Archives December 2008

LETTER TO GEORGE W. BUSH – PARDON THE COPS

 

Dear Mr. President,

Now that your term is near an end, you’ll be doing what all lame-duck presidents do just before leaving the Oval Office; issuing dozens of pardons and commutations to America’s prison inmates. As of December 23rd, you’ve issued only 191 presidential pardons. Some may think that admirable, but the truth is, all of them came after the convicts already completed their sentences. Among those pardoned, were drug dealers, embezzlers, unlawful gun dealers, tax evaders, thieves, one bomber and a host of others. Besides the pardons, you’ve commuted nine sentences, thereby shortening prison time for those convicts.

Contrast your record of compassion to that of other presidents: Wilson 2,480 pardons, Truman 2,044, Hoover 1,385, Lyndon Johnson, 1,200, plus Clinton, Reagan and ford, all of whom pardoned over 400 each.

It’s time, Mr. President, to right a grievous wrong.

It’s one thing to pardon people who made a habit of committing of crime, it’s another to pardon those who lived a life fighting crime on behalf of Americans. I’m talking about those who make Americans safer, who risk their lives every day on the front lines of the war on crime, who are there for you and me when we need them in times of crisis.

There are several of those who are serving long undeserved sentences in prison. Among them, Border Parol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, serving eleven and twelve years respectively for shooting a criminal in the buttocks, a career criminal who was trying to smuggle nearly a thousand pounds of drugs into the U.S., and who was given special privileges and rewards in exchange for his testimony against these officers. And from there, he arrogantly continued to smuggle and break American laws, while the prosecutor’s office turned a blind eye in order to nail the cops.

The detailed facts are arguable. Yes, they may have fudged on their reports, yes the Monday morning quarterbacks may have found violations of procedure. Perhaps they deserved admonishment and even charges. But did they…and their families… deserve a decade of life inside prison walls while their wives and children were sentenced to survival without a father in the home?

You know the answer to that, Mr. President, and so does every American who has followed case. Please don’t hide behind the law and swash it all with a lame explanation that they were convicted by a jury of their peers. We all know there is no such thing as a jury of our peers in today’s world. And regardless, if those jurors knew that the criminal had been given special rewards for his testimony, and that he was arrested again for smuggling drugs into the U.S. before the trial date, it’s unlikely the officers would have been convicted. And, if the jurors knew that —according to a technicality in the federal law — any convicted person who commits the “crime” while in possession of a firearm is automatically sentenced to a minimum of ten years, it’s unlikely the officers would have been convicted. However, the prosecutors, led by your appointee, Johnny Sutton, purposely did not reveal these facts to the jury. Consequently, Ramos and Compean — who are required by job description to possess a firearm on duty, got nailed for the maximum…and so did their families.

Non-criminals are wrongly serving time, Mr. President. Criminals who prey on society, are not serving time. How does one explain that?

You know the facts, but for those who don’t check out this link:

Click here: Ramos-Compean:

While you are at it Mr. President, consider some other officers of the law…some of whom may have made errors in judgement, but certainly did not deserve long prison sentences away from their families, lives wasted, non-productive.

Stephanie Mohr is one of those. A K-9 cop with Prince Georges County, Maryland, Officer Mohr allowed her K-9 partner to bite a criminal who was caught atop a commercial building at 1 a.m. in the morning, a criminal with a past record of drugs and theft and who was in the country illegally. She was convicted on testimony from another cop in big trouble, who was given special treatment in exchange for his testimony..saying the dog bite was unnecessary.

She had served with distinction as a decorated officer with several commendations for putting her life on the line protecting citizens of Maryland. She is now serving her fifth year of a ten year prison sentence. Her child doesn’t have his mom at home in all this time. If ever there was overkill in the criminal justice system, this is it. Stephanie Mohr does not deserve ten years behind bars.

Click here: Mohr Case Profile

There are others. Check out:

Click here: Chief of Police Richard Thompson

Click here: From the Chairman

 

So, Mr. President. Now that you don’t have to run for office any more, and the favors are all paid back to your political backers, it’s time to do the right thing.

