Thursday, May 27, 2004
Detective Acussed Of Stealing Drugs
A suspended detective accused of stealing drugs worth $1.3 million also faces weapons charges after police discovered an arsenal of prohibited items at his home, a court heard yesterday.
Detective Senior Constable David Miechel, 33, formerly of the major drug investigation division, did not appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to face charges of possessing prohibited weapons.
The court heard a police search of Miechel's home on September 30 last year found weapons including five butterfly knives, a switchblade, a bayonet, nunchukkas and knuckle knives.
He was charged in January with 12 counts of possessing a prohibited weapon without exemption or approval and four counts of possessing a controlled weapon without excuse.
Miechel's solicitor, Steve Schembri, told the court the weapons charges were unrelated to a separate investigation of his client. Miechel is on $100,000 bail on 16 charges including possessing commercial quantities of ecstasy and trafficking LSD.
Police told previous court hearings that Miechel and his colleague, Detective Sergeant Paul Dale, 34, had planned to burgle a suburban drug laboratory they were investigating. Miechel was mauled by a police dog as he allegedly tried to run from the scene after throwing a bag of drugs worth $1.3 million over a fence last September.
Major drug investigation division detectives raided the house the day after the burglary and seized ecstasy and other drugs worth $8.5 million.
Also charged over the alleged burglary was police witness Terrence Hodson, who along with his wife Christine, was murdered earlier this month in his East Kew home.
Mr Schembri asked Magistrate Angela Bolger to postpone the hearing for the weapons charges until after committal hearings for the drug allegations.
"It would be unfair in the extreme that Mr Miechel has to concentrate on those matters when he faces other matters in coming months," he said.
Ms Bolger ordered Miechel to reappear in court in July.
Students Go For World Record Naked
Around 100 students from 15 universities have stripped off to create a new world record for the most naked people on a rollercoaster.
They rode the terrifying 360-degree Nemesis Inferno rollercoaster at Thorpe Park, in Surrey, earlier today.
The record attempt has helped raise cash for good causes as the park is promising to pay £1,000 to a university Rag committee for the best group photograph on board the ride.
Staff at Thorpe hit on the idea for a birthday-suit record bid to mark the park's own 25th birthday, says Sky News Online.
Wearing only safety harnesses, the intrepid participants experienced gravity at up 4.5 times its normal strength as they flew around the 750-metre course.
Richard Dean Campbell Drugs For Sex
McKINNEY – Police say Richard Dean Campbell's home was known as the party house. There, many McKinney teenagers knew they could trade sexual favors for a snort of cocaine or a margarita.
And he promised to reward them with money and drugs if they brought their friends, according to court records.
Several teenagers told police that Mr. Campbell, 41, had sex with a number of the girls and coerced them into performing sexual acts on each other while he took pictures, according to police and court documents.
Most of the girls interviewed said they met the computer specialist through his teenage son, a former McKinney high school student. The son now lives in another state.
The parties began about 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays at the house on Sidney Lane and lasted until the early hours of the morning from at least September 2002 to early 2003, according to the girls' statements.
Mr. Campbell faces charges including sexually assaulting a child, possession of child pornography and furnishing alcohol to minors. On Wednesday, he turned himself in on a charge of child pornography.
Mr. Campbell could not be reached for comment at his home Wednesday before his latest arrest.
Police are sifting through his computer, photographs and videos for evidence as part of their nine-month investigation. They said more arrests could follow.
A 17-year-old McKinney girl said in an interview Wednesday that she frequented the house in September 2002. She said she first went to the house with a girl Mr. Campbell is accused of sexually assaulting. She said that she went to the house because drugs and alcohol were available but that she did not participate in any of the sex. She called Mr. Campbell "disgusting" and said he hit on all the teenage girls and patted their rear ends.
"It was a drug house," said the 17-year-old, who also gave a statement to police as part of their investigation. "I don't remember much."
The girl said she never saw pornography. But other girls told her about the pictures and sex with Mr. Campbell, she said.
She and other girls described an array of drugs offered at the home: beer, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, Jell-O shots with vodka, acid, Vicodin and Hydrocodone, according to the court documents.
Several of the girls said in the court records that they saw pornographic videos and photos – some with girls they knew – while at the two-story house. They also described five computers throughout the home, where pictures of the girls were downloaded. They said Mr. Campbell's son had pictures of the girls on his bedroom wall, the documents say.
McKinney police arrested Mr. Campbell in April on a charge of sexually assaulting a child and again last week on seven charges of furnishing alcohol to minors. He posted bond on both charges but was back in jail Wednesday.
If convicted of sexual assault of a child, Mr. Campbell faces up to 20 years in prison. A possession of child pornography charges carries a possible 10-year sentence.
Neighbors said they would have never guessed that girls were allegedly prostituting themselves for drugs and alcohol.
"I had no idea. It was a single dad and a teen," said next-door neighbor Michelle Shah. "There was loud music and lots of teenagers coming and going. But there's a teenage boy living there. I didn't think anything of it."
McKinney police first learned of the parties in September 2003 when a girl, now 17, was arrested on suspicion of stealing her grandparents' vehicle. A therapist at the Collin County Detention Center called police after the girl told her about sex and drugs at the house.
The documents say the girl said she first went to the home with Mr. Campbell's son when she was 15.
"You got a good one there. How old is she?" the girl quoted Mr. Campbell as saying to his son.
During several trips to the home, the girl said, she was asked to take off her clothes and have sex with Mr. Campbell and other girls. She told officials she had sex twice with Mr. Campbell.
The records also mention other men at the home, engaging in sexual activity and photographing the girls. However, no other arrests have yet been made in the case.
Police interviewed 15 teenagers from both McKinney high schools who said they saw illegal activity at the house. Court documents report that one of the teenagers was a boy who went with his girlfriend to the house, where they had sex. The other 14 were girls, but not all of them engaged in sexual activity, the documents state.
One of the girls, who is now 17, told police this month that she went to the house as a sophomore after meeting Mr. Campbell's son. She said Mr. Campbell took pictures of her sitting in a bathtub wearing sweatpants and a bra, according to the affidavit. He asked her to take her pants off. The girl told police that Mr. Campbell's son showed her pictures saved on his computers of other girls.
Among the items police confiscated from Mr. Campbell's home: a video camera, a bag of marijuana, three videotapes, nearly $25,000 in cash, disks, two 8-mm tapes and computers.
