Moveon.org sent out an email yesterday — dramatically entitled "iPhone's big secret" — revealing that if you ask your iPhone 4S where you can get an abortion, it will either tell you it can't find any abortion clinics in your area (as it did when asked in New York) or it will refer you to anti-abortion pregnancy crisis centers (as it did when asked in D.C.).
This story begs several questions. First, who was the pregnant lady who discovered this glitch? Did she ever get that abortion? Why didn't she Google it rather than shouting about it all over the place?
I borrowed my colleague/friend/role model Thomas Wheatley's iPhone 4S so I could shout about abortion into it (Curt Holman approached me shortly afterward to find out if I'd gotten that abortion I needed — I appreciated the concern). When I asked where I could get one, Siri said she couldn't find any clinics. Oh, and when you ask why she's anti-abortion, she says, "I just am." Well then.
Of the glitch, an Apple spokesperson told CNN, "These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone. It simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product, we find places where we can do better and we will in the coming weeks."
As Moveon.org points out, Siri will help you find strip clubs, escort services (apparently, if you ask where you can get a blow job), and where you might be able to buy marijuana.
One of the ickiest (by which we mean ethically dubious) things a news organization can do is run an advertisement and attempt to pass it off to its readers or viewers as news.
Media watchdog site StinkyJournalism.org says it caught Decatur-Avondale Estates Patch doing just that.
See, the AOL-owned neighborhood news site — which accepts articles written by, well, pretty much anyone — ran this piece about energy efficiency upgrades by a guy named Joe Thomas, who happens to be a "home performance consultant" for local energy efficiency upgraders Renewal System Solutions.
Granted, a hyperlink for Renewal System Solutions appears under Thomas' byline, but Stinky Journalism argues that it "just looks like a suggested link for readers — it doesn't clearly indicate a) that Thomas works for Renewal System Solutions or b) that Renewal Systems Solutions offers this very service Thomas is essentially 'selling' to readers."
After being called on the journalistic faux pas, Patch added a note to the article that says: "Renewal System Solutions is a Decatur-based company that provides comprehensive home energy analysis and energy saving upgrades. It has participated in DecaturWISE and Georgia Power's Home Energy Improvement Program" — but it still doesn't clarify that the author of the post works for Renewal System Solutions. Stinky.
H/T to @andishehnouraee.
"I would never recommend anyone take a field sobriety test," said Dr. Spurgeon Cole a retired psychology professor at Clemson University.
Cole is an expert in the study of measurements and a skeptic about the value of field sobriety tests.
"It is designed to fail. It's designed to fail. There are no norms, there is no average score. We have no idea what the average person could do on the one leg with the heel to toe," said Cole.
Cole, who's been studying field sobriety tests since the '80s, says his research indicates that the tests only give cops a 26 percent better chance of detecting an actually drunk person than if they randomly guessed.
As a person who's taken a field sobriety test and passed — even though I'm pretty sure I would have failed a breathalyzer; gimme a break, I was a teenager — I'm curious to hear what you people think about Cole's position. Are people who aren't actually drunk failing field sobriety tests and being erroneously tossed into jail for DUI? Or, rather, are too many scofflaws being let off the hook when they probably shouldn't be on the road?
And, hey. As always, guys, arrive alive, don't drink and drive.
Anyway, this is all to say that hatching a criminal plot to avoid paying Georgia's paltry tobacco excise tax seems misguided. No one 'splained this to Paresh Patel, Nizarali Isani, Shabir Isani or Zohebali Isani.
Yesterday, all four men were indicted on a variety of racketeering and counterfeiting charges for buying untaxed cigs and then slapping counterfeit stamps on them. And, according to the Georgia Attorney General's office, the fruits of their scheme weren't terribly impressive: the Isanis — who were charged in Cobb County — are alleged to have acquired more than 1.5 million untaxed cigarettes, which means they would have avoided paying less than $29,000 in state cigarette excise taxes. Patel, charged in Hall County, is alleged to have avoided paying less than $2,000 in cigarette taxes.
The penalty for faking the tax stamps — a felony — is a prison term of between one and ten years.
This weekend in Snellville (which happens to be the name of my new cable access show), a dog named Oscar got fucked up on LSD, stole his owners' clothes and then got hit by a car to make them look bad.
Of course, police and the lamestream media are blaming Oscar's human counterparts ...
[Snellville police Capt. Harold] Thomas said police were alerted to the situation by reports of a naked man and woman running along Pinehurst Road at about 8 p.m. The couple [Nicholas Modrich and Jamie Hughes, both 25] fled to their home ... and Modrich answered the door naked after police knocked, said Thomas.
"They were tripping pretty hard," said Thomas.
During questioning, the man and woman said they had taken LSD and had given some to Oscar, who was missing. Police determined Oscar was a dog and began a search, but soon learned the animal had been hit by a vehicle on a nearby road.