You once called yourself a compassionate conservative. Time to put up, or shut up. Pardon these cops, and give them and their families, their lives back. You have the power…until January 20th. I implore you in the name of humanity.  Use it.

 

Beware of Repair Scams

This is a re-posting of a blog from November or 2008

AUTO REPAIR FRAUD IS ALIVE AND WELL

Posted on November 21st, 2008 by marshallfrank in General, Edit

 

Buyers, Beware!

We all know the horror stories about car-owners who are taken to the cleaners by unsavory auto service centers, out to make big bucks off the ignorance of neophytes. Most of us know that getting a simple oil change may result in garage managers trying to sell their customers unneeded parts such as air filters, brakes, shocks, serpentine belts, and such. Young women, in particular, are an easy target.

But I never thought a garage would stoop to the bottom of the sleaze scale by staging a problem in order to make a big sale. Such is the case with a 22 year-old woman who recently took her Jeep Liberty to a local, all-service tire service dealer in Melbourne for an oil change. When she returned to pick up her car, the message was dire. “You have a major oil leak, Miss. You need to have this fixed right away.”

Fortunately, her grandfather had forewarned her about auto service predators. Her response was simple. “Thank you. I’ll have it checked by my mechanic.”

And so she did. The vehicle was brought to a certified master mechanic in Rockledge with a long-standing reputation of honest service. Sure enough, the alleged “major oil leak” was fictitious. This incident was especially egregious because the tire center personnel had loosely inserted the oil filter and poured oil over the engine to give the bogus appearance of a serious leak.

While most licensed auto service dealers are reputable, auto repair fraud is still a common problem all over the nation. Too often, estimates are inflated, unneeded parts are sold to unknowing customers, and the most unsavory of all — like in the case mentioned above — will produce a bogus problem.

Here’s a few important tips:

* Always ask for written estimates for repairs.

* Do a background check on the garage/mechanic. Contact the Better Business Bureau.

* Be sure. Do not approve of a repair job unless you’re sure it is legitimate.

* Get a second, or a third opinion from a certified, licensed auto mechanic.

* Ask that they provide you with the used parts that are replaced, such as brake pads.

* Do not accept, at face value, everything that an auto service center will claim is wrong.  Be suspicious.

* Watch out for discount specials. Crooked repair shops will advertise oil changes, lube jobs and tire rotation specials as hooks to lure customers into the web of deceit.

* Try to establish a trusted relationship with a regular, certified mechanic for all your auto service needs.

It’s good to bear in mind that many tire and muffler auto centers do not make their profits off oil changes and selling tires. Franchise stores are under pressure to make extra sales in order to pay the rent.

The 22 year-old woman was lucky enough to have a caring grandfather, otherwise she may have been raked for a thousand dollars, when all she needed was a $25 change of oil.

Don’t let that happen to you.

p.s. The young woman’s grandfather writes books and blogs and struggles with the violin.  Hmm.

21 Responses to “AUTO REPAIR FRAUD IS ALIVE AND WELL”

  1. Your correct about the auto repair fraud on-going. Wonder why the police and SA’s don’t attak something like this that would mean so much to so many people..fraud is fraud, or is it..guess it is too tough of a subject to tackle?!?!?!

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  2. This type of scam has been going on since Henry Ford. I have caught dealers using a trial and error repair method and guess who picks up the tab for the ‘trial’ parts?

    Your last tip is the most effective method for minimizing the problem. If you’re not sure who might be a reliable mechanic chances are that someone you know can give you a name. You know, “I’ve used this person for years”, etc. I can give you the name of one I’ve used for almost 14 years in Davie, FL. Same holds true for motorcycles and never trust a motorcycle Dealer or you will be replacing brake pads every other oil change.

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  3. This is why I stopped buying Buicks and now go with Lexus. The American car companies have become disconnected with their dealers. From experience I cannot trust any GM dealer to provide honest and reliable service. Detroit needs to fix this problem above all else..