Mr. Campbell may also have another son and young daughter, court records indicate. Court records show he is divorced. His ex-wife, who lives in Plano, could not be reached Wednesday.
Al Quaeda Plans Attack
According to the U.S. agency charged with protecting America, Al Quaeda terrorists may be planning an attack from under water.
The Department of Homeland Security has issued a bulletin warning that terrorists may attack American ships or ports using scuba divers.
The "Swimmer Attack Indicators and Protective Measures" bulletin was issued on August 22, 2003. The bulletin advised "the maritime industry and owners and operators of maritime facilities of a number of incidents of suspicious activity and possible surveillance of maritime facilities around the U.S. over the past few months."
The bulletin, issued to ship owners, port managers and maritime police organizations, reads like a chapter out of Ian Fleming's "Thunderball" where a terrorist group uses sophisticated underwater technology to attack the United States.
"Although there is no evidence of international terrorist groups planning to utilize scuba divers to carry out attacks within the United States, there is a body of information showing the desire to obtain such capability," states the bulletin.
"During the past two years there have been numerous incidents that have occurred involving suspicious individuals possibly conducting surveillance of port facilities, cruise ship docks, naval bases, dams, bridges and power facilities in the United States. Also, there has been law enforcement reporting of suspicious individuals having queried marine shops and schools concerning equipment and training."
According to the agency, "there is no specific information indicating that a swimmer attack of any kind is currently being planned in the United States, such targeting would be consistent with Al-Qaeda's stated objective to disrupt and undermine vital economic interests in this country and to cause mass casualties and panic."
DIVERS AND ONE MAN SUBS
The U.S. security agency also warned scuba gear operators, owners and training companies to be on the look out for individuals or groups that have money but no visible means of support.
In addition, the Dept. of Homeland Security warned boat and submersible equipment dealers to report "volume purchasing inquiries related to Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) and Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs)."
Other indicators of unusual activity included, "exclusive purchases of darkened gear or after market painting" and "attempts to purchase large magnets, large diameter PVC pipe or empty compressed gas cylinders or theft of same."
The U.S. security agency also warned major ship owners to take various anti-swimmer and anti-terrorist measures.
"Because swimmers traditionally target a ship's screws and rudders in order to incapacitate a ship, periodically cycle rudders and rotate propellers at high RPMs," states the alert.
Ship owners were also warned to take steps against both small submarines that carry divers and small, unidentified boats.
"Periodically activate vessel's SONAR. This technique may assist with repelling swimmer attacks as well as detecting submersibles. Consider using radar at blind spots to detect small boat approaches," concluded the bulletin.
Al Quaeda has previously used waterborne attacks with great success. The U.S. warship U.S.S. Cole was attacked in Oct. 2000 in Yemen by a small suicide boat loaded with explosives. The attack killed 17 U.S. sailors.
Al Quaeda also attacked and damaged a large oil tanker off the coast of Yemen using either a radio controlled boat or a suicide boat.
Monday, May 24, 2004
Women Tries to Buy Drugs From The Police
A woman has been arrested in the US state of Ohio after calling police several times trying to buy drugs.
According to Ontario police, 27-year-old Amy Logue called the police station three times trying to arrange the drug deal.
A police spokesman said: "It's the worst case of a mis-dialled phone number I've ever seen."
Initially, the drug buy was supposed to take place at an empty petrol station, says newsnet5.
But she called the police and asked them to meet her at the McDonald's nearby because she didn't want to seem too obvious or suspicious.
"We could eliminate a lot of other vehicles we would suspect if she pulled into a closed facility, but her knowing that as well, she tried to avoid the police," added the spokesman.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Childless Coulpe Are Told to Try Sex
A German couple who went to a fertility clinic after eight years of marriage have found out why they are still childless - they weren't having sex.
The University Clinic of Lubek said they had never heard of a case like it after examining the couple who went to see them last month for fertility tests.
Doctors subjected them to a series of examinations and found they were both apparently fertile, and should have had no trouble conceiving.
His women's ass must not have looked like this. If it did they would have been having sex from day 1. I was wondering how did the first people have sex they didn't have anybody to teach them.
A clinic spokesman said: "When we asked them how often they had had sex, they looked blank, and said: "What do you mean?".
"We are not talking retarded people here, but a couple who were brought up in a religious environment who were simply unaware, after eight years of marriage, of the physical requirements necessary to procreate."
The 30-year-old wife and her 36-year-old husband are now being given sex therapy lessons while the university clinic undertakes a study to try to find out if there are more couples with a similar lack of sex education.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
U.S. Helicopter Fired on a Wedding Party
A U.S. helicopter fired on a wedding party early Wednesday in western Iraq, killing more than 40 people, Iraqi officials said. The U.S. military said it could not confirm the report and was investigating.
Lt. Col Ziyad al-Jbouri, deputy police chief of the city of Ramadi, said between 42 and 45 people died in the attack, which took place about 2:45 a.m. in a remote desert area near the border with Syria and Jordan. He said those killed included 15 children and 10 women.
Dr. Salah al-Ani, who works at a hospital in Ramadi, put the death toll at 45.
Associated Press Television News obtained videotape showing a truck containing bodies of those allegedly killed.
About a dozen bodies, one without a head, could be clearly seen. but it appeared that bodies were piled on top of each other and a clear count was not possible.
The Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television reported that more than 20 people were killed and 10 injured in the attack.
Iraqis interviewed on the videotape said partygoers had fired into the air in a traditional wedding celebration. American troops have sometimes mistaken celebratory gunfire for hostile fire.
``I cannot comment on this because we have not received any reports from our units that this has happened nor that any were involved in such a tragedy,'' Lt. Col. Dan Williams, a U.S. military spokesman, wrote in an e-mail in response to a question from The Associated Press.
``We take all these requests seriously and we have forwarded this inquiry to the Joint Operations Center for further review and any other information that may be available,'' Williams said.
The video footage showed mourners with shovels digging graves. A group of men crouched and wept around one coffin.
Al-Ani said people at the wedding fired weapons in the air, and that American troops came to investigate and left. However, al-Ani said, helicopters attacked the area at about 3 a.m. Two houses were destroyed, he said.
``This was a wedding and the (U.S.) planes came and attacked the people at a house. Is this the democracy and freedom that (President) Bush has brought us?'' said a man on the videotape, Dahham Harraj. ``There was no reason.''
