Dumb crooks of the day!

Mr. Suarez and Mr. Santos

Two Kansas men were busted last week when one of them accidentally dialed 911 during a drug deal, KCTV News reported.

Dispatchers who took the call told police they heard arguing on the other end of the line. They recorded the conversation and traced the call to a specific neighborhood.

A dispatcher continued to monitor the call as officers set out to search the area.

“You could hear on the phone call the suspect saying, ‘Oh, there goes the cops,'” said Leavenworth police Chief Patrick Kitchens. “So that brought the officers’ attention to the two gentlemen.”

Police then arrested Jesus Suarez and Jesus Santos, both 25, and reportedly confiscated $2,500 in cash and six grams of crack cocaine…

…Kitchens said, “It might be the first case where a person accidentally dialed 911 and got arrested.”

I’ll say it again – people don’t become run-of-the-mill street crooks because they’re extra smart!

Cancer rates triple among New York coppers who responded on 9/11

Cancer rates among police officers who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York have tripled, according to new figures.

Of the 12,000 who attended the scene of the atrocity at the World Trade Center 10 years ago, 297 have been diagnosed with cancer, almost triple the incidence before the attack.

A report said that 56 who have been diagnosed had since died.

Residents of lower Manhattan have long claimed that the dust and ash clouds triggered by the long-burning fires at the site of the twin towers were toxic.

Figures released by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association appear to bear out the theory, with cancer rates among NYPD officers who attended the disaster running at 16 a year compared to six before the attacks. The average age they were forced to leave the force due to their ill-health was 44.

Lung cancer was the most common form of the disease among officers, although there were more rare varieties including cancers of the bile duct, tongue and nasal passages…

Under the Zadroga Act, named for Detective James Zadroga who died of a respiratory disease after taking part in the recovery operation, sick 9/11 workers are entitled to health screening and financial benefits. New York’s City Hall has always refused to release cancer rates among the NYPD, saying that the information was private…

Frank Tramontao, research director at the PBA, said: “It is our sincere opinion that the City of New York has done nothing to facilitate any cancer study and has been actively working to prevent a comprehensive examination of the issue.”

What is it about American bureaucrats that requires they be blind and deaf to disease inflicted on men and women who have dedicated their energies to aiding this nation?

I’ve known Navy veterans who died from asbestos-related disease, those who dealt with crippling ailments from Agent Orange, members of the NYPD now battling cancer. Is there an unwritten law that part of a hero’s tribute must be a death sentence from environmental fallout experienced in their acts of courage?

I know for a fact this nation isn’t exclusively populated by know-nothings who fear science. I’m not as certain about the fear of responsibility.

Thoughtless fool makes 18,000 hoax 911 calls

An East Los Angeles man who allegedly made more than 18,000 prank 911 cellphone calls over six months was arrested Friday, the California Highway Patrol said.

Maurice Cruz, 43, was booked on suspicion of misusing 911 emergency lines to annoy or harass, a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine, up to six months in jail or both. He was released Friday afternoon on $5,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Inmate Information Center.

I hope that misdemeanor charge can be for each call.

The CHP alleges that Cruz made many of the calls on a deactivated cellphone, which does not provide the caller’s location or phone number, in order to make the calls difficult to trace.

CHP and Secret Service investigators, however, tracked him to a home in East Los Angeles and took him into custody.

I couldn’t wait till the end to comment. Sorry. The sort of egregious, demented dipshit who makes careless use of an emergency service does no good for anyone.

He wastes the cost of the emergency responders who don’t know in advance the calls were a hoax. He threatens the live of those who suffer diminished access to relief when emergency services are drawn away from usefulness – to deal with a hoax.

Throw away the key. That’s the least physically harmful suggestion I might make.

FCC finally notices that texting can aid 911 calls

Texting – old school

In a bid to bring the life-saving emergency service 911 into the 21st century, the FCC is looking at letting citizens report crimes through text messages and even stream video from their mobile phones to emergency centers.

Established as a national standard in 1968, 911 handles more than 230 million calls a year — 70 percent of which now come from mobile phones.

The last real overhaul of 911 by the FCC came in 2001, when mobile carriers were required to allow 911 to identify the location of callers either through GPS or cell-tower data…

But the 911 system still can’t handle text messages, multimedia messages or streaming video, all of which could be very helpful to first responders.

A system that could handle those messages would also allow people to report crimes without being overheard, which could be useful in situations ranging from kidnapping to seeing someone being robbed on the street…

It’s not clear yet where the money will come from for the upgrades, whether they will be federal requirements states and cities must carry out or if they will simply be suggestions.