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  4. Thanks, Marshall, for this good message. I’ve never been the victim of auto repair fraud, but it pays to be wary because it could happen any time.

    Regards, Bill

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  5. I guy came to the door selling $11 oil changes at Meineke. I bought a card worth 6 oil changes. When I took my car in for an oil change I had to pay another 5 bucks to recycle the old oil. Now the oil change cost $16. When they were finished they tell me my van needs new shocks & struts. I took the van to my neighbor’s shop & he said they were fine. The following week I took my wife’s Lexus in for an oil change and they said her car needs shocks & struts. It seems like the Meineke computer is programed to print out a report that says that all cars in for an oil change need new shocks & struts since they really don’t make any money on a 16 buck oil change. Beware if some door-to-door salesman trys to sell you an $11 oil change.

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  6. I have a Honda, needs servicing once a year by the Honda dealer where I have been going for twelve years. No problem.

    rhp

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  7. Very timely Blog M.F.,

    Economic hard times are going to see more of us driving the old family bus longer. That means more auto repairs & more attemps at fraud. Car repair crooks come large & small but sometimes even the big sleaze bags get caught. Not often, but sometimes!

    I can’t think of auto repair fraud without
    thinking Sears, 1992 and a CA BCIS Sting
    catching Sears Auto Shops scamming customers
    as SOP. Sear’s coughed up $20 Million to
    keep their Auto Repair Shops open. See >

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3092/is_n18_v31/ai_12736011

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  8. After so many years of doing my own service, I finally gave it up and now use a reputable Toyota dealer. Since they are very such reliable vehicles, I only have the oil changes done every 5000 miles, and they check all the operating systems and make recommendations on repairs or replacement. They do not do anything to the vehicle without my permission. They have taken me back to the garage and shown me the parts that they are recommending for replacement so I can make an informed decision. They also send me coupons for special deals. This dealership is in St. Augustine and I can truly recommend it to anyone needing service.

    After every service, I recieve a letter from the GM asking me to provide feedback on how I was treated and how the vehicle was serviced, asking me for any recommenations that I may have to improve their service. Now that’s the way to run a dealership and a repair facility and to keep your customers coming back. On my last visit, I had the opportunity to meet the GM and I was able to tell him in person about his facility and what a pleasure it was to come to. He introduced me to his service manager and all of his other managers and thanked me for my comments.
    Try meeting the General Manager at any of the big three…

    Take heed GM, Ford and Chrysler, maybe if you had done what the foreign car makers have been doing, you wouldn’t need billions of tax dollars to bail you out. Poor management and overzealous unions ruined the American car industry and they still don’t get the big picture. Too little, too late, I’m afraid.

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  9. How I wish I had a granddad like you! My story: We own a 2004 Honda which we purchased from Space Coast Honda. We’ve had it serviced every time at Space Coast following the suggested frequency as outlined in the owner’s manual, plus following the notice they put on the top of the windshield. I took the car in for regular service and left it for additional service as recommended by Ron, my “service adviser”. The phone call I received from Ron assured me that my tires were in serious condition. “Sure,” I said, “if they need replacing go ahead and do it.” Big Mistake.

    Ron wasn’t in when I came for the car so I asked the Service Manager how my tires got in such a deplorable condition when I brought it in regularly for service. He then turned to his trusty computer and asked me if I checked the tire pressure regularly. I said NO, I bring it into you for the maintenance! Another Big Mistake. He then asked me if I read my owner’s manual. No, That book is ¾ inches thick and I only open it if I need to check on how to operate the sliding doors.