Another man shown on the tape, who refused to give his name, said the victims were at a wedding party ``and the U.S. military planes came... and started killing everyone in the house.''
In July 2002, Afghan officials said 48 civilians at a wedding party were killed and 117 wounded by a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province. An investigative report released by the U.S. Central Command said the airstrike was justified because American planes had come under fire.
Monday, May 17, 2004
Heathrow Airport Gold Heist
Armed police arrested seven men on Monday after foiling an attempted gold heist at Heathrow Airport that would have been one of Britain's biggest ever robberies.
The men smashed a van through steel shutters into a warehouse and threatened staff with guns and knives in a bid to steal 40 million pounds in gold bullion and cash.
But more than 100 police officers were lying in wait after a tip-off.
Detective Superintendent Barry Phillips, from Scotland Yard's Flying Squad that headed the operation, said: "In preventing this attack, we have foiled what would have been one of the biggest robberies ever committed in the UK."
Police fired special rounds, used to deflate tyres, to disable the gang's van.
One officer suffered minor injuries.
"It is clear that a lot of planning and preparation went into the attack but the Flying Squad was one step ahead of the team for some time," Mr Phillips added.
Six men were arrested at the warehouse but two escaped by forcing a worker to drive them away in a hijacked van.
One of the men has since been arrested and the other is still on the run.
Heathrow Airport was the scene of what remains Britain's biggest gold robbery - the 1983 raid on a Brinks Mat warehouse.
In that raid, a six strong masked gang overpowered security guards and escaped with 26 million pounds in gold and diamonds.
They were all eventually caught.
Friday, May 14, 2004
House Majority Leader James Amann (D-118) then sent the bill to the Finance Committee, which passed it. The bill died when the 2004 session ended.
The House of Representatives passed, 79 to 72, a medical marijuana bill that would have allowed residents to grow marijuana in their homes for personal use, provided they receive a doctor's prescription for the drug.
People suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and other terminal illnesses then could have legally used marijuana. The drug reportedly eases pain, controls nausea and increases appetite in patients.
The medical marijuana bill would have made it legal for such patients to possess and cultivate up to five plants in their home. Purchasing or selling the drug would have remained illegal, even for the patients.
All three Stratford representatives opposed the bill.
"It would have been so difficult to control its distribution that I just couldn't support it," said State Rep. Terry Backer (D-121). "If we could have set it up for distribution in pharmacies, then that might have been a different story."
Lawrence Miller (R-122), said he sympathizes with people who need relief from pain, but that there were better alternatives.
"I know what I've gone through," he said. "With good doctors in good hospitals, there is no need to smoke a weed to relieve pain."
John Harkins (R-120) said the Connecticut Medical Society swayed his decision to oppose the bill.
"I received a letter from the society, and they said marijuana is not a good medical alternative," he said.
In addition, the American Medical Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Cancer Society and other medical groups have also stated there is no medical benefit to smoking marijuana.
Harkins agreed with Miller that those who voted in favor of the bill probably based their vote on compassion.
"It was a very emotional debate, and I do understand why people voted in favor of it," he said. "But in the end, the medical community and the law enforcement community were against it, and that's good enough for me."
State Rep. James Abrams (D-Meriden) co-sponsored the bill and has fought to legalize medical marijuana for the last five years. Last year, his bill failed on the House floor by 12 votes.
The bill also won approval from the Judiciary, Appropriations and Public Health committees.
Opponents of the bill feared it would be a first step in legalizing marijuana altogether. Abrams said that was not his intention.
"I'm not in favor of legalizing marijuana," he said, which is why his bill did not legalize purchasing the drug. "We'd be legalizing behavior we don't want to legalize."
Robert Rooks is executive director of the non-profit organization A Better Way, a group dedicated to reviewing drug policies in Connecticut. Rooks joined Abrams' effort two years ago.
"There are a large contingent of folks in Connecticut that are using marijuana for medical purposes," Rooks said. "They should no longer have to worry about potential repercussions from state government."
Abrams said the existing use of marijuana by terminally ill patients allowed him to avoid the "first seed" issue in his bill - the question of where patients would obtain marijuana. He and Rooks said those who need it already have it.
"We'll really be legalizing what is ongoing behavior," he said.
A gateway drug
Opponents to legalizing medical marijuana said marijuana is a "gateway" drug that often leads to the use of cocaine and heroin.
The federal government categorizes marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, meaning it cannot be sold by prescription. Cocaine, by comparison, is a schedule 2 drug that doctors can prescribe.
Ginger Katz, a Norwalk woman whose son Ian died of a drug overdose, formed the Courage to Speak Foundation and travels the country warning children of the dangers of drug use.
She said she opposes medical marijuana legislation because it will suggest to children that smoking marijuana is okay.
"Marijuana isn't medicine - it's that simple," Katz said. "Medical marijuana is the beginning of legalizing it. The message to children is really loud and clear...It definitely sends a message to kids that it's okay to use."
Katz said there are several existing drugs already available by prescription that serve the same purpose as marijuana in relieving symptoms.
Backer said that was another reason why he opposed the bill.
"Take a drug like Oxycontin, which is a wonderful pain reliever," he said. "The difference is you have to buy that at a pharmacy and doctors can control the dosage. We don't let people make Oxycontin themselves."
Marijuana derivatives are available in pill and liquid form to help patients combat nausea and increase their appetite.
According to Abrams and Rooks, however, patients who smoke marijuana told them that the derivative medicines do not work as well.
Abrams said the lack of scientific evidence supporting those claims is not enough to ignore them.
"One reason there's no scientific evidence is that the government won't fund any studies," he said. "There is tons of anecdotal evidence."
Rooks said he was troubled by efforts to remove any potential medicine from terminally ill patients.
"There are other drugs that do work," he said. "But we would like marijuana to be one of the options."
The NJ Weedman
Ed Forchion, also known as the NJ Weedman (http://www.njweedman.com), just got off parole, and he's ready to roll. Forchion endured 20 months in prison for marijuana trafficking and another six as a parole violator when New Jersey parole authorities jailed him for trying to run TV ads advocating marijuana legalization. He was only freed when a federal judge forced the state to recognize his First Amendment rights.
