For the right price you can book your jail cell to an upgrade

“I find this quite interesting if you live in California. According to this article if you are booked for committing a crime that is considered relatively minor yet society deems the debt necessary to be paid in jail there is a way for those who have the money to spend their time with a bit of class. Check out these rates, something you might want to keep in mind the next time you happen to find yourself having to find a room at your county “hotel” as you serve/pay your debt to society.”

For $82 a Day, Booking a Cell in a 5-Star Jail

Published: April 29, 2007

Nicole Brockett is serving her sentence for drunken driving in a pay-to-stay cell at the jail in Santa Ana, Calif.SANTA ANA, Calif., April 25 — Anyone convicted of a crime knows a debt to society often must be paid in jail. But a slice of Californians willing to supplement that debt with cash (no personal checks, please) are finding that the time can be almost bearable.

For offenders whose crimes are usually relatively minor (carjackers should not bother) and whose bank accounts remain lofty, a dozen or so city jails across the state offer pay-to-stay upgrades. Theirs are a clean, quiet, if not exactly recherché alternative to the standard county jails, where the walls are bars, the fellow inmates are hardened and privileges are few.

Many of the self-pay jails operate like secret velvet-roped nightclubs of the corrections world. You have to be in the know to even apply for entry, and even if the court approves your sentence there, jail administrators can operate like bouncers, rejecting anyone they wish.“I am aware that this is considered to be a five-star Hilton,” said Nicole Brockett, 22, who was recently booked into one of the jails, here in Orange County about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles, and paid $82 a day to complete a 21-day sentence for a drunken driving conviction.

Ms. Brockett, who in her oversize orange T-shirt and flip-flops looked more like a contestant on “The Real World” than an inmate, shopped around for the best accommodations,

“It’s clean here,” she said, perched in a jail day room on the sort of couch found in a hospital emergency room. “It’s safe and everyone here is really nice. I haven’t had a problem with any of the other girls. They give me shampoo.”

For roughly $75 to $127 a day, these convicts — who are known in the self-pay parlance as “clients” — get a small cell behind a regular door, distance of some amplitude from violent offenders and, in some cases, the right to bring an iPod or computer on which to compose a novel, or perhaps a song.

Many of the overnighters are granted work furlough, enabling them to do most of their time on the job, returning to the jail simply to go to bed (often following a strip search, which granted is not so five-star).

The clients usually share a cell, but otherwise mix little with the ordinary nonpaying inmates, who tend to be people arrested and awaiting arraignment, or federal prisoners on trial or awaiting deportation and simply passing through.

The pay-to-stay programs have existed for years, but recently attracted some attention when prosecutors balked at a jail in Fullerton that they said would offer computer and cellphone use to George Jaramillo, a former Orange County assistant sheriff who pleaded no contest to perjury and misuse of public funds, including the unauthorized use of a county helicopter. Mr. Jaramillo was booked into the self-pay program in Montebello, near Los Angeles, instead.

“We certainly didn’t envision a jail with cellphone and laptop capabilities where his family could bring him three hot meals,” said Susan Kang Schroeder, the public affairs counsel for the Orange County district attorney. “We felt that the use of the computer was part of the instrumentality of his crime, and that is another reason we objected to that.”

A spokesman for the Fullerton jail said cellphones but not laptops were allowed.

While jails in other states may offer pay-to-stay programs, numerous jail experts said they did not know of any.

“I have never run into this,” said Ken Kerle, managing editor of the publication American Jail Association and author of two books on jails. “But the rest of the country doesn’t have Hollywood either. Most of the people who go to jail are economically disadvantaged, often mentally ill, with alcohol and drug problems and are functionally illiterate. They don’t have $80 a day for jail.”

The California prison system, severely overcrowded, teeming with violence and infectious diseases and so dysfunctional that much of it is under court supervision, is one that anyone with the slightest means would most likely pay to avoid.

“The benefits are that you are isolated and you don’t have to expose yourself to the traditional county system,” said Christine Parker, a spokeswoman for CSI, a national provider of jails that runs three in Orange County with pay-to-stay programs. “You can avoid gang issues. You are restricted in terms of the number of people you are encountering and they are a similar persuasion such as you.”

