
Source: washingtontimes.com
Government bullying doesn't work, invites terrorist attack
In the past few days, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policies have been probed almost as thoroughly as the elderly men and teenage girls subjected to one of the agency's indecent "enhanced" pat-downs. They've come up short. TSA's top man, John S. Pistole, testified Wednesday that he had no choice but to implement the security measures based on the intelligence he has on potential threats. Not that he is willing to share this information. It's all classified, of course.

A more likely explanation is that the Obama administration is engaging in a classic form of bureaucratic backside covering. Should another Islamic extremist board an aircraft while TSA agents are busy grabbing sippy cups from toddlers and confiscating fingernail clippers from Marines, the agency plausibly can claim there was nothing more it could have done. After all, with nude photography sessions and stories of nuns and 3-year-olds being groped, TSA has made it clear it has crossed every line of common decency - even laws governing sexual assault.

That's an oversight that at least one member of Congress seeks to remedy. Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, introduced legislation last week that would strip federal agents of any perceived immunity from prosecution for their actions while handling passengers at the airport. The measure strikes at the heart of the present problem: TSA's arrogance.

Consider the case of Oceanside, Calif., resident John Tyner, who famously refused to be scanned or manhandled with the phrase, "If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." TSA field director Michael J. Aguilar decided to get back by announcing at a press conference that he would investigate Mr. Tyner and perhaps impose an $11,000 fine. It's now clear this threat was nothing but unauthorized bullying. Mr. Aguilar's boss stated under congressional questioning that he had no interest in pursuing the matter. "I'm not aware of any instance where someone who's refused screening has been fined," Mr. Pistole said. "It is being reviewed. I don't want to prejudge anything, but I do not anticipate anything coming from that."

TSA's tactics are all about bullying. The agency wants every American to enter a literal position of surrender while being undressed by an X-rated x-ray machine. There is good reason to question whether such devices are effective, let alone safe. The airport backscatter machines can easily detect metal objects on people, but they are quite a bit less effective at detecting chemicals whose atomic makeup is similar to that of the human body. Rational discussion of whether such machines do any good are swept away with the, "It's classified" dodge.

In other words, surrender your judgment - and dignity - to the Department of Homeland Security because Big Sister knows best. One could only imagine what would have happened if the passengers on United Flight 93 had embraced this misguided "government will protect us" mentality. Likewise, it was the passengers on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 who caught underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, not the TSA.

Allowing this rogue agency to demean and diminish the American spirit makes us less safe, not more secure. TSA must be stopped from its exploitation of fliers' fears and doubts for the sake of expanding bureaucratic power. The current security charade weakens the nation.

New Delhi,India, IAS Officer Arrested For Bartering Sex, Cash For Secrets

OFF THE WIRE,
IT`S THE SAME ALL OVER THE WORLD,
YOU CANT TOUCH ME I`M A COP!!!!!
Source: thelinkpaper.ca
IAS Officer Ravi Inder Singh has been arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act and on charges of criminal conspiracy, a top Delhi Police officer said. Singh received a cocktail of sexual favours and demands for money for allegedly leaking secret information.

NEW DELHI – A senior IAS officer in the Union Home Ministry, questioned for allegedly leaking sensitive information, was on Tuesday night formally arrested after a broker from West Bengal having close links with him was apprehended. The official Ravi Inder Singh has been arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act and on charges of criminal conspiracy, a top Delhi Police officer said.
A cocktail of sexual favours and demands for money for allegedly leaking secret information has emerged from transcripts of the tapes of Singh’s telephonic conversation with his businessman contact.
The arrest of Singh, a Director in the internal security division of the ministry, came after he was interrogated on charges of misusing his official position for commercial interests. A businessman from West Bengal, who was allegedly acting as a broker on behalf of Singh, a 1994 batch officer, was picked up from a five-star hotel last evening and subsequently arrested.
The businessman has been trying to fix a “deal” with a telecom company on behalf of Singh for providing security-related information from the ministry in return for a few crores rupees, a home ministry official said. The company’s application related to security clearance in connection with Mobile Number Portability was pending with the ministry.
Though Singh was not in a position to give security clearance to any company, he could have facilitated such clearance by giving favourable inputs to higher officials, the official said. Singh was under surveillance of Delhi Police’s Special Cell for more than a month and was detained on Monday evening, following which searches were carried out at his office and residence.
“This is corporate snooping and clear violation of conduct rules. Whether it is a corruption case we are examining. He has not been arrested and last night he was allowed to go after questioning. Today he came back and is being questioned again. His property, bank balance, are being looked into but no national security has been compromised,” the official said.
Singh was handling almost 5,000 security-related cases in four sectors of telecom, mining, shipping and surface transport and it was being investigated to whom he was leaking the information (official), sources said.
Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry Utthan Kumar Bansal described the incident as “very serious” and “matter of grave concern”.
Bansal said Singh was “misusing” his official position for commercial interests. Home Ministry officials said Singh was using five mobile phones — some of which were found in possession of the arrested businessman – while making conversation. He was also using coded words like ‘prasad’ and ‘laddu’ for describing money.
Investigators have found that the officer was not only allegedly seeking money but sexual favour too in return for providing security-related information of corporate houses, the sources said. Singh was also reportedly using coded words “software” and “hardware” in reference to women and hotel rooms.