A little more than two weeks after his parole ended -- bad weather forced a delay from the original December 6 date -- Forchion declared his candidacy for the US House at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia in front of about 50 supporters and a couple of dozen cops. Running as the candidate of the US Marijuana Party (http://www.usmjparty.org), Forchion offered up a prayer for the nearly 700,000 marijuana offenders arrested each year and the thousands of more jailed for other drug crimes, then fired up a joint with comrade in arms Patrick Duff. They didn't get to finish -- 17 US Park Service rangers promptly swept in and detained them -- but they got what they wanted: An arrest that will serve as the basis for a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) claim that their Liberty Bell pot-puffing is protected as religious expression under federal law.
There is legal precedent for such a claim. In May 2002, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the RFRA precluded the US government from prosecuting people who possess marijuana on federal lands for religious reasons. Unfortunately for the plaintiff in that case, Bennie Toves Guerrero, who was caught carrying five ounces into Guam, the court also found that the RFRA didn't block him from being prosecuted for importing marijuana.
"I've gone through a lot at the hands of the drug warriors," said Forchion, "and I'm making a statement to let them know I'm back in a big way." In addition to running for the House and plotting the RFRA case, Forchion has also filed a suit in New Jersey challenging the state's new prisoner and parolee DNA testing law and his suit against cable TV giant Comcast for refusing to air his marijuana ads is pending. (See: the Comcast newsbrief this issue for a similar episode.)
And it all ties together, Forchion toldDRCNet. "I'm running for the House to expose the issue," he said, "but by doing so, I will be able to make Comcast run my ads. They will be political campaign ads now. In fact, I'm going to being submitting the same ads, except at the end they will say 'paid for by the US Marijuana Party.' What Comcast is doing is outrageous. The largest cable provider in the country has decided what political viewpoints are acceptable."
Forchion, who for years has headed his own Legalize Marijuana Party, is ready to be part of something bigger, he said. "I've been a one-man gang for the last few year," said the Weedman, "and I have no problem becoming part of something. My ego is not that big, and I've found that people find it difficult to latch onto the Weedman. Maybe I'll be more effective as part of a group." With chapters in 25 states, the US Marijuana Party is a group that fit the bill.
As for the RFRA challenge, said Forchion, "You can't challenge a law unless you have standing. By going to the Liberty Bell, which is federal property, and holding a prayer service, a non-denominational religious service and smoking marijuana as part of it and being ticketed, I now have standing. I will challenge the constitutionality of my arrest on the basis that I was exercising my religious freedom as guaranteed by the RFRA," he said. "They'll find me guilty, but it should be thrown out. I'm not trying to make the Liberty Bell a smoke-in place," he laughed, "but you can be sure if we get a favorable ruling, there will be people there doing just that. They're already talking about it."
He will be represented by prominent Philadelphia civil liberties attorney Michael Coard, he said. He and Coard will also be in contact with the ACLU's Drug Policy Litigation Project, which was involved in the ground-breaking Guam case. "I hope we can at least get them to submit an amicus brief," he said.
He and Duff were not mistreated by the Park rangers, Forchion said, although he noted that he was strip-searched while Duff, who is white, was not. The Weedman was threatened with another arrest when, as part of the strip-search, he removed his jacket and shirt to reveal a t-shirt picturing a large, extended middle finger. "They threatened to arrest me for obscenity," he snorted, "but I said no, it's political expression and it represents my displeasure at government actions, specifically the war on drugs." Forchion emphasized his feelings by giving the officers a live two-handed demonstration of the one-finger salute to the cheers and laughter of videotaping onlookers.
Forchion, a resident of Browns Mills, NJ, is running in that state's Third Congressional District against incumbent Republican Jim Saxton. The district includes Burlington and Ocean counties and some CamdenCounty neighborhoods. Pat Duff, 27, a former radio personality and self-described "renegade car salesman" arrested along with Forchion, will run as the US Marijuana Party candidate for Philadelphia City Council.
"I just can't go back to being incog-negro," said the Rastafarian former truck driver. "This prohibition is wrong!"
Welcome back, Weedman.
Multi Million Dollar Drug Ring
A Chicago gang is accused of turning a public housing building into the headquarters of a multi (m) million dollar drug ring.
Federal authorities have arrested 32 alleged members of the Black Disciples organization and are looking for 15 others.
They allegedly used rooftop snipers in their battles with rival gangs, used children and addicts as lookouts and equipped members with night-vision scopes. Authorities say everyone who entered the building was frisked.
Officials say the gang's drug sales ranged from 20-to-150- thousand dollars a day.
Charges include conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, heroin and marijuana as far back as 1989.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Well, if the fine people at Alternet thinks it's okay, I guess I can try it just this once... Alternet reports: "With bong-hitting Boomers like High Times' Stratton now in positions of influence, the message has morphed from yesteryear's "just say no" to onethat's easier to swallow, if not inhale :"it's OK to toke." Presidential-hopeful John Kerry has copped to smoking cannabis, saying he "didn't mind getting high" (a step-up from Clinton's admission that a joint hovered near his lips.) If anything, those who have smoked silently for decades have begun breaking the hush-hush about the herb. "
The Government Warned Nicholas Berg
The U.S. government warned a young American to leave Iraq, and offered him a flight out of the country, a month before his grisly beheading was broadcast on an al-Qaida-linked Web site, officials said.
But authorities in Baghdad denied that Nicholas Berg, 26, was held in U.S. custody before he disappeared in early April, despite claims to the contrary by his family. The authorities said he had been held by Iraqi police for about two weeks and questioned by FBI agents three times.
The final movements of the telecommunications businessman from suburban Philadelphia remain unclear as officials in Washington and Baghdad try to piece together how Berg crossed paths with a group of Islamic militants who savagely decapitated him in a video released Tuesday bearing the title "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shown slaughtering an American." It referred to an associate of Osama bin Laden believed to be behind a wave of suicide bombings in Iraq.
Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, told reporters Thursday in Baghdad that it appears al-Zarqawi was responsible.
Asked whether he meant al-Zarqawi personally carried out the execution, Sanchez said, "All indications are he did it." Asked about al-Zarqawi's whereabouts, he said, "We believe he's moving around the country."
Later, however, Sanchez said it wasn't clear that Zarqawi was present at the killing. "I don't know whether he was personally holding the knife or in the room," Sanchez said. "I do not know that."
Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said earlier it was likely that al-Zarqawi himself was "the lead perpetrator."
Berg's body was found Saturday in Baghdad. Two e-mails he sent to his family and friends show he traveled widely and unguarded throughout Iraq, an unsafe practice rarely done by Westerners.