Most of the programs — which offer 10 to 30 beds — stay full enough that marketing is not necessary, though that was not always the case. The Pasadena jail, for instance, tried to create a little buzz for its program when it was started in the early 1990s.

“Our sales pitch at the time was, ‘Bad things happen to good people,’ ” said Janet Givens, a spokeswoman for the Pasadena Police Department. Jail representatives used Rotary Clubs and other such venues as their potential marketplace for “fee-paying inmate workers” who are charged $127 a day (payment upfront required).

“People might have brothers, sisters, cousins, etc., who might have had a lapse in judgment and do not want to go to county jail,” Ms. Givens said.

The typical pay-to-stay client, jail representatives agreed, is a man in his late 30s who has been convicted of driving while intoxicated and sentenced to a month or two in jail.

But there are single-night guests, and those who linger well over a year.

“One individual wanted to do four years here,” said Christina Holland, a correctional manager of the Santa Ana jail.

Inmates in Santa Ana who have been approved for pay to stay by the courts and have coughed up a hefty deposit for their stay, enter the jail through a lobby and not the driveway reserved for the arrival of other prisoners. They are strip searched when they return from work each day because the biggest problem they pose is the smuggling of contraband, generally cigarettes, for nonpaying inmates.

Most of the jailers require the inmates to do chores around the jails, even if they work elsewhere during the day.

“I try real hard to keep them in custody for 12 hours,” Ms. Holland said. “Because I think that’s fair.”

Critics argue that the systems create inherent injustices, offering cleaner, safer alternatives to those who can pay.

“It seems to be to be a little unfair,” said Mike Jackson, the training manager of the National Sheriff’s Association. “Two people come in, have the same offense, and the guy who has money gets to pay to stay and the other doesn’t. The system is supposed to be equitable.”

But cities argue that the paying inmates generate cash, often hundreds of thousands of dollars a year — enabling them to better afford their other taxpayer-financed operations — and are generally easy to deal with.

“We never had a problem with self pay,” said Steve Lechuga, the operations manager for CSI. “I haven’t seen any fights in years. We had a really good success rate with them.”

Stanley Goldman, a professor of criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, has recommended the program to former clients.

“The prisoners who are charged with nonviolent crimes and typically have no record are not in the best position to handle themselves in the general county facility,” Professor Goldman said.

Still, no doubt about it, the self-pay jails are not to be confused with Canyon Ranch.

The cells at Santa Ana are roughly the size of a custodial closet, and share its smell and ambience. Most have little more than a pink bottle of jail-issue moisturizer and a book borrowed from the day room. Lockdown can occur for hours at a time, and just feet away other prisoners sit with their faces pressed against cell windows, looking menacing.

Ms. Brockett, who normally works as a bartender in Los Angeles, said the experience was one she never cared to repeat.

“It does look decent,” she said, “but you still feel exactly where you are.”

Follow-up on Escort Service as Head of service plans to name names

By More Articles by Eric Lipton
Published: April 29, 2007

WASHINGTON, April 28 — Deborah Jeane Palfrey has not been at all shy about it: for more than a decade she ran an escort service that catered to upscale clients in the nation’s capital, sending college-educated women to men’s homes or hotel rooms.

For about $300, she promised 90 minutes of what she has described as a discreet “legal high-end erotic fantasy service.” But the discreet part is over, after federal authorities charged her with operating a prostitution ring.

“The tentacles of this matter reach far, wide and high into the echelons of power in the United States,” Ms. Palfrey wrote in a court filing last month, as she prepared to release a list of her clients’ telephone numbers and vowed to subpoena her customers — some of whom she described as prominent Washington officials.

It is a defense strategy that had its first casualty Friday. “In my previous post was about Randall Tobias whose story brought to light this escort service run by Deborah Palfrey and as we now see what was only the beginning.”