    He then relied on his trusty computer to print out for me page 204 of my Owner’s Manual otherwise know as his “CYA” (Cover Your Ass) book!. There it was, how stupid I was not to have known! It plainly says:
    “Owner’s Maintenance Checks, You should check the following items at the specified intervals. If you are unsure of how to perform any check, turn to the appropriate page listed.
    *Engine oil level – Check every time you fill the fuel tank. See page 171
    *Engine coolant level – Check the radiator reserve tank every time you fill the .
    fuel tank. See page 172.
    *Automatic transmission – Check the fluid level monthly. See page 216
    *Brakes – Check the fluid level monthly. See page 218
    Tires – Check the tire pressure monthly. Examine the tread for wear and foreign objects. See page 230
    *Lights – Check the operation of the headlights, parking lights, tail lights, high mounted brake lights, and license plate lights monthly. See page 220.

    I realize how wordy my comments are but I think everyone should be aware, Your service advisor is not your friend. He works for a dealer who is more interested in Covering His Ass than in doing what you expected him to do when he was selling you the car. I guarantee you NO ONE CHECKS HIS OIL EVERY TIME HE FILLS HIS FUEL TANK!

    My bill was $473.47. Shame on me for not checking my tire pressure monthly!

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  10. I wish it were only auto repair techs! Probably the worst in Florida are the AIR CONDITIONER tech scams! There are so many crooks in the A/C business in Brevard that you would have a hard time believing it. One of many scams tried on me was that my system needed a $2,300.00 replacement – but I fixed it myself after I snooped around and found a bad relay which I replaced by myself for less than $25.00. When I told them I fixed it myself, the owner came by (Mickey Kabran) and terrorized my young daughter by pounding on the door demanding to speak with me (I was at work and my teenage daughter was just home from school). Was he drunk? Who knows. Yes, I definitely straightened him out. I don’t trust any A/C guys in Brevard except for Dan Rhode. I grew up with Dan and he is stone-cold honest and fair.

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  11. went to a local Chevy dealer in Pembroke Pines I had some warning lites appear on 04 Tahoe with 44000 miles on it indicating service stability, traction & abs..computer indicated speed sensor in left front wheel is bad so I got it repaired little did I know it was attached to the wheel hub and everything else in there final bill for this “wheel sensor” $598.00 but I am a good customer (sucker) got a 10% good customer discount!! Oh ! out of warranty of course !!

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  12. For Lyle McGuire, I have been getting my service done at a Buick dealer since 2003 and have had no problem. They may mention that the tires need rotation (n/c) or even other minor items. As I looked through my owners manuals ( 3 sperate buicks) everything they have offered is at my descretion, I even take my Ford truck into them for service since the local Ford dealer charged me an arm and leg for work that didn’t work (no guarantee).If anyone in North Florida would like to find out who this GM dealer is e-mail me. Some GM dealers may be bad news but not this one.

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  13. I learned my lesson about 23 years ago, when I moved to Florida. Had a brand new
    car. Bought gas and whatever small service was needed at the same CHEVRON STATION, which was near the office I worked in. One morning, I stopped and asked to have my tires rotated. Left the car and was called sometime later at my office, to let me know I needed shocks. As a bookkeeper, and being a single woman, what did I know about shock absorbers. I said, if I need them, then replace them. After work, I picked up my car and a $5oo.oo bill. My son, when told of this, almost handed me my head. Needless to say, I learned the hard way. Never, ever again have I patronized a CHEVRON STATION. I also learned more about what to do when my car is not feeling well.

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  14. Well, Marshall, we do have to be very careful, not trusting dealers any more than we can see them–even the Asian car dealers on occasion.

    Word of mouth is the best way, I think. My cars have been serviced thru the years by Foreign Car Clinic in Eau Gallie. I have one “dinosaur”, a 1987 Buick LeSabre Estate Wagon with over 200,000 miles clocked on it. I had to pay $60 for a tank full of gas one day, and on impulse (and in desperation) found a 2004 Hyundai 2-door coupe. I was told by the Mitsubishi salesman that it would get 35 mpg, but I’m lucky to break 28. A helluva lot better than 17 mpg for the Buick,which I need for my business, but I do wish they could have been honest about mileage.

    It, and several cars before it, have been well cared for by Foreign Car.
    This week I filled the tank for $20, and the Buick for $30. (I don’t drive it much.)

