The sad thing is that this incident will probably be used to outlaw wheelchairs. Even worse, it may be used to created a Department for Mobile Chair Security.
Elderly Man in Wheel Chair Trafficking 10 Pounds of Heroin
OCT 25 — NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA -GUILLERMO VALDOVINOS CRUZ, age 60, of Mazatlan, Mexico and FIDELIS LEWIS, age 27, of Topawa, Arizona were charged on October 21, 2010 in a two-count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury with conspiracy to distribute heroin, as well as possessing with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, on October 12, 2010, at the Amtrak Station Building in New Orleans, Louisiana, while conducting routine reviews, Amtrak Police discovered that, although CRUZ (who was traveling in a wheelchair) and LEWIS boarded in different cities, they were traveling on the same train and used the same telephone number as a point-of-contact. Further review of the Amtrak database revealed that between March 2010 to present, the defendants rode together on the same trains to New York City at least five to six times. The review also revealed during the March 2010 trip, the defendants arrived together in New York on March 21, purchased tickets the following day, and departed New York City on March 23. Further, according to court documents, subsequent investigation and a canine search revealed approximately 4.52 kilograms (approximately ten pounds) of heroin hidden in the cushion of the wheelchair.
If convicted, the defendants face a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, millions in fines and at least five (5) years of supervised release.
U. S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Louisiana State Police, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force and Amtrak Police. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin G. Boitmann.
In an attempt to cure a bit of boredom today I started constructing a bat box. I’ll post some tutorial pictures tomorrow when it’s finished if anybody is interested. The problem that I ran into is that, living in an apartment, I have absolutely nowhere to put a bat box (nobody said it was the brightest idea). Now I need to either take it back to Oklahoma on my next trip home, or climb a tree and nail it up in the park across the street. With my luck some cop will arrest me for destruction of public property if I try that.
Here’s the overdue post about the discussion a few nights ago at the Dole Institute of Politics concerning the Synder vs Phelps case that is going tothe Supreme Court. To begin with, this link provides all the legal information a person needs to know about the case. Pay special attention to the amicus curie briefs. They give far more rational commentary about the case than anything you’ll find in a newspaper op-ed or somebody on a soap box (like some dude on tumblr).
Professor Stephan McAllistar from KU spoke on behalf of the camp that would grant Snyder victory in his case against the Phelps family. Christina Wells from the University of Missouri spoke on behalf of the camp that thinks doing so would infringe upon First Amendment protections of speech. Each has contributed to one of the amicus curie briefs filed in the case.
The night was basically a crash course for anybody who wanted accurate, concise information about the Snyder case. The problem is that it was intended as civil, persuasive debate, but when you have topics as emotionally charged as funeral protests and free speech, everybody already comes to the table with an opinion that was entrenched long before the debate ever begins.
What struck me as most interesting was how closely the two speakers came to being in agreement before sharply differing in opinion. It seems that nobody is arguing that the community oversteps its police powers in applying reasonable regulation to funeral protests. The two main points of difference seem to be the legality of outright bans, and the ability of an offended party to sue for severe emotional distress under tort law. Essentially, when does government have a right to silence deeply offensive speech, and when can somebody be punished in civil court for deeply offensive speech?
That can be debated endlessly. Personally I agreed more with Mrs. Well’s throughout the night, and I say that as a recent Army veteran who spent two tours in Iraq and who’s moral center is shocked and outraged by the protesting of any funeral, be it a fellow soldier or not. However, I was also shocked when Professor McAllister said that other countries throughout the world ban offensive speech in some cases, but they get along just fine. Something deeply disturbing lurks within that statement, but at the moment I don’t have the time to get into it. Maybe it’s worth another post some time.
Out of everything that was said that night it was a student’s remark to his friend that stands out more than anything. As he was walking out the door he said “I don’t even believe in free speech anymore.” That’s the saddest thing of all.
Tonight there is a seminar at the Dole Institute for Politics concerning the Westboro Baptist Church’s funeral picketing activities and free speech. I’m going to try to attend, but apparently there is a huge crowd expected to show up, so it may be difficult to snag a seat. If everything works out I’ll try and post an opinion about it sometime in the next few days. If anybody else out there attends and put their thoughts down, please send me a link and I’ll put it up here also.
One of my intentions for this blog is to try to create some simple wine making tutorials in the hope of inspiring others to give it a try. Unfortunately, this post isn’t going to qualify as a how-to guide. In the process of making this batch of wine I forgot to take a lot of the pictures that were needed, so just think of it a rough draft for the future.
This is how I made a batch of mint wine a couple weeks ago. The recipe was adapted from Terry Gerry’s “The Joy of Home Wine Making" (does anybody know how to underline text on Tumblr?). A similar one can be found at Jack Keller’s amazing site http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/. If you are thinking about making wine and haven’t mined all the nuggets of gold from Jack’s site you’re making a mistake.
Here is what you’ll be needing:
Here’s some of the random equipment that I use in the process. This is just what I find useful for the way I do it.
Boil up about a quart of the water in one pot and another quart in another. Dissolve your sugar in one of the pots, take it off heat, and leave it to cool down while covered.
Go out while that’s cooling and lop off a good portion of your mint plant until you get around four loosely packed cups. This had enough left over for a little mint tea.
Wash your mint thoroughly. Do it twice. There will be little critters hanging out in there, along with dirt and egg sacks stuck to the bottom of the leaves. Rip it all up into smaller pieces, measure out the four cups, pout the other quart of boiling water on top, cover, and let it sit for an hour. There’s no need to let it sit longer than that. The water will start smelling pretty delicious right off the bat. Strain the mint out of the water after the hour is up and set aside to cool a bit.
During that hour wait you need to wash and sanitize the gallon just you’ll be using as the primary. There’s no real need to use a two gallon fermenting pail because there isn’t going to be anything solid in the must. When the jug is sanitized it’s time to add the mint and sugar waters into it.
Top off the jug with the remaining water (you can boil it beforehand and set it aside if you want to make sure it’s contaminate free). Add the acid blend, yeast nutrient, and tannin. If the water is cool then add a crushed Campden tablet dissolved in a bit of water. Sit it all up gently. Cover the top and set aside in a dark place until tomorrow. After 24 hours pitch your yeast (read about making a starter on Jack Keller’s page. I’ll cover it later when I get pictures).
Voila! Your mint wine is started. We’ll check up on it a little later down the line. Again, sorry about the overall shittiness of today’s posting. It’s my first attempt at this!
There’s a very good chance that nothing on this site will ever interest any but a select few people. Don’t say you haven’t been forewarned! If I manage to keep interest this little project floating in a giant sea of other forgotten beginnings, then it should end up capturing little snapshots of life here in the Kansas City area for friends and family to gawk at over the course of the upcoming year. I’ll try to keep it heavy on pictures, light on rants, choc full of helpful tourist tips for others to consider, and up to date on just exactly what strange country wine is heading off to ferment at the moment. With all that said and done … let’s get started.