Shortly before Berg's disappearance, he was warned by the FBI that Iraq was too volatile a place for unprotected American civilians and that he could be harmed, a senior FBI official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday.
On April 10, four days after Berg was released from an Iraqi prison, an American diplomat offered to put him on a flight to Jordan, State Department spokeswoman Kelly Shannon said.
But Berg told the diplomat he "planned to travel overland to Kuwait and would call (his) family from there," Shannon said.
Several days later, around April 12, the diplomat received an e-mail from Berg's family in West Chester, Pa., that "noted he had not been in contact," Shannon said. Staff members at the $30-a-night Al-Fanar Hotel in Baghdad told The Associated Press that Berg stayed there for several days until April 10.
Berg's father, Michael Berg, said that although his son wanted to leave Iraq, he refused the flight offer because he thought the travel to the airport would be too dangerous. Attacks had taken place in the areas his son would need to drive through, Michael Berg said.
On April 14, the U.S. consulate sent a private contractor to the Al-Fanar Hotel in Baghdad, where Berg was believed to be staying, to see whether he was still there.
"The people we talked to at the hotel didn't remember him being there," Shannon said.
Diplomats then alerted the U.S. military to be on the lookout for him.
In Baghdad, U.S. spokesmen Dan Senor said that "to my knowledge" Berg was not affiliated with any U.S. or coalition organization, nor was he ever in U.S. custody.
Iraqi police arrested Berg in Mosul on March 24 because local authorities believed he may have been involved in "suspicious activities," Senor said. He refused to elaborate, except to confirm that the Americans were aware Berg was in custody.
Berg was released April 6 and "was advised to leave the country," Senor added. Instead, Berg checked into the Baghdad hotel.
Mosul police chief Maj. Gen. Mohammed Khair al-Barhawi told reporters Thursday that his department had never arrested Berg.
Since Iraq remains under U.S. military occupation, it seems unlikely that the Iraqi police would have held Berg, or any other American, for such a length of time without at least the tacit approval of U.S. authorities.
"The Iraqi police do not tell the FBI what to do, the FBI tells the Iraqi police what to do," Michael Berg told the AP. "Who do they think they're kidding?"
The younger Berg told his family that U.S. officials took custody of him soon after his arrest and he was not allowed to make phone calls or contact a lawyer, his father said.
Kimmitt said U.S. forces kept tabs on Berg during his confinement to make sure he was being fed and properly treated because "he was an American citizen."
But the three FBI visits suggest American authorities were concerned about more than Berg's well-being. They may have had their own suspicions about what the young American was doing in Iraq.
During a briefing Wednesday, Senor confirmed that Berg had registered with the U.S. Consulate in Baghdad but insisted he "was not a U.S. government employee, he has no affiliation with the coalition and to our knowledge he has no affiliation with any Coalition Provisional Authority contractor."
He also said Berg "was at no time under the jurisdiction or detention of coalition forces."
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
American Man Beheaded In Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Iraq - An American civilian who was beheaded in a grisly video posted on an al-Qaida-linked Web site had been warned to leave Iraq but refused, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
The masked men who butchered him claimed they were angered by coalition abuses of Iraqi prisoners.
The American captive identified himself as Nick Berg, 26, of West Chester, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. His body was found near a highway overpass in Baghdad on Saturday, the same day he was beheaded, a U.S. official said.
This is an image made from a video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site showing a group of five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit, who identified himself as Nick Berg.
After pushing Berg to the floor, the men severed his head and held it up for the camera on the video posted Tuesday. It bore the title "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shown slaughtering an American," referring to an associate of Osama bin Laden believed behind a wave of suicide bombings in Iraq.
It was unclear whether al-Zarqawi was shown in the video or simply ordered the execution. Al-Zarqawi also is sought in the assassination of a U.S. diplomat in Jordan in 2002. The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his capture or killing.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Berg was in Iraq "of his own accord" and had been advised to leave Iraq but refused. The official refused to elaborate but promised more information later Wednesday.
According to his family, Berg, a small telecommunications business owner, spoke to his parents on March 24 and told them he would return home on March 30. But he was detained by Iraqi police at a checkpoint in Mosul on March 24.
Berg was turned over to U.S. officials and detained for 13 days. His father, Michael, said his son wasn't allowed to make phone calls or contact a lawyer. On April 5, the Bergs filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia, contending that their son was being held illegally by the U.S. military. The next day Berg was released. He told his parents he hadn't been mistreated. His family last heard from him April 9 but it was unclear when and where he was abducted.
The Bush administration said those who beheaded Berg would be hunted down and brought to justice.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said. "It shows the true nature of the enemies of freedom. They have no regard for the lives of innocent men, women and children."
Although Berg was working on his own, U.S. officials fear the savage killing might prompt more foreigners working on international reconstruction projects to flee the country.
Since the security situation deteriorated last month, about three out of 10 Americans and other non-Iraqis involved in reconstruction projects financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development have fled Iraq, the USAID director Andrew Natsios told The Associated Press.
A coalition official, speaking on condition of anonymity, called Berg's death a "real anomaly" because the overwhelming majority of Westerners here are working for international companies.
Friends and family of Berg said he was a "free spirit" who wanted to help others - working in Ghana, in one example - and that his going to Iraq fit with that ideology. They said he supported the Iraqi war and the Bush administration.
Berg's killing happened amid a climate of intense anti-Western sentiment, which flared in Iraq after last month's crackdown on Shiite extremists and the three-week Marine siege of Fallujah west of Baghdad. Anger at the United States swelled with the publication of photographs showing Iraqis abused and humiliated at Abu Ghraib prison, which continue to stir rage throughout the Arab world.
U.S. officials had feared the shocking photographs would endanger the lives of American troops and civilians.
In the video, five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks stand over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit similar to prison uniforms.
"My name is Nick Berg. My father's name is Michael. My mother's name is Suzanne," the man, seated in a chair, says. "I have a brother and sister, David and Sara. I live in ... Philadelphia."
The video then cuts to Berg sitting on the floor, his hands tied behind his back, flanked by the masked men, as a statement is read in Arabic. Berg sits still during the statement, facing the camera, occasionally raising his shoulders.
After the statement, the assailant directly behind Berg takes a large knife from under his clothing while another pulls Berg onto his side. The tape shows assailants thrusting the knife through his neck. A scream sounds before the men cut Berg's head off, repeatedly shouting "Allahu Akbar!" - or "God is great."