    The little Hyundai hasn’t been there yet. I’ve had it for 5 months, and had the oil changed (by Tire Kingdom in Eau Gallie), plus a tire rotation. The brakes also needed new shoes at that time. That’s all. No dealer prices either. I don’t trust ‘em.

    Just a note of interest: Bill Scott taught classes on car care at the Shepherd’s Center awhile back, and did stress the importance of regular checkups of our cars, as well as collecting names of car care places trusted by the students. Many had not ever looked under their hoods.

    Cathy Stanton

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  15. This is a very good matter to get distributed as widely as posible. I might let my wife read it, but I am not too concerned about her and her car. We have spent a few years extablishing a very good relationship with our service center, and have not been subjected to questionable offers or suggestions. I have always tinkered with cars, and in my high school days worked in a state owned garage, so I am inclined to be suspiciaous of any unlikely sounding suggestion. But it happens, and I have had to turn down a few from other establishments in other cities.

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  16. Well, Marshall I have to say that I agree with you and most other people on many issues mentioned regading this subject…except for the person who went out to buy a “Lexus” and won’t buy American any longer. Some of us do not have that luxury! Which brings us to MY point..It is times like these where I thank God I don’t have any money, and live only paycheck to paycheck,LOL. If I have work done on my car…in more cases than not, I have only budgeted for THAT work. They can tell me all they want about what is in DIRE NEED as far as any other work needing to be done, but it all falls on deaf ears..AND…empty pockets!! If I have to PUSH my car out of their garage…they STILL get nothing more out of me, LOL. Therefore…no mechanic has ever “bullied” me or “cohersed” me…or just plain “scammed” ME because I never had the money anyway. Anyone who just says “go ahead” because it just seems easier, or doesn’t get a second opinion is just plain silly. I believe, in some ways..having little money (yet keeping my car safely on the road at the same time)has made me smarter in that respect. It just takes common sense, and personally, I have never just “believed” someone simply because they “said so” just ask my mom, LOL!

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  17. For once, I can’t comment. My dad owned a garage, he was honest and taught that to me. People came to us because of it but like many of the “honest” folks dad disliked being questioned and his first reaction to questioning was simply, “I have plenty of business without yours so if you don’t trust me, take it somewhere else!”
    Unfortunately that stuck with me and when questioned as to my honesty I get upset quickly, and for the most part without reason.

    Go a bit easy on some of those guys, they are, for the most part, pretty honest.

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  18. I drive an older Benz and I have a garage in town that I use that always gives me the final total before they start. If anything is discovered they call and give me time to check it out before agreeing to any more work. I always use genuine Mercedes parts and I question the boss and mechanic closely when any work needs to be done. They know that my business depends on my being satisfied every time…there are too many gaages out there to settle for a bad one. Drivers beware!!

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  19. How well I can identify with this! In two stances, I luckily said the right thing, and DIDN’T get stuck with a huge bill! I lived in Las Vegas many years ago, and we needed a second car. My husband got a used car several years old for me, and when I shut the engine off after several miles of driving, I could not not turn it on again until it cooled off. I took it to a repair garage to find out what was wrong. The owner said he had the latest equipment to check the car thoroughly. The basic price for this service was $75, plus the cost for the repair. I wisely said I had to talk to my husband about it. When I told my husband about this, he asked a friend, who was a mechanic for one of the big showplaces, The Mint, if he could check the car. The man opened the hood, took out the old thermostat, and that was the end of the problem!

    The second experience was here in Florida. A friend recommended a new “great” garage that was about a mile from where I lived, better than the 12 or so miles I drove to a Goodyear garage in Leesburg. The second time I went to the new place, they told me I needed a new condenser in my AC. I mistakenly thought that Goodyear had replaced that a year before, and I told the new place I would go back to Goodyear and demand that they explain what they did. Goodyer told me they had replaced the compressor, and I did not need a condenser! That condenser would have cost me $984! So twice in my life I said the right thing–luckily!

