Friday, May 30, 2008

Actor Harvey Korman dies in Los Angeles


Many familiar faces are passing ...

Thursday, May 29, 2008


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or search of great moral significance. Sometimes, it is a journey to a sacred place or shrine of importance to a person's beliefs and faith. Members of every major religion participate in pilgrimages. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim. [more with links]

Will 250,000 or more Americans bare witness with me on July 12 in Washington, DC?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You'll be missed ...

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay who achieved commercial success and critical acclaim with the gender-bending comedy "Tootsie" and the period drama "Out of Africa" while often dabbling as a television and movie actor, has died. He was 73.

Pollack died of cancer Monday afternoon at his home in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, surrounded by family, said publicist Leslee Dart. Pollack had been diagnosed with cancer about nine months ago, said Dart.

Pollack, who occasionally appeared on the big screen himself, worked with and gained the respect of Hollywood's best actors in a long career that reached prominence in the 1970s and 1980s.

"Sydney made the world a little better, movies a little betThe Way We Wereter and even dinner a little better. A tip of the hat to a class act," George Clooney said in a statement from his publicist.

"He'll be missed terribly," Clooney said.

Last fall, he played law firm boss Marty Bach opposite Clooney in "Michael Clayton," a drama that examines the life of fixer for lawyers. The film, which Pollack co-produced, received seven Oscar nominations, including for best picture and a best actor nod for Clooney. Tilda Swinton won the Oscar for supporting actress.

Pollack was no stranger to the Academy Awards. In 1986, "Out of Africa" a romantic epic of a woman's passion set against the landscape of colonial Kenya, captured seven Oscars, including best director and best picture.

In accepting his Oscar, Pollack commended Meryl Streep, who was nominated for best actress but didn't win.

"I could not have made this movie without Meryl Streep," Pollack said. "She is astounding — personally, professionally, all ways."

Over the years, several of his other films, including "Tootsie" and "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" got several nominations, including best director nods.

The list of actors he directed reads like a who's who of Hollywood A-listers: Sally Field and Paul Newman in "Absence of Malice," Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn in "The Interpreter," Robert Mitchum in "The Yakuza," Tom Cruise in "The Firm," Robert Redford in "Three Days of the Condor," and Redford and Barbra Streisand in "," and other big-name actors in other films.

"Having the opportunity to know Sydney and work with him was a great gift in my life," Field said in a statement. "He was a good friend and a phenomenal director and I will cherish every moment that I ever spent with him."

In later years, he devoted more time to acting, appearing in Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives," Robert Altman's "The Player," Robert Zemeckis' "Death Becomes Her," and Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut."

His last screen appearance was in "Made of Honor," a romantic comedy currently in theaters, where he played the oft-married father of star Patrick Dempsey's character.

Pollack had an occasional recurring role on the NBC sitcom "Will & Grace" playing Will's (Eric McCormack) father, and also appeared in the "The Sopranos," "Frasier" and "Mad About You."

Pollack also produced many independent films with filmmaker Anthony Minghella, who died in March, and the production company Mirage Enterprises. His recent producing credits include "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Cold Mountain."

The Lafayette, Ind. native was born to first-generation Russian-Americans. In high school in South Bend, he fell in love with theater, a passion that prompted him to forego college and move to New York and enroll in the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater.

Studying under Sanford Meisner, Pollack spent several years cutting his teeth in various areas of theater, eventually becoming Meisner's assistant.

"We started together in New York and he always excelled at everything he set out to do, his friendships and his humanity as much as his talents," said Martin Landau, a longtime close friend and associate in the Actors Studio, through spokesman Dick Guttman.

After appearing in a handful of Broadway productions in the 1950s, Pollack turned his eye to directing — where he would ultimately leave his biggest mark.

"Sydney let the dialogue and the emotion of a scene speak for itself. Not given to cinematic tricks, his gentle and thoughtful touch and his focus on the story let us inhabit the world he created in each film," said Michael Apted, president of the Directors Guild of America.

In the "The Interpreter," that world was the United Nations. The first feature film to be shot inside the U.N., Pollack had never been inside the Manhattan landmark until starting work on the film in 2004.

"I am ashamed to admit that I went to school here in New York. I got married here, I worked here, I walked by this building a thousand times," he told reporters. "I had never been inside it until the first location scouting trip, and I was awed by it."

Pollack, who stood over six feet tall and had a striking presence on the screen, never totally gave up acting.

"Most of the great directors that I know of were not actors, so I can't tell you it's a requirement," he said. "On the other hand, it's an enormous help."

At the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, Pollack said "Tootsie" star Dustin Hoffman pushed the director into playing the actor's exasperated agent.

Pollack said Hoffman repeatedly sent him roses with a note reading, "Please be my agent. Love, Dorothy." At that point, Pollack hadn't acted in 20 years.

In the 1982 movie, Hoffman plays an out-of-work actor who pretends to be a woman to land a role on a soap opera.

"I didn't think anyone would believe him as a woman," Pollack said. "But the world did, they went crazy."

Pollack is survived by his wife, Claire; two daughters, Rebecca and Rachel; his brother Bernie; and six grandchildren.Pollac k's son, Steven, died in a plane crash in 1993.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

World Harming Banks?

World Bank responsible for infecting 3rd World w/ AIDS?

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Is the IDB, The Inter-American Development Bank, involved in schemes that enrich the world's elitists while harming the world populous?