Perish the thought our politicians adopt useful, constructive protocols like this without giving every local hack a chance to get in on an opportunity to be “lobbied” by equipment vendors.

Push comes to shove, the Federalist rationale supports small-time graft as well as it does the Congressional flavors.

Bigots threaten Houston shopkeeper

Sajid Master wants the phone calls and angry letters to stop. He wants people to quit coming into Perfume Planet in west Houston to yell at his workers. He’d especially like folks to stop castigating his landlord.

Nearly a year after the Internet painted Master as an Al Qaida sympathizer, outrage toward the store at the Harwin Central Mart shows no sign of waning.

“They’ve threatened to kill me; sometimes they’re cursing when they call,” a resigned Master said in his shop.

Trouble is, all the indignation is the product of a massive misunderstanding, illustrating the awesome — and sometimes damaging – power of the Internet…

It started when the Muslim merchant posted a sign at his shop during Ramadan explaining the store would be closed Sept. 11 to remember the death of Imam Ali, a sacred Muslim figure. Master failed, however, to explain that Ali, who is remembered on a different date each year during Ramadan, died in 661 A.D. and was in no way related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Someone snapped a picture of the sign and started sending it around online, claiming Imam Ali was one of the Sept. 11 hijackers.

Before long the photo went viral, showing up on countless conservative Internet forums

Soon the phone calls started, befuddling and overwhelming store manager Hasan Kolsawala, who tried to explain that no offense was intended…

He probably could have shrugged off the incident as a temporary annoyance, but 10 months later the consequences of that sign still reverberate.

Phone calls to Perfume Planet often come in waves as people send around new e-mail chains urging recipients to voice their anger…

Luckily for Master, some websites, like the popular snopes.com, have taken pity on him, dedicating space to debunking the controversy. But that doesn’t seem to have done much good.

Does anyone expect idiots to change their behavior just because someone pointed out they’re wrong?

The sort of crap bigotry that keeps any number of teabagger and rightwing ignoranus websites in business.

Kidnap/Carjack victims call 911 – are put on hold

Four students who were kidnapped in a Sunday night carjacking in Atlanta used a cell phone to call 911 from the trunk of the car where they were being held, only to be put on hold by 911

The captives eventually called the Morehouse College police department, where a dispatcher alerted officers to their whereabouts, the students said at a news conference at Morehouse on Monday morning.

Two suspects, a 17-year-old and a juvenile, were arrested when police arrived at a West End bank where the suspects went to use the victims’ ATM cards…

Worthy said that after being kidnapped, one of the students in the trunk “got on his phone and dialed 911. He was unable to get anyone, he was put on hold at 911, so he switched over and called the Morehouse College police number.”

Morehouse police dispatcher Karen Wells answered the call, and directed officers from Morehouse and other Atlanta University Center campuses to the Wachovia Bank in West End, where police found the victims and arrested two of the suspects…

On the chilling dispatch tape released by Morehouse police Monday morning, the student is heard pleading with Wells, “please hurry, they said they are going to kill us.”

Ain’t cost-savings wonderful?

Some beancounter or other figured they could save bureaucrats a buck or two by removing human beings from the response time equation. And damned near got these kids killed.

Heart abnormalities in World Trade Center workers/responders

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine are presenting more than 20 ground-breaking studies at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 59th annual scientific session (ACC.10) in Atlanta. Their research includes data showing that the World Trade Center (WTC) collapse has caused potentially dangerous heart problems in responders on-site.

They…conducted the analyses of 1,236 workers who participated in the program from January 2008 to June 2009.

Dr. Croft’s study showed that responders have impaired diastolic function of both the right and left ventricle, meaning their hearts do not relax normally, which can put them at risk for heart problems such as shortness of breath and heart failure. More than 50 percent had abnormal relaxation of the left ventricle compared to only seven percent of people of a similar age in the general population.

Greater than 60 percent had isolated impaired diastolic function in the right ventricle of the heart, which pumps blood to the lungs.

Dr. Croft and her colleagues suspect that debris inhaled from the WTC site may have contributed to these heart abnormalities, however, caution that there is no comparison data of people working in a similar urban community plagued by air pollution and life and emotional stresses who were not exposed to the WTC.