    Pat Wilson

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  20. I visited the Ford dealership for a noticicable problem. They kept the truck four days after repeated phone calls as to what was the problem. They finally told me that I had to purchase a “chip” that they use to analyze the automobile to point out the problem, cost $400.00;

    Drove away half angry that someone has been had by this and will be again.

    Drove to a private reccommended mechanic who had the “chip” as all legitimate servicers should have.

    Repair cost…………$187.00.

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  21. At the risk of being labeled a jerk, which I am used to already, I have to say that, some of the lowest forms of human degradation include lawyers, car salespeople, child molesters and auto mechanics.
    We bought a brand new Jeep and had to take it 8 times to Tamiami Dodge where each time, and found “nothing wrong.”

    After the warranty ran out, the same problem continued, the engine light coming on, and we took it back to Tamiami Dodge where then they found that, it was a transmission problem and tried to stick me for over $2000.00.
    That is when I found a friend who recommended me Nunez Tires on Flagler and SW 74th Ave and took it there only to find out that, it was a defective gas cap. I replaced the factory issued one with a cap that had a key and that brought the light on.
    So, from that day on, I used these people’s services and have had no more problems.
    Like Marcy Simms used to say, ” An educated consumer is our best customer.” Take time to learn a bit of the product you have, do some research and you may never get stuck.

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BLACKWATER PROSECUTIONS LEAVE TOO MANY QUESTIONS

 

 

 

This is about the September, 2007 Blackwater Baghdad shootings in which five contract security officers are charged with killing seventeen innocent Iraqis and face up to thirty years in prison. Nearby Iraqi witnesses claim the incident was unprovoked. That would mean that an armed group of private officers within a volatile foreign land had nothing better to do with their time than to form an evil cabal and decide to open fire on some innocent people just for kicks.

That reminds me of the allegation that eleven L.A. cops arrived on a murder scene in 1994, and when they found out the killer was a celebrity, they all agreed to plant evidence against the celebrity for no other reason but that he happened to be black.

First, it’s important to understand just exactly the role of this private security organization’s role within Iraq.

Blackwater is the largest of the State Department’s three private military security contractors, training over 40,000 officers a year in offensive and defensive military tactics. They received a government contract in 2003 to provide services in Iraq, securing facilities and dignitary personnel, not to mention the American Embassy in Baghdad, the largest in the world. Their role has been significant, and not without tragedy and loss. In March of 2004, four Blackwater consulting employees were ambushed in Fallujah and their bodies hung from bridges. In April 2005, six Blackwater contractors were shot down in their helicopter. There’s more.

The real question, is whether these security officers are guilty of murder or that they were legitimately acting in self defense. The only witnesses are, the Blackwater guards, and …those American-loving Iraqi civilians who would never tell a lie.

I’ve often written about the government’s zeal in taking up allegiance to foreign governments whenever the conduct of police/soldier action is in question. Better to kiss butt than to stick up for one of our own. We have numbers of Border Patrol Officers and local police officers in America today who are serving long prison terms for actions that didn’t warrant such vehement prosecution, but served to placate and grease the squeaky wheel.

What about the lives of prosecuted officers and their families? Oh well, collateral damage.

That’s politics.

Supposedly, the government has flipped one of those guards into testifying against the others. As a juror I would send up a red flag to my fellow jurors, as this guy was surely made a deal in order to bolster to government’s case. The deal is familiar. The government buys the testimony, in exchange for shorter prison time.

Because the alleged “crime” involved the possession and use of a firearm, minimum-maximum sentencing laws apply if the guards are convicted. That equates to no-option terms of thirty years of everyone convicted, other than the snitch of course.

The problem with the government’s case, are the Blackwater radio logs. In their article dated December 18th, 2008, Associated Press reporters Matt Apuzzo and Lara Jakes cast serious doubt about the veracity of those Iraqi witnesses as the logs reveal how the guards were under fire for eight minutes from insurgents and Iraqi police. They obviously lend credence to the defendants point of view. After all, defending ones self is still a legitimate motive for shooting back, is it not?