Mr. Tobias is the third prominent Washington figure to be identified as among Ms. Palfrey’s clients. This month, she identified an adviser to the Pentagon as “one of the regular customers” of her service. She included in a court filing and posted on her Web site the man’s photo and tax records. Dick Morris, the television commentator and former adviser to President Bill Clinton, who resigned in 1996 after reports that he was seeing a prostitute, was also a customer, Ms. Palfrey’s lawyer has said in court. Mr. Morris has denied the accusation.

Ms. Palfrey’s business, which operated from 1993 to 2006, had 15,000 customers and a pool of 130 or so escorts, ranging in age from 23 to 55, who worked as independent contractors, she said in one court filing.

“Best selection and availability before 9 p.m. each evening,” one advertisement she ran said.

Over the six years before the business shut down, she collected more than $750,000 from the escorts, with whom she split fees for each call, federal officials said in court filings.

Ms. Palfrey, who ran the Washington escort service out of her home in Vallejo, Calif., was convicted in 1991 of operating an illegal prostitution business in California and served 18 months in prison, according to federal authorities. She declined through her lawyer to comment on Saturday.

But she has insisted that her business, which she said catered to customers “from the refined walks of life here in the nation’s capital,” offered only “legal sexual and erotic services across the spectrum of adult sexual behavior,” like massages or nude dancing.

Federal authorities, who are pressing civil and criminal charges, say they are convinced that her escorts often crossed the line and that Ms. Palfrey knew they were working as prostitutes. Officials are trying to seize earnings from her business.

It is Ms. Palfrey’s defense strategy that is now causing the biggest stir.

She not only intends to identify more of her high-profile clients, but has also threatened to call them as witnesses at trial to back up her claim that the services provided never crossed the line to prostitution.

“I am a ferocious fighter when need be,” she wrote in an e-mail message this year to a Justice Department official involved in the case. “I can state with unequivocal certainty this situation will be a very long and unpleasant one.”

A federal judge ordered Ms. Palfrey to retain telephone records after she threatened to sell them to raise money for her defense. But she had already posted excerpts of the phone list on her Web site and given the list of calls from 2002 to 2006 to ABC News.

Montgomery Blair Sibley, Ms. Palfrey’s lawyer in the civil case, said on Saturday that about five lawyers had called to ask if their clients’ numbers were on the list. One lawyer asked if he could prevent the release of his client’s name or number, he said. The answer, Mr. Sibley said, was no.

“We are not in the business of trying to sell protection,” he said.

Information source: New York Times
April 29, 2007

Federal Official Resigns in Escort Service Inquiry (our tax dollars at work)

Published: April 28, 2007

WASHINGTON, April 27 — The head of the Agency for International Development, Randall L. Tobias, resigned abruptly on Friday for what he said were “personal reasons,” but an administration official said Mr. Tobias’s name had come up in an investigation of a suspected Washington prostitution ring.

On Friday night, ABC News said Mr. Tobias had confirmed on Thursday that he was a customer of an escort service.

A woman from Vallejo, Calif., Deborah J. Palfrey, has pleaded not guilty to charges that she operated a call-girl service in Washington, and has threatened on her Web site to sell her client list to raise money for her defense. ABC News reported that Ms. Palfrey had given the network thousands of phone numbers of clients.

In court papers filed on April 11 in Federal District Court here, she identified an adviser to the Pentagon as “one of the regular customers” of her service. She posted the man’s photo from his own Web site and tax records on a house he owns in Washington.

On her Web site, Ms. Palfrey asserted that her service, doing business as Pamela Martin and Associates, “functioned as a high-end adult fantasy firm which offered legal sexual and erotic services across the spectrum of adult sexual behavior.”

Mr. Tobias told ABC that he used the service for massages, not sex, according to the network’s Web site.

The State Department referred all questions to Mr. Tobias’s personal office in Indianapolis. There was no reply to a message left there on Friday night. At his Washington apartment building, the concierge said Mr. Tobias was not in.

Mr. Tobias, 65, is a former chairman and chief executive of Eli Lilly & Company and of AT&T International. He served as the chairman of the board of Duke University from 1997 to 2000. He was also a major donor to various Republican campaigns.