We know that inhaled debris may be linked to heart and lung disease,” said Dr. Croft. “While we still have work to do in determining a definitive connection between heart abnormalities and the World Trade Center collapse, these data are an exciting first step…”

“The findings from these analyses underscore the need to have long-term monitoring of potential health effects related to the WTC disaster,” said Dr. Moline. “They also point to the need to evaluate first responders in general, to ensure that these public safety officers remain healthy and we identify what risk factors might be contributing to any potential health issues.”

Hear, hear! I’m cynical enough to believe it will take a class action suit following onto the untimely deaths of many responders before government at any level cares to take an interest.

Think I’m wrong?

Passport belonging to 9/11 conspirator found in Waziristan

Pakistani forces found a passport of a militant linked to two hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 attacks during an offensive against Taliban strongholds near the Afghan border, DawnNews reported.

The passport of Said Bahaji, a German of Moroccan origin, was among documents, weapons and militant literature seized by the government forces during their operation in South Waziristan and was shown to a group of journalists during an official trip.

Bahaji’s name appeared in the 9/11 Commission Report…The report said Bahaji spent eight months with hijackers Mohamed Atta and Ramzi Binalshibh between Nov. 1998 and July 1999.

Described as an insecure follower with no personality and with limited knowledge of Islam, Bahaji nonetheless professed his readiness to engage in violence,’ it said…

Educated in Morocco, Bahaji returned to Germany to study electrical engineering at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg. He spent five months in the German army before obtaining a medical discharge, the Commission said.

Convergence applies to a lot of things. In the world of bandits and terrorists, there isn’t always a great deal of distinction.

I admit that I’m waiting for a qualitative increase in intelligence, reconnaissance – and UAV armaments precision.

9/11 steel available for local 9/11 memorials

When Jeff Cox, a 15-year-old candidate for the rank of Eagle Scout in Windermere, Fla., approached the small town’s mayor with park improvement ideas to help earn a badge, the mayor informed him that those projects were already covered.

“He came back and said, ‘Would the town like a memorial if I can get World Trade Center steel?’ ” Mayor Gary Bruhn said. “I was stunned. I said, ‘Son, the town would be elated to have something like that.’ He said, ‘I think I need the town’s support. I don’t think they’re going to just give it to me.’”

No, they would not — but close. As the anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, approaches on Friday, pieces of the World Trade Center rubble from that day have never been more accessible. A new campaign is under way to speed up the process and increase the volume of giving away pieces of steel big and small from the debris.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the steel, will invite police and fire departments and mayors and other leaders of cities and towns throughout the country to ask for pieces for memorials. The Port Authority has filled about 25 requests in the last year, and has about a dozen more pending. In recent weeks, trucks have hauled twisted steel columns that weigh hundreds of pounds to York, Pa., and Westerville, Ohio. A smaller piece was shipped to the Air Defense offices of the United States Air Force in Rome, N.Y.

“The best way we can honor the memory of those we lost on 9/11 is to find homes in the W.T.C. Memorial and in cities and towns around the nation for the hundreds of artifacts we’ve carefully preserved over the years,” said the Port Authority’s executive director, Christopher O. Ward…

In Windermere, a town of 3,000, the prospective Eagle Scout, Jeff Cox, got the mayor’s support for his project and was waiting for his steel. He was just 7 when the attacks took place. “I wasn’t really sure what the building was, but it kind of scared me,” he said. “No one was really sure what was going to happen.”

He said he has been promised a big piece. “They sent me about six options to pick from,” he said. “I ended up taking part of a steel beam, about three and a half or four feet, 650 pounds.”

Bravo! And RTFA. You might wish to check up on your local well-read municipal government to see if they’re doing anything in this vein – or not – depending upon your own thoughts on the concept.

Man calls 911 to report a murder-suicide and finishes the job

An Ohio man killed his girlfriend, set both his house and hers on fire, then called 911 and calmly described his acts before taking his own life, police said.

Police found the body of Edward Offord II in a parking lot at the O’Shaughnessy Reservoir outside Columbus early Monday, The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday. His location was determined by tracking his cellphone call to 911.

Firefighters discovered a body in Offord’s house in Columbus around the time Offord called at 4 a.m. Investigators had not been able to confirm late Monday if it was that of 32-year-old Krista Winger, his girlfriend.

Offord appeared to have planned his actions in advance, leaving his two greyhounds at an animal shelter in Columbus Sunday.

He was unemotional during his phone call. When a dispatcher asked him if he had shot Winger in the head, he responded, “I did, yeah, she’s dead.”

Offord apparently set his own house on fire, then drove to Perry and torched Winger’s home before going to the reservoir.

The really detailed account of this demented murder-suicide is here – at the Columbus Dispatch.