Based on all the information known thus far, it would appear the government knows this is a loser, but they’re going through the motions to make Maliki and the Iraqi media happy.

Read the entire article.

Click here: Blackwater radio logs:

Who knows. Maybe those Iraqi insurgents were only throwing shoes.

(Thanks to fellow Blogateer Ed Hensley for bringing this item to my attention.)

DON'T MISS SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

 
 
 
If someone told you to go see a movie directed by Danny Boyle (who?), and starring Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor and Freida Pinto, (who, who, who?) filmed in India and partly subtitled, you’d probably take a pass. “No Thanks.”
Don’t do it.
It might very well be the best movie of 2008.
The movie follows the life of a Mumbai orphan, Jamal, from early boyhood to the age of eighteen when he becomes a contestant on India’s version of, “So You Want To Be A Millionaire.” After answering a stream of seemingly impossible questions, and suspected of cheating, Jamal is brought into police headquarters and “interrogated” by the in-house toughy.
From there, the flashbacks to different stages of his life surviving in the slums, acting on wit and instincts, reveal the truth about his incredible knowledge.
The movie has it all: A great love and endless search for the girl of his dreams, family struggle, government corruption, chases, murder, conflict, suspense, humor, and acting levels that would rival the most well known thespians of the silver screen. British director, Danny Boyle also brings you into the heart of the old city of Bombay (Mumbai) where squalor and luxury prevail side by side so realistically, the viewer call almost feel and smell the plight of every day survivalists.
While the film necessarily depicts some violence, we don’t hear a constant repetition of the “F” word, no one leaps into the air flailing Karate kicks in rapid succession, and there is but a spattering of sexual innuendo without the graphics.
It is one of the best cinematic immersions into another culture I’ve ever experienced.
If Hollywood has any integrity at all, this movie will, at the least, be nominated for Best Picture, and maybe even win.
If you are a movie buff, put it on the list for the next outing. If you wait until the DVD comes out, make a note.
And…keep a watch on the future career of lead female actor Freida Pinto. Not only is she totally ravishing, she can also act.
I give this one a rare: 10
Tip: Don’t get up to leave when the movie ends. There’s another treat in store when the credits roll.
 

DON’T MISS SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

 

 

 

If someone told you to go see a movie directed by Danny Boyle (who?), and starring Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor and Freida Pinto, (who, who, who?) filmed in India and partly subtitled, you’d probably take a pass. “No Thanks.”

Don’t do it.

It might very well be the best movie of 2008.

The movie follows the life of a Mumbai orphan, Jamal, from early boyhood to the age of eighteen when he becomes a contestant on India’s version of, “So You Want To Be A Millionaire.” After answering a stream of seemingly impossible questions, and suspected of cheating, Jamal is brought into police headquarters and “interrogated” by the in-house toughy.

From there, the flashbacks to different stages of his life surviving in the slums, acting on wit and instincts, reveal the truth about his incredible knowledge.

The movie has it all: A great love and endless search for the girl of his dreams, family struggle, government corruption, chases, murder, conflict, suspense, humor, and acting levels that would rival the most well known thespians of the silver screen. British director, Danny Boyle also brings you into the heart of the old city of Bombay (Mumbai) where squalor and luxury prevail side by side so realistically, the viewer call almost feel and smell the plight of every day survivalists.

While the film necessarily depicts some violence, we don’t hear a constant repetition of the “F” word, no one leaps into the air flailing Karate kicks in rapid succession, and there is but a spattering of sexual innuendo without the graphics.

It is one of the best cinematic immersions into another culture I’ve ever experienced.

If Hollywood has any integrity at all, this movie will, at the least, be nominated for Best Picture, and maybe even win.

If you are a movie buff, put it on the list for the next outing. If you wait until the DVD comes out, make a note.

And…keep a watch on the future career of lead female actor Freida Pinto. Not only is she totally ravishing, she can also act.

I give this one a rare: 10

Tip: Don’t get up to leave when the movie ends. There’s another treat in store when the credits roll.