President Bush nominated him in July 2003 to lead a $15 billion program to fight AIDS worldwide.

At the time, some AIDS experts said Mr. Tobias did not have much experience with AIDS or Africa.

Then, as director of United States Foreign Assistance, he held the rank of ambassador.

In January 2006, Mr. Bush said he would nominate Mr. Tobias to be the administrator of the Agency for International Development. That position gave him the rank of deputy secretary of state.

The White House did not confirm the circumstances of the resignation. Dana Perino, a White House spokeswoman, said the president expressed “sadness and disappointment” that Mr. Tobias was resigning. Mr. Bush expressed appreciation for Mr. Tobias’s work here and around the world, Ms. Perino said, and “wished his family well in the future.”

Jim Rutenberg contributed reporting.

Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s foremost scientists who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, blasts off into zero gravity flight

If you have ever known someone with “Lou Gherig’s” disease you know what a horrible disease it is.  

After losing a relative to “Lou Gherig’s” disease several years ago I was drawn to this article and found it article so heartwarming.  I can only imagine how Stephen Hawking must have felt not only being totally free of his wheelchair but to also get to experience the same feeling of weightlessness that the astronauts do.  It also made me think of this as a possible controlled condition for helping certain patients with physical therapy. 

Michael Cabbage | Sentinel space editor
Posted April 26, 2007, 8:53 PM EDT

CAPE CANAVERAL — One of the world’s foremost scientists slipped free from his wheelchair Thursday to  float in zero gravity in the skies above the Atlantice Ocean. 

Stephen Hawking, a renowned British  astrophysicist who is stricken with Lou Gehrig’s disease, experienced about four minutes of simulated weightlessness aboard a modified Boeing 727 jet operated by the Zero Gravity Corp. The flight — part philanthropy, part space tourism, part publicity stunt — departed from the Kennedy Space Center’s shuttle runway while a throng of international media looked on.

Hawking told reporters at a news conference before taking off that he wanted to demonstrate that anyone could take part in the experience. Unable to move his limbs or speak, he communicated with a computer-synthesized voice controlled by a headset that measures small facial movements.

“I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space,” Hawking said. “I have long wanted to go into space and the zero gravity flight is a first step toward space travel.”

After the flight, Hawking suggested he was ready to take the next step.

“It was amazing,” Hawking said. “I could have gone on and on. Space, here I come.”

More than dozen people accompanied the 65-year-old professor on the flight, including four doctors and two nurses sent along to monitor his health. Instruments measured Hawking’s blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to ensure his well-being.

After departing KSC eastward over the Atlantic, the flight climbed to an altitude of 32,000 feet. Eight controlled dives created periods of weightlessness lasting 20-25 seconds during the 90-minute trip.

Hawking was laid on his back on the floor of the aircraft’s forward section. Then, when the dives began, two people — Zero Gravity Corp. co-founders Peter Diamandis and Byron Lichtenberg — helped lift Hawking up and hold him in position. During a couple of dives, Hawking asked the two men to flip him around.

“He was doing gold medalist gymnastics in zero g[ravity],” Diamandis said.
Thursday’s weightless flight by Hawking was the first for a disabled person. Leaving nothing to chance, the same team had flown a practice run Wednesday with Ted Straight, a 14-year-old middle school student from Melbourne, serving as Hawking’s stand-in.

“Professor Hawking is about as determined as any individual on the planet,” said Edwin Chilvers, his personal physician, “which is why we’re here doing this.”

Based in Florida and Las Vegas, Zero Gravity Corp. has flown more than 2,500 passengers on simulated weightless flights since starting operations in October 2004. An excursion featuring 15 dives costs about $3,500 per seat.

The group flying with Hawking included eight people who bought seats at an auction by the company to raise $144,000 for charity. The beneficiaries were Easter Seals, the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, the Augies Quest program aimed at treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and the X Prize Foundation.

Hawking, a professor at Cambridge University, is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on cosmology and theoretical phenomena such as black holes. He is the author of the best-selling book “A Brief History of Time.”