They then hold the head out before the camera.
The video is of poor quality, and its time stamp seems to show an 11-hour lapse between when the assailants finish their statement and push Berg down, to when they behead him. That suggests a delay between those two portions of tape posted on the Web site.
Berg attended Cornell University, Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Oklahoma, where he got involved in rigging electronics equipment while working for the maintenance department, his father said. He helped set up equipment at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000.
While at Cornell, he traveled to Ghana to teach villagers how to make bricks out of minimal material. His father said Berg returned from Ghana with only the clothes on his back and emaciated because he gave away most of his food.
Michael Berg said his son saw his trip to Iraq as an adventure in line with his desire to help others.
Berg's family said they were informed by the State Department on Monday that he was found dead.
When told by a reporter about the Web site, Berg's father, brother and sister grasped one another and slowly dropped to the ground in their front yard, where they wept quietly while holding each other.
"I knew he was decapitated before," Michael Berg said. "That manner is preferable to a long and torturous death. But I didn't want it to become public."
The decapitation recalled the kidnapping and videotaped beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 in Pakistan. Four Islamic militants have been convicted of kidnapping Pearl, but seven suspects - including those who allegedly slit his throat - remain at large.
Last month, Iraqi militants videotaped the killing of Italian hostage Fabrizio Quattrocchi, but the Arab TV network Al-Jazeera refused to air it because it was too graphic.
In the video of Berg, the executioners said they had tried to trade him for prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
"For the mothers and wives of American soldiers, we tell you that we offered the U.S. administration to exchange this hostage for some of the detainees in Abu Ghraib and they refused," one of the men read from a statement.
"So we tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls. You will not receive anything from us but coffins after coffins ... slaughtered in this way."
Seven soldiers from the 372nd Military Police Company face charges in the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in a scandal that has sparked worldwide outrage. One of those soldiers faces a court-martial in Baghdad next week, the first to go to trial.
Friday, May 07, 2004
Thursday, May 06, 2004
To Lick or Not To Lick? That is The Question
What is cunnilingus?
Cunnilingus is the fine art of making love to a vagina with your mouth and tongue. It is a delicate skill, requiring patience, practice, and dedication to get it right, but any woman you learn to do it right for will appreciate you all the more for it.
What applies to the penis applies to the vulva-- every one is different, requiring a different touch to make its owner happy. But few tools can equal the tongue for the amount of pleasure it can deliver to a happy vagina.
This article assumes that you know what a vulva looks like and can identify with some precision the mons veneris, labia majora, clitoral hood, clitoris, labia minora, urethra, vagina, and perineum, to name them (approximately) from top to bottom.
How fast should I go?
This isn't an attack. Don't go after the clitoris like a fireman attacking a fire. Quite often at first, the clitoris is far too sensitive for direct stimulation. Lick around it, stimulating the hood, teasing her inner labia, tasting her. Take your time and listen to her. Some women make noise, and some do not. It will be a while before you learn exactly what your lover prefers as far as oral sex is concerned.
Some women may like additional stimulation-- a finger or two into the vagina, or perhaps even the anus. She may want your hands to reach up and play with her breasts, or she may want your fingers to hold her labia apart so that your tongue can get at her vulva more directly.
I've heard cunnilingus doesn't taste good.
If the taste or smell bothers you or is a concern, ask her to wash first. Most people who enjoy cunnilingus agree that a clean vagina is a good, if acquired, taste.
As a woman nears her climax, she may want more direct stimulation. In general, fast, rhythmic stimulation is most effective at causing climax-- but there shouldn't be a rush to get there. Take your time and learn to appreciate what you can do for her.
What about cunnilingus during menstruation?
Some people are particularly turned off at the suggestion of cunnilingus during menstruation. If it is a concern to you, then wait. A tampon may well hold the blood back, as will a diaphragm, but some men can't stand the taste anyway. If your partner is healthy, however, there is no particular danger in menstrual blood, and some women find that orgasms during their periods allievate cramps.
Looks Like Somebody Snitched
These are the people who were arrested. I bet it was the pretty girl that snithed everyone out.
A North Georgia methamphetamine supply chain was disrupted last month with the arrest of eight suspects in Hall County and the seizure of almost $250,000 in illegal drugs, the leader of the county's narcotics squad says.
Lt. Ken Neece, commander of the Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad, said the arrests occurred in late March and included the confiscation of drugs with a value of $244,560.
The drugs were found in arrests along Friendship and Holiday roads in South Hall.
The arrests occurred near Interstate 985, which along with Ga. 365, U.S. 441 and Interstate 85, creates a high-speed drug corridor between Atlanta and North Carolina, said Maj. Wayne Mock of the Hall County Sheriff's Office. "Hall County is a midlevel stop," Mock said.
The arrests may change the routine for some.
Gracie Green, 23, of Sylva, N.C., and Jeffery Collins, 45, of Sugar Hill were charged March 27 with trafficking methamphetamine, trafficking cocaine, felony possession of marijuana and possession of a gun during a felony. Collins also faces possession of a gun by a felon and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
The arrests took place on Holiday Road. Agents recovered drugs valued at $67,040, according to reports from the drug squad.
Two days later, agents recovered another $177,520 in drugs, squad reports show.
Sarah Denson, 17, of Buford, Esquivel Rodolfo Jr., 20, Christopher Slette, 23, Jerry Etheridge Jr., 20, all of Sugar Hill, David Rocha, 59, of Lawrenceville and Leonor Hernandez, 44, of Norcross were charged with trafficking methamphetamine.
Slette is also charged with trafficking cocaine, possession of marijuana and wearing a bulletproof vest during the commission of a crime. Etheridge is also charged with trafficking of cocaine and possession of marijuana.
Rocha is also charged with cocaine possession. Denson is charged with attempting to falsify her age, court records show.
Slette and Denson were released April 16 on bond from the Hall County Detention Center. Slette was released on a $100,000 bond, and Denson was released on a $9,000 bond.
The others remain in jail. Etheridge is under a $100,000 bond, Green, Rodolfo and Collins have no bond. Rocha and Hernandez each have a $75,000 bond.
Rocha and Hernandez were "direct importers from Mexico," Neece said.
Methamphetamine accounted for most of the drug seizures. Prior to the March seizures, deputies had seized $46,770 in methamphetamine during the first quarter of 2004, Neece said.
