Police officer caught using social security number of a 7-yr-old


No one was curious about someone born in 2004 wanting to buy one of these?

A Milwaukee police officer has been charged with stealing a 7-year-old Racine boy’s Social Security number to make purchases including a high-end Mercedes-Benz, according to a criminal complaint.

Lymon L. Taylor, 33, is charged with felony identity theft in Waukesha County. If convicted, he faces up to six years in prison…

According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee detectives were investigating identity theft by another man, Lee Ellis, who led them to Taylor…

Ellis told detectives he and Taylor discussed how to improve their credit ratings and found a company in California that promised to fix credit for $2,500 a person, according to the complaint.

The two men plus a third, who has not been charged, received what looked like Social Security numbers, the complaint says. They were told to use their own name and the new numbers as their Social Security number. They also were told to use an address other than their own because addresses are associated with a person’s credit rating, which in their cases were bad, according to the criminal complaint…

Taylor, who previously had purchased six vehicles with his true Social Security number, used the fraudulently obtained number to buy a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550 from Ernie Von Schledorn in Menomonee Falls in June, according to the complaint, which cites special agent Michael Clemens of the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General…

The Social Security number Taylor used actually belongs to a boy in Racine.

Detective Charles Shepard…contacted the boy’s father, who said he wanted whoever was using the number to be prosecuted…

Shepard interviewed employees at the car dealership and A-B Credit Union, which authorized the loan, asking how someone could buy an expensive car with no credit history.

A fresh Social Security number would bring a high credit score, according to the credit union. That credit score coupled with a good job would be good enough to buy such a car, they said.

The music goes round and round and it comes out here. Someday, somewhere, there will be a police department that checks up on the boys in blue on the street. That coppers often think they are above the law – doesn’t help, either.

Support for Gay Marriage reaches a milestone


Democrats introduce bill to repeal DOMA. Republicans stick with homophobia

More than half of Americans say it should be legal for gays and lesbians to marry, a first in nearly a decade of polls by ABC News and The Washington Post.

This milestone result caps a dramatic, long-term shift in public attitudes. From a low of 32 percent in a 2004 survey of registered voters, support for gay marriage has grown to 53 percent today. Forty-four percent are opposed, down 18 points from that 2004 survey.

The issue remains divisive; as many adults “strongly” oppose gay marriage as strongly support it, and opposition rises to more than 2-1 among Republicans and conservatives and 3-1 among evangelical white Protestants, a core conservative group. But opposition to gay marriage has weakened in these groups from its levels a few years ago, and support has grown sharply among others – notably, among Catholics, political moderates, people in their 30s and 40s and men.

The results reflect a changing albeit still polarized climate. Gay marriage has been legalized in five states and the District of Columbia, by court ruling or legislative action, since 2003, while many other states prohibit it. The Obama administration late last month said it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law banning federal recognition of gay marriages…

Adults 50 and older remain more skeptical, but even that’s seen change. Most notably, 33 percent of seniors now say gay marriage should be legal, up from 18 percent five years ago…

Support is up by a striking 23 points among white Catholics, often a swing group and one that’s been ready, in many cases, to disregard church positions on political or social issues. But they have company: Fifty-seven percent of non-evangelical white Protestants now also support gay marriage, up 16 points from its level five years ago. Evangelicals, as noted, remain very broadly opposed. But even in their ranks, support for gay marriage is up by a double-digit margin.

Overdue.

That single word suffices – as it did for civil rights, for electoral enfranchisement for women, for Blacks. Equal opportunity for all citizens of the United States is promised by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It requires the truly bigoted to work at rationales for opposition.

Yes, they can make it seem like a well-reasoned historic choice – when they hammer down on differences used to condemn any minority to one or another inequity. The fact remains that religious or cultural excuses for limiting the opportunities of any portion of our society who enjoy the full rights of citizenship – is an historic crime. And should be treated as such.

World’s largest tidal turbine project will be in Sound of Islay

ScottishPower Renewables’ £40 million tidal array will harness the power of the Sound of Islay and generate enough electricity for more than 5,000 homes, more than double the number of homes on Islay.

The 10 megawatt facility will further develop emerging tidal energy technology, and provide economic and community benefits to Islay and Jura.

The Scottish Government said it will cement Scotland’s position as a global leader in marine energy.

Cabinet Secretary…John Swinney…’With around a quarter of Europe’s potential tidal energy resource and a tenth of the wave capacity, Scotland’s seas have unrivalled potential to generate green energy, create new, low carbon jobs, and bring billions of pounds of investment to Scotland.