Michael Cabbage can be reached at or at 321-639-0522.

ClipBandits – First Web Band

I’m sure many of you have already heard of the “clipbandits” but for those of you who haven’t, myself included, I found this article interesting.  Of course nothing amazes me today but to read how this band came together and made a recording without ever having met I found it to be fascinating to say the least.    

ClipBandits became instant YouTube sensations as the world’s first web band with the release of their first video, “Internet Killed the Video Star”, which has since been viewed over 1.3 million times. ClipBandits had never met each other, didn’t know each other’s names or where each other lived. They only knew one another’s YouTube user names and created their original music by syncing each other’s YouTube videos.ClipBandits have since been featured on Good Morning America, ABC News, were invited to meet and perform for the first time on FOX Network’s Tyra Banks Show, received “Honorable Mention” in the national Cingular Wireless Underground Band Contest, were the #1 featured video by YouTube at the top of their main page, have been covered by TV news in Italy, Singapore, Russia, Venezuela, India, Canada and Brazil, as well as countless print and internet articles around the world. Nokia-Brazil selected ClipBandits Channel as recommended content for wireless Internet devices. Search “ClipBandits” in Google to get a sense of the massive international coverage ClipBandits have enjoyed. ClipBandits have released a follow up video entitled, “Higher”.A very special thank you to Tyra Banks, ABC News and Good Morning America for allowing these appearances to be posted as videos on the ClipBandits YouTube channel. Much much appreciation to YouTube for making all this possible. And a gigantic THANK YOU to the thousands of fans who have taken the time to contact ClipBandits with generous support and feedback!See the entire ClipBandits story unfold by viewing the videos on the ClipBandits Channel. Visit http://www.ClipBandits.comThe Worlds first web band live in Los Angeles CA, New York City and Austin Texas.ClipBandits are:J-Pe$o………………Vocals and 12-String
Girl Bass Player…..Bass
ClipBandit………….Electric Guitar Matzorkis

Written by J-Pe$o
Produced by ClipBandit

NOTICE!!! ClipBandits have selected a drummer to join the band! We asked drummers to submit audition tapes as video responses to our “Internet Killed the Video Star” video. After reviewing many great audition tapes, we selected ActionJackson75. who will join us in our next video. Thank you to all of you who took the time to submit an audition tape. nicholas matzorkis

ClipBandits – Internet Killed the Video Star

New ClipBandits Video: Higher

Report Finds 2,000 of State’s Children Are Sexually Exploited, Many in New York City

I came across this article and although I’m not ignorant of the fact that prostitution exists I was astounded when I read this.  Even after watching Dateline’s “To catch a predator” and knowing that there are men out there seeking to have sex with young girls as if that isn’t sick enough but to read this and how they are out there preying on young victims for sexual exploitation.  How important it is to get the “Safe Harbor Act” passed.   

Published: April 24, 2007 

At first it seemed like an innocent flirtation. Shaneiqua was 12 years old and walking around Brownsville, Brooklyn, when a man pulled up alongside her in a car and called to her from his window.

“He was just, like, ‘You’re cute. I really see myself being with you.’ Stuff like that,” she said.

Shaneiqua had just run away from home and had nowhere to go, so she got into his car. It was a decision that changed her life.

Eventually, she would learn that the man, known as Handsome, was a pimp. In exchange for room and board, she said, he asked her to dance at a strip club and give him her earnings. When that wasn’t enough money, she said, he told her to start taking men into the “VIP room,” trading sex for cash.

Shaneiqua reluctantly agreed. In her mind, she said, it was just part of being in a relationship. “The only thing that really mattered to me was whether he was still going to love me after I slept with other men,” she said. “As long as he said yes, I didn’t really have any problem with it.”

A report released Friday by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services estimates that New York City is home to more than 2,000 sexually exploited children under 18.

The report was based on interviews, focus groups and surveys sent to 159 law enforcement and social service agencies statewide. Westat, a research firm, asked each agency to report its contacts with children identified as “commercially sexually exploited” during a two-month period last year. Then it weighted the data to get an annual estimate. The study excluded victims of child abuse that did not involve a commercial purpose.