Denver, CO. Donors line up to replace lost Christmas toy-fund money

OFF THE WIRE
By Yesenia Robles
The Denver Post
The phones have started ringing with people ready to help a motorcycle club that lost its toy-fund money.
The "Los Cochinos" motorcycle group raises money throughout the year to buy Christmas toys for children in the Westwood neighborhood.
On Friday morning, Gail Valdez and another woman from the club went shopping for toys at a Wal-Mart store. As they loaded up $800 worth of toys, they dropped a bag containing another $5,000 from the toy fund.
The women returned after they realized they had dropped the bag. They found the bag, but the money was gone.
Valdez said Saturday that people have started calling, saying they are interested in donating money to replenish the fund in time for Christmas. The checks are being sent to Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez's office, so a count on how much has been donated won't be available until Monday.
Donors line up to replace lost Christmas toy-fund money - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16725507#ixzz16b9COnXj

THE LAW AND YOU 1

THE LAW AND YOU 1
BY BONES AND DAVID
I have decided to start another column to publish called THE LAW AND YOU because I don’t have enough to do. Dave Stilwell and I have come to the conclusion that we are tired of the law in Nevada getting away with terrorizing the local biker community and getting away with it. Don’t get me wrong, this is for the avrage rider that finds him or herself being continually hasseled by the local law enforcment. Each article will contain a little bit of what you should know to protect your rights and some of the rules that govern the police when it comes to interacting with the public, YOU.
We had some discussion about the little altercation that happened at one of the local motorcycle shops which we didn’t think was quite right so we did some simple research into the actions of the police. It seems that one of the Metro secret squads raided the shop under the guise of “an ongoing investigation” and told the owner that if he didn’t comply with the police and allow them to search the shop they would remove every item from the shop and haul it away to look at. This is wrong and is addressed in the Nevada Revised Statutes under coercion by law enforcment and is against the law, but we will address that another time.
This is a little excerpt from the metro police handbook and I think that everyone needs to carry a copy of this in their pocket;
It wasn’t too long ago that some of the minorities were using these tools to stop metro from discrimination and profiling and now they are being treated with the utmost respect when being stopped. The last time I was stopped I was treated like a convicted child rapist that had just shot up a church full of nuns and it was for a lousy speeding ticket but because I had my Colors on I was treated differently than someone in a car. Had I known then what I know now I would have immediately filed a complaint with the Internal Affairs Division of the Metropolitan Police Department and had Internal Affairs discuss that particular officers behavior with him and the next time he felt like harassing someone I am sure that it would not be me.
We are now using the law to stop the law from targeting us and you will find that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. The biggest reason for the cops to hassle us as bikers is because we allow it to happen. We never fight back when things are unjust. You need to know that because you chose to live a different lifestyle and ride a motorcycle the law is there to protect you same as anyone else and the law is there to stop tyrant cops that attempt to coerce you at every turn. You don’t need some high priced lawyer on retainer you can save the attorney for the heavy stuff. Learn the laws that have been put in place to protect you and use them as they were intended, it has worked in the past and it will work again. If every biker in this state knew the laws that protect them we would become invisible to the police. The police use lack of knowledge to their advantage and for intimidation, so let’s take away the advantage and wise up.
We have been reading a lot of case law and we are getting a grip on the procedures and rules. If you have a particular situation you want to address in this column then send me an e-mail, we’ll do our best to come up with a solution.
WHEN INJUSTICE BECOMES LAW
RESISTANCE BECOMES DUTY
BONES