Then $244,560 worth of drugs was recovered in the vicinity of Friendship and Holiday roads in South Hall. Deputies also confiscated several guns, $39,696 in cash and six vehicles.
Neece said international drug dealers are beginning to look at Hall as more than a destination. It's been a gradual shift over 15 years.
"Now we're a distribution hub," for surrounding counties and North Georgia, he said.
Neece said an easy supply of methamphetamine has been stopped to many dealers. He said investigators had noticed a significant increase in the availability of methamphetamine in the last six months.
"There was not a good solid lead to follow up on until the first arrest," he said.
Investigators, delaying the release of information about the ring for a month, were waiting to see if others would step in.
Lt. Mark McGinnis, assistant commander of criminal investigations in the sheriff's office, said it might not be too long. He said investigators identified a phone number and called it two years ago.
"We called Mexico at noon," he said of that day. "By 4 p.m., two pounds of methamphetamine was delivered to us from Atlanta."
Leave Our Soliders Alone! We Are At War
Additional photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq brought increasing pressure Thursday on you defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after U President George W. Bush tried to calm the anger of the Arab world.
The International Red Cross said Thursday that it had repeatedly asked U authorities to take action over reported abuse at Iraq's Abu Graff prison before the recent revelations.
Noting that Red Cross representatives had been visiting the prison and talking privately with detainees, spokeswoman Nadia domain said in Geneva, ÂWe were aware of what was going on, and based on our findings we have repeatedly requested theU. authorities to take corrective action.Â
Citing what it called Âthe botched handlingÂ of the abuse investigation and a his overall decisions about the Iraq war, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said in a Thursday editorial that ÂRumsfeld should resign and take his top deputies with him.Â
AskCBS CBS's The Early Show whether Mr. Bush should fire Mr. Rumsfeld, Senator John McCain declined Thursday to Âpresume to tell the president what he should do.Â The Arizona Republican added, however, that Âit's obvious that there's a lot of explaining that Secretary Rumsfeld and others have to do, including why Congress was never informed as to this.Â
I think this is what we should to that prision. One of my buddies has to leave in a few weeks to go over there and if some stupid fucking raghead kills him im going to enlist and im going to fuck some shit up. I don't think we should do anything to those men and women over there torchering these Arabs. We are at war! War is not oh I'm sorry i blew up your town. War is ha ha muthafucker I blew up your town! What are you going to do about it huh! If those Arabs had are men and women captive they would not show us any mercy that's just the way it is.
White House aides said Mr. Bush had chastised Mr. Rumsfeld for failing to tell him about pictures ofmistreatingstreatment.
Mr. Bush's administration asked Congress on Wednesday for an additional $25-billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while also dealing with the army's acknowledgment that at least a dozen deaths at prisons and detention camps remained under scrutiny by criminal investigators.
The CIA's inspector-general also was looking into three deaths that may have involved agency officers or contractors, intelligence officials said. It was unclear how many of these CIA investigations involved the same prison deaths as the military's investigators, although army officials said at least one did.
In Iraq, the new general in charge of prisons apologizemistreatingstreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, and troops launched a new offensive against the followers of a rebel cleric.
Mr. Rumsfeld was summoned by angry legislators to testify on Capitol Hill on Friday, while senators Â Republicans and Democrats alike Â discussed a resolution to condemn the abuses.
Mr. Bush went on Arabic TV on Wednesday and said Americans were appalled by the abuse and deaths of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of U.S. soldiers. He promised that Âjustice will be delivered.Â
See what you get when you fuck with America! I bet this will make these arabs think twice about shooting at us next time. That women in the picture she looks like she is having a real good time.
ÂThe people in the Middle East must understand that this was horrible,Â Mr. Bush said. He appeared on two Arabic television networks to take control of the administration's damage-control efforts.
Mr. Bush said that what happened at Abu Ghraib prison was Âmore than an allegation, in this case, actual abuse Â we saw the pictures. There will be a full investigation.Â He said he retained confidence in Mr. Rumsfeld.
White House aides, however, said Mr. Bush let Mr. Rumsfeld know in recent days that he was Ânot satisfiedÂ with the way he was informed about the unfolding scandal.
In particular, Mr. Bush was unhappy about learning of the pictures only when they were broadcast, the aides said, insisting that they not be identified.
Mr. Rumsfeld also did not know about the images of naked prisoners and gloating U.S. soldiers until CBS-TV broadcast them, a senior White House official said.
The Washington Post, in its Thursday editions, said it had obtained a new batch of more than 1,000 digital photos from Iraq. The newspaper said the photos ranged from snapshots depicting everyday military life to graphic images of various kinds of abuse. One posted on the paper's Internet showed a female soldier holding a leash that goes around a naked man's neck at Abu Ghraib prison. Friends and relatives of the soldier with the leash said the photo must have been staged, the Post said.
Reaction in the region to Mr. Bush's remarks on Wednesday was generally skeptical.
ÂBush's statements today will not restore the dignity which the tortured detainees lost,Â said Sari Mouwaffaq, a Baghdad mechanic. ÂBush's apology, or his attempt to find excuses, has no value to us.Â
But Raad Youssef, a 49-year-old teacher in Baghdad, said that during Saddam Hussein's rule, Âthere were many genocides that were committed and nobody dared to reveal them at that time and now officials of the former regime did not try to apologize. Bush's attempt to repair the damage is a good thing in my opinion.Â
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
The Best Toys For The Room!
The best bedroom accessory is, of course, a La Voz staffer. But for those readers without access to such infinite pleasure, there are products on the market that attempt to recreate the experience.
There are toys out there to fit every niche, from inflatable sheep to wooden paddles, realistic molds of porn-star body parts to brightly colored dildos in space-age shapes.
When wondering how effective a toy might be, it doesn't hurt to ask. George, who asked to be referred to by his first name only, is the owner of Y Not in San Jose. Hesaid that if an item is on his shelves, it's there because customers keep coming in for it.
"Stuff's coming out every week. We stick with what people like," he said, gesturing to the walls of toys.
According to Betty, an employee at Hot Stuff in Santa Clara, (who also requested we not use her surname) said couples go for the items that are pleasurable for both partners. She recommends the "Make Your own Dildo" kit that retails for $99.99.
"Men's biggest fear with vibrators is that they'll never be able to please their woman again," she says, but the popular kit can be modified to allow the device to vibrate, which may help some men with this fear as th dildo in question will be molded from their own equipment.