The findings suggest that a vast majority of the state’s sexually exploited children are in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx: an estimated 2,253 in the city versus 399 spread over seven upstate counties.

The report found other differences as well. In New York City, sexually exploited youth tended to be female and black, having sex with strangers in hotel rooms or outside. Upstate, the youth were younger, more likely to be white, and were often exploited at home by adult friends or acquaintances.

At least 85 percent of these youths statewide have had some contact with the child welfare system, mostly through abuse or neglect proceedings. In New York City, 75 percent had been in foster care at some point.

The report was mandated by the State Legislature last year as a way to determine how many children are being sexually exploited and whether they are getting the services they need.

The results could bolster a bill before the Legislature. Sponsored by Assemblyman William Scarborough, a Queens Democrat, the Safe Harbor Act would change the way young people arrested for prostitution are treated under the law. Rather than being charged as juvenile delinquents in Family Court and subject to detention, they would be considered victims of sexual exploitation and provided with counseling, emergency shelter and other services.

“By changing the law, we can begin to change the perception of these children and the perception of their situation,” Mr. Scarborough said. The legislation has widespread support in the Assembly and Senate, where it was sponsored by Dale M. Volker, a Republican from western New York. A companion bill introduced by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, a Democrat from the Bronx, would stiffen penalties against pimps and others involved in human trafficking.

At a news conference Friday, supporters of the measures hailed the study as an important step toward quantifying the problem, but they also expressed concerns about how it was conducted.

“It’s not a full picture,” said Mishi Faruqee, director of the Juvenile Justice Project at the Correctional Association of New York and a member of an advisory group that contributed ideas for the study. She said that several agencies failed to turn in their surveys and that the report missed the young people who had yet to be arrested or to seek help. “Many sexually exploited youth aren’t coming into contact with any of these agencies, and those youth weren’t counted,” she said.

Mr. Scarborough credits advocates like Ms. Faruqee and Rachel Lloyd, executive director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services, or GEMS, with bringing the issue to his attention. Lloyd, a former prostitute herself, started the group in 1999 to help young women who have experienced sexual exploitation and violence.

Shaneiqua, now 19, was one of her clients. When Shaneiqua left her pimp, she went to Family Court and was ordered to attend a treatment program at GEMS, where she now works as a program associate.

GEMS serves about 200 girls a year and provides transitional beds to nine at a time. If the Safe Harbor Act passes, Ms. Lloyd said, she will be able to reach far more.

“We’re no longer talking about teen prostitutes, bad girls,” Ms. Lloyd said last month in Albany at a meeting with legislators. “We’re talking about kids who are being bought and sold by adults.”

Media – Cho – Iraq – Gastroparesis

Again I’m striking out at the media and for now this will be my last post on this but something I just have to get off my chest.

You may wonder what Cho, Iraq and Gastroparesis have to do with each other so let’s find out.

1.  Do you know who Cho is?  How much times does the news media allow for Cho?
2. Do you know the names of those serving in Iraq?  Again, How much time does the media allow for reports of the men serving and the names.
3. Do you know what the health condition called “Gastroparesis” is?  Have you heard the media talk about it?

We all know the answer to number 1 due to the recent Virginia Tech killings as we have been saturated with every bit of information about Cho that the media can possibly “dig” up and I do mean dig.  I think whatever information they find should be indeed turned over to the authorities but I don’t think that information is something that needs to be divulged to the public.  Am I sitting here wanting to know Cho’s background and what his motives could have been or if he had a mental condition and where he bought his guns, and where on campus he lived.  Absolutely not!!  My concern is for the victims and their families and if the media had an ounce of deceny and respect for the familes they would realize that too.  But we know it is who can get the information, any information, to the public first so they can say “you heard it hear first” or “you saw it here first”. 

The answer to number 2 is pretty obvious.  The media spends about 1 to 2 1/2 minutes on “The war in Iraq” update and that is it.  So unless it is someone of prominence that has been injured or killed we hear of no names. 