”This development – the largest tidal array in the world – does just that and will be a milestone in the global development of tidal energy…”

”I am pleased that ScottishPower Renewables will work with the Islay Energy Trust to maximise social and economic opportunities, for instance using local marine contractors during installation or creating new local jobs in the onshore construction phase.

”And the wider Scottish supply chain is set to benefit, with Scottish businesses set to benefit from four million pounds worth of contracts in making the turbines to be used in the development, including manufacture of a test prototype at BiFab in Arnish.

There are any number of satisfactory locations along the United States coastline for similar installations. The problems to overcome aren’t technical but political.

The NIMBY cult is particularly strong in America. “Not-in-my-backyard” is accepted as holy writ by most state and local politicians. The Eleventh Commandment is “Thou shalt not string powerlines over our sainted coastline nor above valuable land dedicated to overpriced subdivisions.

Nutball legislation in the works from the Tea Party


 
South Dakota: any adult 21 or older would have to buy a firearm “for their ordinary self-defence”.

Montana: House Bill 278 would authorise arming citizens’ militias against invaders.

New Hampshire: a volunteer “permanent state defence force” would assist with disaster relief and “defend the state against invasion”.

Missouri: State Senator Jane Cunningham has proposed allowing employment of children under 14 and ending restrictions on work hours.

Arizona: a proposed law would let the state actually nullify federal laws that legislators believe are invalid.

Georgia: a Republican recently introduced a bill mandating that victims of rape, stalking, harassment, and family violence be reclassified as “accusers”.

Nebraska: a “justifiable homicide” bill would allow homicide if committed by a person while resisting an attempt to harm an unborn foetus.

Runaway, runaway! The attack rabbits are here.

Geriatric con man – and his even older mark


Stole from his “father figure”

Medicare and Social Security didn’t seem to be enough for one 76-year-old New Yorker: He confessed he swindled nearly $400,000 from his 98-year-old victim.

New York businessman Harry Abrams was ordered Thursday to pay $388,063.75 in restitution and sentenced to weekends in jail for a year after being caught forging checks and transferring thousands of dollars from accounts held by a man who Abrams said was “like a father” to him, said district attorney’s office spokeswoman Joan Vollero.

His victim was a 98-year-old, semi-retired lawyer, Emanuel Baetich, according to law enforcement sources.

Abrams pleaded guilty to all charges, which included grand larceny, forgery and money laundering, Vollero said. He carried out his complex scheme to fleece his friend while Baetich was hospitalized during 2009 and 2010, said Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Loewy, who heads the office’s Elder Abuse Unit. Abrams allowed Baetich to work from his office in Midtown Manhattan free of charge, she added, since the two had been friends for years.

Abrams used the stolen money to fund his failing companies, a vacation to Puerto Rico and other expenses such as shopping sprees at Costco, Lands’ End and trips to Jenny Craig, according to a statement released by the district attorney’s office after Abrams was arrested in November.

You trust your friends; but, you cut the cards.

The March 19th “Supermoon” = Hardly Super

Sometimes there’s no telling what the world will get excited about. Amid the ongoing catastrophe in Japan, the Libyan and Yemeni crises and everything else, the news media and half the internet, it seems, are eagerly awaiting Saturday’s “supermoon.” It’s being billed as the closest, biggest, and brightest full Moon in 19 years.

It’s true. The Moon is full on March 19th right about when it’s at perigee, its closest to Earth in its monthly orbit. And not all perigees are precisely the same. This one is a trace closer than usual.

But not by enough to notice.

There’s something that many people (and too much of the news media) never seem to grasp: When it comes to science stories, if you don’t know it in numbers, you don’t know it at all.

How much bigger is this month’s full Moon? Here’s the number. It’s just 2% bigger than the full Moons of last month and next month. That’s one part in fifty. You couldn’t tell the difference if you put them side by side…

The takeaway message from this episode? Astronomy stories inspire people to look up and consider the larger universe, but they can also educate in practical ways for getting through life. The “supermoon” flap is a harmless bit of hype. But when your relatives start sending you frantic chain letters about the Japanese nuclear fallout starting to “pound the West Coast,” like one blog post I’ve already seen going around, remember what you read here.

Look at the numbers for the radiation reaching the West Coast. You’ll see that it’s trivial compared to the natural background radiation that everyone receives every day of their lives.

So don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t learn anything practical from astronomy. Send your frantic aunt this article, and tell her why she should quit with the dumb chain letters already.

Ditto.