As with most mass-marketed consumer goods, name brands seem to be important to customers shopping for bedroom accessories.
With "cyber-skin" molds of women's body parts, the same principle seems to hold true. The most popular models are those that replicate the assets of well-known porn stars, despite going for a few hundred dollars a pop.
"They really buy the name. We sell like one a week," said Betty.
Those in search of more common sex aids such as lubricant may want to go to a local adult store to find options far sexier than staples K-Y or Astroglide. Drugstores don't carry much in the way of scented or edible lubricants, while specialty shops carry products like Satori, an "oil of love" that's available in a variety of luscious flavors.
For those who like the idea of getting pleasured in public places but don't want to get arrested, there's always the wireless vibrating panty. It's a thong available in leopard print, zebra, and black, and it includes a tiny removable vibrator. You may want to test it out in private first -- it wouldn't be too cool to have the professor stop class mid-lecture to investigate the source of that buzzing sound.
As an episode "Sex and the City" demonstrated, stores like The Sharper Image offer personal massagers for those too embarrassed to hit the aisles of a traditional adult store. Going to the specialists has its advantages -- and employees like Betty refute the image of the seedy adult shop staffed by creepy old perverts.
"It's a cool job. People think that a lot of freaks come in here, but we get a lot of couples." George also defies the stereotype -- he lightens his hours behind the register watching Food Network programs.
Sex toys are accessories. A cute bracelet can't save a terrible outfit, it can only enhance what's already there. Adult novelties won't resolve any of the deeper issues that can sabotage intimacy, and that's not what their purpose is. What they do is bring a little extra fun into a comfortable and fulfilling physical relationship, even if the only relationship you have is with yourself.
Drugs & Guns? What Are You Talking About
Provo Police arrested six people on drug and weapons possession charges Tuesday afternoon just south of BYU campus.
Six plain-clothes officers with the Adult Probation and Parole department arrived on the scene at approximately 12:30pm. With their hands on their guns, they approached the house with caution. After entering the house, they came out periodically with a different individual in handcuffs each time.
In addition, while conducting the search the officers were able to apprehend two other parole fugitives. The fugitives were walking by the scene when the police recognized them and called them by name, upon which the police ran a background check and found that the fugitives had warrants for their arrest.
Supervisor for the Adult Probation and Parole office, Larry Evens said his agents were looking for a parole fugitive involved in possession of stolen property.
"Based on the information our officers had, we did a search of the residence and did not locate the stolen property but did locate some drug paraphernalia, some shotgun shells and some high-powered rifle shells," Evens said.
Assisting officer Paul Janda said he watched the residence for two days before approaching the house Tuesday. The house is located at 256 N. 100 E.
A concerned neighbor at the scene, who wanted to remain anonymous, commented on the residents' behavior.
"They've been running drugs in and out of here," he said. "They've been stealing [stuff] and packing their house full of it."
The police detained Estella Argile, a 22-year-old resident of the house, for questioning throughout the whole ordeal. Mostly the police were concerned for her 2-year-old child's well-being and had other questions about the fugitives she housed. Argile, in handcuffs, told her side of the story.
"The cops are here because my baby's dad is here and he is not supposed to be because he brings trouble to me," she said, "That's all he's ever done."
Officer Matt Siufanua has been on the force for 10 years. He arrived at the scene to help transport the fugitives and had this to say after walking through the house.
"This place is incredibly messy-It's not fit for human life,' he said. "I wouldn't keep my dog in there, "
"People on drugs live and they live for drugs...they don't do anything else, that's how they live every day. She [Argile] has a 2-year-old child that lives in that place, and that's just horrible," he also said.
Child social worker Suzie Duram arrived at the scene to assess the premises and to decide whether the child should stay with his mother. After a brief walk through the house, Duram would not comment on her observations.
The police found the suspects hiding in secret holes in the house.
"That's typical for druggies... they all have little hiding compartments all over the place and we have to search to find things," Siufanua said. "The one thing we are scared of is finding needles cause we don't want to poke our hands and when you have a messy house like that and you are moving through a lot of stuff you have a danger of pricking your finger on needles," he said.
Police had to call in a K-9 unit because of the condition of the house. Deputy Rich Shummway, who has been with the K-9 unit for 3 years, appeared on the scene with Sammy, a dog with the title sheriff deputy.
"Because of the size and the nature of the house it was very difficult to search," he said. "This is one of those areas where it's really nice to bring a K-9 in."
However, the dog didn't find anything in addition to what the officers had already found.
Janda said this sort of incident is more common than people in Provo realize.
"People think this is happy valley because they don't know or see what is going on here," he said. "I can take you on a ride and show you much worse than this in Provo."
As Long As It's Not Next To A School
"I didn't write this. I thought it was a pretty good article"
First things first - I have no problems with strip clubs. I've never been inside of one, but I greatly appreciate the fact that women have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies. That's the beauty of living in America and having laws that make other personal choices like abortion and plastic surgery legal. I have nothing against strippers, either. I know a few whom I greatly respect, and if they can make $2000 working 15 hours a week, it's nothing more than my own being overworked and underpaid that fuels my disgust.
That said, I don't think it's the best idea to open a strip club near the most populated, most commercial, fastest-growing strip of land in the area: the corner of Mundy St. and Highland Park Blvd.
You know why I believe many strip clubs are so successful? Because they're in the middle of nowhere and retain some level of privacy for their patrons. When John Doe is spotted going into the strip joint by Mrs. Doe and their four kids on their way to Chuck E. Cheese, or when they're out shopping for a new Lazy-Boy across the street and spy a naked girl grinding in daddy's lap, how good is our hero going to feel about himself then?
Not that I sympathize with sleazebags like that, or even remotely care about retaining their privacy. It's simple: The hottest piece of real estate in this valley is not the right place to put a nudey bar, not right now. Strip clubs breed more strip clubs, which may drive out other potential businesses who don't want to be associated with strip clubs. And last time I checked, we wanted more businesses to come to the area.
Yes, there are a lot of uptight people in this area, and, yes, they'll feel uncomfortable doing their Wal-Mart shopping in a lap-dance zone. Maybe you'll say that's their problem, but it's ultimately ours too. Believe it or not, in the next 20 years this valley is going to be a metropolitan area. The land near the Arena is scheduled to be filled with businesses, housing developments and school districts, and we're laying the groundwork now for what's to come later. Opening the door to one bad seed only invites others.