Final Exit doctor denies assisting suicides

One of two Baltimore men who are members of an alleged assisted suicide ring said his group doesn’t physically assist in suicides and only recommends less-painful ways to die.

Dr. Lawrence D. Egbert was released Saturday morning from Central Booking after posting bail on charges of assisted suicide and tampering with evidence.

Egbert, 81, was arrested at an office on East 25th Street in Baltimore Wednesday as agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation served a warrant at the office.

He invited an 11 News reporter into his home Saturday afternoon and said the Final Exit Network — of which he’s the medical director — has helped people across the country who have terminal illnesses end their lives.

Egbert said the group doesn’t assist in a suicide by touching equipment or the person involved. He said the group’s role is to talk to the person interested and make sure it’s really what he or she wants.

“Very commonly, people will say, ‘God expects me to suffer at the end of life,'” and I accept that and do that, and I really respect that completely,” Egbert told 11 News reporter Kim Dacey.

“But also there are people who say there isn’t any God and, ‘Why should I suffer unnecessarily with something that I know is hopeless?’ And I respect that, too.”

The political hack masquerading as attorney general for the state of Georgia knows damned well he doesn’t have a case – beyond what he might spin from local yokels.

Long term, the doc is perfectly correct on his First Amendment rights. Only, now, he gets to waste weeks and months dealing with Mr. Protect and Serve who’s probably getting ready for a run at governor.

Obama to start winding down Cuban embargo at Summit of the Americas


Brazil’s President signed agreement to explore for oil in Cuba’s offshore waters
Daylife/Reuters Pictures

The White House has moved to ease some travel and trade restrictions as a cautious first step towards better ties with Havana, raising hopes of an eventual lifting of the four-decade-old economic embargo. Several Bush-era controls are expected to be relaxed in the run-up to next month’s Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago to gild the president’s regional debut and signal a new era of “Yankee” cooperation…

The effect on ordinary Cubans will be fairly significant. It will improve things and be very welcome,” said a western diplomat in Havana. The changes would reverse hardline Bush policies but not fundamentally alter relations between the superpower and the island, he added. “It just takes us back to the 1990s.”

Bush wanted to take us back to the 1940’s. As did Kennedy.

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U.S. lobbyists horn in on European debate over Internet access

As European lawmakers debate how to keep access to the Internet free and equal – so-called network neutrality – they are being bombarded, not unsurprisingly, by lobbyists.

But the corporate envoys roaming the halls of Brussels, trying to make their case, more often than not do not represent the Continent’s myriad telecommunications and Internet companies, but rather those from the United States.

As the reputation of Europe grows as the world’s technology regulator, representatives in a conflict that pits the AT&Ts and Verizons against the Googles and Yahoos are attempting to shape European law in the hopes that U.S. regulators will follow suit.

The U.S. companies see the outcome of the fight in Europe as key,” said Jeremie Zimmermann,a lobbyist for La Quadrature du Net,an Internet advocacy group based in Paris. “Each side is hoping to score points on the issue here so they can take it back to the States to influence the outcome there.”

RTFA. In depth analysis – and understanding as much affected by the ignorance and opportunism of American politicians as anything else.

Useful detail tracking a confrontation which IMHO still lacks a conclusive direction.

Obama, Mullen discuss Mexico’s drug war


Daylife/Reuters Pictures

President Obama and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on Saturday discussed how the U.S. military can assist Mexico in addressing growing violence from drug cartels, according to a military official.

The conversation, which Obama initiated within hours of Mullen’s return to the United States from a visit to Mexico City, underscores the growing concern with which the United States views the situation…

The president expressed interest in military capabilities that the U.S. has that could help Mexican forces, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technology, the official said…

This week, a U.S. citizen was among the three decapitated bodies found in Tijuana, Mexican authorities said Saturday. Growing drug violence has made beheadings in Tijuana, Juarez and other Mexican towns more commonplace over the past year.

Mexico has become the focus for everything cruel and inhuman about the so-called War on Drugs. There is nothing like the violence and death associated with drug wars in Mexico – in the nations bright enough, educated enough to treat drug abuse outside of the sewers of organized crime.

The United States took years to get beyond Prohibition of alcohol. At the rate we’re going, it will take decades to get our government beyond the political opportunism of conventional morality over drug use.

Escapee caught creeping back into jail


Harry Jackson, our wandering con

A south Georgia inmate was arrested this morning as he tried to sneak back into jail with 14 packs of stolen cigarettes.

Camden County Sheriff Tommy Gregory said Harry Jackson, 25, was spotted and arrested as deputies investigated a 1:55 a.m. breakout and the burglary of a nearby convenience store.

We thought we had two separate incidents. By the time we locate this guy, he’s one and the same,’’ the sheriff said.

Jail personnel suspected someone had broken out when a detention officer routinely checking doors found one to be unlocked that had been secure a few minutes earlier. As officers tried to determine who was missing, patrol deputies responded to an alarm at the Snappy Foods store about a block away, the sheriff said.

Meanwhile back at the jail, a deputy saw the shadow of a man trying to stealthily get into the jail. The man was arrested and found to be the inmate carrying about 14 packs of cigarettes, Sheriff Gregory said.

Har! This is supposed to be a smoke-free jail.

Two British soldiers killed in Northern Ireland attack – UPDATED


Daylife/AP Photo

Two army personnel were shot dead during a drive-by shooting at an army base in Co Antrim last night, raising fears that the grim spectre of terrorism has returned to haunt Northern Ireland.

Two more military personnel and two pizza delivery men were wounded in what is the first major terrorist attack in the province for over a decade. One of the injured is critical, two are serious and one is serious but stable, police said today, as a major manhunt for the gunmen continued.

Gordon Brown condemned the “cowardly attack” and vowed it would not affect progress in the region. “No murderer will be able to derail the peace process, that has the support of the vast majority of the people of Northern Ireland. We will step up our efforts to make the peace process one that lasts and endures.”

The Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, described the shooting as an attack on the peace process and said it was “wrong and counter-productive”. “Those responsible have no support, no strategy to achieve a united Ireland,” he said.

Their intention is to bring British soldiers back onto the streets. They want to destroy the progress of recent times and to plunge Ireland back into conflict…”

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Former spies whining over inquiries about CIA crimes

Some ex-CIA operatives on the front lines during the Bush-era war on terror are reported highly critical of planned U.S. Senate probes into their activities.

Some say the investigations smack of politics and hypocrisy, that congressional leaders knew all along what was going on and that questionable tactics wouldn’t have been used without explicit legal guidance from the Bush administration, Time magazine reported.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., confirmed Thursday that her Senate Intelligence Committee will investigate the CIA’s interrogation and detention programs under the Bush administration.

A former senior CIA official was quoted by Time as saying Feinstein’s investigation would have a “chilling effect on people who are asked to do risky things for this administration.”

Another said staff members will wonder why they are singled out for carrying out Bush administration policies “while those who made those policies are busy writing their memoirs.”

“We were only obeying orders” is the name of the defense. Google “Nuremberg Trials” if you wish to know how successful that was – after World War 2.

Yes, everyone can babble about we’re not Nazi-this-or-that. But, the rules of war were specifically modified to take the crap we put up with from Bush-Cheney – because of the lies, excuses and silliness tried as defense by those who said they were only “Good Germans”.

People like me pointed this out back at the beginning of Bush’s dirty little war. Everyone of these creeps in the CIA knew what was going on. Knew about Nuremberg. Knew the risks they ran by collaborating – instead of demonstrating some backbone. So, no tears for losers.

Obama is working at being a nice guy – you’ll probably get off with a slap on the wrist, anyway. Next case?