Inside the home, police found a bong, marijuana and Gummi worms, which were allegedly used to take the LSD, said Thomas. No LSD was found in the home.
Some people shouldn't have pets. And some pets shouldn't have access to hallucinogenic drugs.
Well, the little girl is Hadassah Abdelmaseh and the guy, according to WSBTV, is Paul Oakes, husband of Alpharetta city councilmember Cheryl Oakes and person with a potentially very bad attitude problem.
Oakes has eluded contact thus far, but Hadassah's mother Christole Abdelmaseh says she did hear from his councilwoman wife. Abdelmaseh claims Cheryl Oakes said, ‘Well, if there’s absolutely anything that we can do to make you happy, you just let us know and we'll take care of it to get this closed." Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible to de-traumatize children. Nice offer, though.
If you wanna feel sad for the rest of the day, watch the WSBTV report, in which little Hadassah describes how the man "slammed her on the gwound."
P.S. If you decided you really did want to feel sad for the day and watch the report, make sure to notice when Jovita Moore slips and admits their reporter "smoked with" the little girl.
Police spokesman Carlos Campos said officers have already seized evidence discovered during the execution of three search warrants, including spray cans and "photos and property bearing the vandals' 'tag.'" Officer Ari Bleifeld, the department's so-called "graffiti officer," conducted the investigation over several months and was assisted by the city's graffiti task force and community members.
“These arrest warrants show the APD’s commitment to enforcement of quality of life issues, such as
graffiti vandalism,” Police Chief George Turner said in a statement. “Left unchecked, graffiti can bring down a community and give people the impression that its residents simply don’t care. Our pursuit of these lawbreakers is proof that the city of Atlanta does care.”
In total, Campos said, police issued 29 arrest warrants for seven people who are responsible for "more than 800 acts of graffiti vandalism throughout the city." Three of the individuals are already in custody.
That was nine-and-a-half years ago. Since then, Kramer has filed countless legal motions, fired numerous sets of attorneys, tried to have himself declared physically incapacitated — anything to put off having to go to court to face a jury.
Well, it looks as if Kramer is going to have difficulty delaying justice any longer. The AJC reports today that the dwarfish sci-fi impresario was caught in a Connecticut hotel room with a 14-year-old boy. Oops. Can you say "bond violation?"
I've long wondered how someone under house arrest could get around as much as Kramer. I last bumped into him in 2008, when he attended a banquet thrown by the Libertarian Party of Georgia honoring their homegrown presidential candidate, former Congressman Bob Barr. Dressed in black, Kramer wheeled around the ballroom on a mobility scooter and sported a breathing tube.
But the hi-larious AJC story quotes Gwinnett County DA Danny Porter, Kramer's legal nemesis for the past 11 years, as saying the diminutive defendant was seen hiking trails without so much as a cane.
I can't wait to see what happens next.
If the threat of terrorists and crash landings didn't keep you off airplanes, female people, the prospect of this happening just might.
A 61-year-old Alpharetta man named Ranchhodbhai Lakha will spend six months in prison and pay a fine of $5,000 for groping — not once, but twice — a female passenger seated next to him on a flight from Dallas to Atlanta.
Here's what happened, according to U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates' office:
On September 28, 2010, on a Delta flight from Dallas to Atlanta, a 20 year-old woman seated in the same row with LAKHA fell asleep, and woke up to discover LAKHA, a former hotel owner, touching her below the waist. She quickly removed his hand and told him not to do that. LAKHA responded by asking the victim, 'Is that okay— you don't like that?' The woman responded no and recoiled her body to protect herself. At that point LAKHA reached down and touched her again. The woman got up from her seat and immediately reported the assault to a Delta flight attendant.
Besides the fine and prison time — which will be followed by a year of supervised release — Lakha has to register as a sex offender.
Drug and alcohol counselors — like other medical and mental health professionals of their ilk — are held to a certain standard of behavior. For instance, they shouldn't scam Medicaid, because that's bad. And they probably shouldn't get caught abusing the substances they help people kick, because that's hypocritical. If they're driving, it's also illegal.
WSBTV originally reported that on Saturday, an Alpharetta-based drug and alcohol counselor was released from jail after he was arrested for DUI. According to police, Ron Verlander of the National Organization for Addiction Healing — a faith-based, non-profit addiction ministry — was pulled over for driving on the wrong side of the road and allegedly caught with an open container in his vehicle.
And down in Jeff Davis County, substance abuse counselor Robert W. DeHaven of DeHaven Healthcare, Inc. pled guilty last Friday to committing Medicaid fraud from from December, 2005 to April, 2010. Prosecutors say his company systematically collected reimbursements for services it didn't render. He'll serve two years in prison and will pay restitution to the tune of $270,000.
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