Then we come to number 3.  I can tell you that without any doubt, you have never heard the word Gastroparesis mentioned by the media yet this is a health condition that strikes 5 millions Americans, 1 out of every 5 and no one has heard of it unless they are diagnosed with it.  Then they try and find some kind of support and with no place to turn so they turn to the internet for online support.  This condition, if you haven’t already read my page about it, paralyzes one’s stomach and they are unable to digest their food and can lead to living by getting their nutritional needs via tube feedings for the rest of their life. 

What I’m getting at, I think you can tell by now, is the media over reports the wrong news and under reports the important news.  One day of information about Seung-Hui Cho was enough.  Anything after that was not of interest to me at least, and I’m sure to many others.  Get on with “the news“, spend more time of the news segments about our troops, after all they are over in Iraq fighting against people who have no regard for life.  They are getting paid far less that what they deserve for putting their life on the line while our “boys on the hill” sit on their ass and get paid the big bucks, taking all the time they want to vote on a bill and then take their vacation without having voted and we are paying them. 

I guess I’ve rambled on and maybe not making sense or putting my thoughts together as well as I wanted to but when it comes to the media I will never get over the way the prioritize their news.  I know its the fact that I’m not facing the truth that they are reporting what they think the majority of the public want to hear and see.  If that’s the case, then do we have our priorities in order?

Ok, I’m through venting and my chest feels a lot better.  I’ll get off my ‘rantbox” but not without promising to not get on it again.


The Media – do they aid and abet criminals?

With what happened at Virginia Tech leaves our nation not only in shock but with a wakeup call that we aren’t as safe as we think we are whether we are a student, a mall shopper, a spectator at an event or a passenger on an airplane or bus. 

And we ask why?  Who is to blame?  I feel that can be answered in two words: The Media.  Listening to the news tonight on NBC they reported that since the horrible crime at Virginia Tech there have been 28 scare tactics that followed.  One being they were going to do better and exceed the total that was accomplished at Va Tech.  And get this, in the same breath without missing a beat he, Brian Williams, said it was all due to seeking publicity.  Gee, I wonder where they got that idea.

HELLO MEDIA, have a look in the mirror and you will have an answer.  If you weren’t so damn anxious to be the first to get news on the air regardless of what it is, regardless of how graphic the details you report and how much of the news is spent highlighting the person who did the crime that possibly it might cut down on these wannabee publicity seekers. 

Being a parent myself I can think of nothing worse than seeing the media go into so much detail about the criminal as to why, how, what type of weapon  they used, where they purchased it let alone showing videos that the criminal took for all to see.  Then start badgering the college officials as if there was something they could have done or signs they saw from his behavior that could have prevented him from doing what he did. 

Does all that matter?  Is it going to change the fact that there were 33 lives lost? Is that going to help the grieving families and friends left behind to know all about the one who did this hanieous crime?  I think the answer is obvious. 

This is information that the public can and should be spared.  Not in this case but in some where a bomb was involved, they have shown how it was made, the materials used to make it and the website where one can get the information on how to build one.  They are just handing over information to some who might not even have thought about doing anything until the idea was planted. 

Until the media learns to separate what should and should not be reported we will continue to have Virginia Techs and Columbines. 


VaTech video tributes on the sidebar

4/20/07 – I’ve updated this post by adding some tributes on the sidebar and if you have time you might want to check them out. I’ve never seen so many tributes when I came across these.

I hope they touch you as much as they did me.

Thanks you for stopping by !!

VTech – The Victims, their pictures

What occurred on 4/16/2007 was the worst tragedy one could have ever imagine happen, happened. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those whose life’s were lost as well as to the whole Virginia Tech student body.

The Victims:
An interactive site where you can click on any photo of all the victims to learn about the individuals who were killed in the shootings at Virginia Tech. You can also share your memories if you know someone or just leave a comment if you choose.

Very compelling!!

Source:The New York Times
Monica Evanchik, Lisa Iaboni and Tom Jackson / The New York Times