[the IDB website]

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The below from:


FBI Agents Raid Office of Special Counsel

The Wall Street Journal has reported that “more than a dozen” FBI agents served grand jury subpoenas this morning while searching the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the home of Special Counsel Scott Bloch. According to the Journal, OSC employees say the raid is in connection with allegations of obstruction of justice by Bloch, who in 2006 used a computer service, Geeks on Call, to completely erase his work computer's hard drive. Bloch asked the company to eradicate his computer’s files as he was being investigated by the Office of Personnel Management Inspector General in connection with a complaint submitted by a group of anonymous OSC employees, GAP, the Project On Government Oversight, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Last week, attorney Debra Katz, who represents the groups and the anonymous OSC employees, sent a comprehensive summary of Bloch’s abuses during his tenure to President Bush, and called on the President to use his authority to remove the Special Counsel “for cause.”

Click here to read Katz’ letter


U.S. District Court Decision Holds Development Bank Accountable to Contractors

GAP is applauding a recent decision by the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia holding that a consultant for the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), the private investment arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has the right to sue the IIC for breach of implied contract and unjust enrichment. The decision establishes that the IIC, and by implication, international organizations operating under similar charters in the Unites States, have waived immunity from lawsuits brought against them by external commercial contractors and consultants.

Click here for the press release


Asian Development Bank Audit Reveals Fraud in Afghanistan Projects

Today, GAP is drawing attention to a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) audit of the Asian Development Bank’s work in Afghanistan, which indicates mismanagement, incompetence, deception of donors, and fraud. News of this audit comes at a time when the Bank is appealing to donors for additional contributions of $12 billion for projects and loans.

Click here to read GAP's full press release


World Bank Action “Too Little, Too Late” to Correct HIV Corruption; Bank Uses CDC in Cover-Up

After nearly one year’s delay, the World Bank announced last Thursday that it will further investigate disclosures involving the distribution of defective HIV/AIDS test kits, mass purchased as part of a health care project in India. GAP client Dr. Kunal Saha first informed the Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity (INT) of the use of the faulty kits in a draft report in May 2007. In the ensuing months, various World Bank officials have attempted to conceal the facts about the case, discredit Dr. Saha in both the US and India, and use the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) to cover-up fraud. Statements made by World Bank officials to the media last week about this issue were grossly misleading.

Click here to read GAP's full press release

Dr. Kunal Saha
[video testimony Part 1 Washington DC May 15, 2008]

[video testimony Part 2 Washington DC May 15, 2008]

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Editor/Reporter Betsy Combier of Parent tells her story May 15, 2008, at a national whistle blowers convention in Washington DC.

[click here for more videos and information] from:
Citizens' Forum On Judicial Accountability

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[this blogger's beef]

[click here] for a list of all Steven G. Erickson's videos

[click here] for the Get Justice Coalition blog

This blogger's email:

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Comment about my trip back up from Washington, DC:

"SVE, Troopers in a half dozen states will be eyeballing you the whole way back. Keep an eye on the speed limit, seatbelts, talking on the cell, and broken tail lights."

[click here for more]

Monday, May 12, 2008

Having a religion program doesn't fix a morally bankrupt police force

THE REV. MICHAEL DOLAN, vocational director for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford, has joined the new state police chaplaincy program. He knows intimately what state troopers face because his brother is state police Master Sgt. James Dolan. (MICHAEL MCANDREWS / May 1, 2008)

Public Safety Commissioner Leads Effort To Revive Chaplaincy Program

By TRACY GORDON FOX | Courant Staff Writer
May 12, 2008

It wasn't religion or faith that brought Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher III to the conclusion that the state police chaplaincy program should be revived.

It was bad behavior.

After learning about some of the misconduct state troopers were being accused of — drunken driving, domestic violence, alcoholism — Danaher said he thought that perhaps the department was not adequately supporting its own, not helping troopers haunted by what they'd seen: horrific crashes, violent deaths and sexual assaults against children.

So Danaher invited a rabbi who had written a book called "Spiritual Survival for Law Enforcement" to speak and help him revive the chaplaincy effort. In the audience on April 28 were state police supervisors along with about 15 priests and rabbis from across the state who had volunteered to be part of the expanded program.

Danaher said that during his first year as commissioner he focused on the primary needs of the department, such as infrastructure and staffing.

"But I also heard of a number of troopers who had made some unfortunate decisions, and I kept thinking about their problems and how they had reached the point that they had," Danaher said.

The personnel problems were outlined in a report on the department's internal affairs unit, which found misconduct among troopers and prompted one of the first controversies Danaher had to confront as commissioner.

Danaher said he started thinking that having clergy available to troopers "might help them find another direction to solve their problems, whether they were marital issues or alcoholism."

"It could make a difference if they could have someone to share that burden," he said.

That led him to read Rabbi Cary A. Friedman's book, and, Danaher said, "It rang so very true to me."

Troopers, he said, "are tougher, much tougher than most."

"Indeed many would question the need for a chaplaincy program," he said. "They would say to their fellow trooper, 'Look — just suck it up and deal with it.'" But over time, Danaher said, "This work can wear even on the best of them."

The Rev. Michael Dolan, who joined the new chaplaincy program, knows intimately what state troopers face: His brother is state police Master Sgt. James Dolan.

"I'm thankful for the training and honored to be able to join in something I know so well from personal experience," said Michael Dolan, vocational director for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford.

James Dolan said troopers may be more likely to confide in a clergy member than a peer or a supervisor when they are having a problem, be it a family issue or alcohol abuse.

Many people have a connection with clergy, James Dolan said, "with a familiarity and trust outside the agency."

Spirituality is not to be confused with organized religion, Friedman said. A police officer's spirituality consists of a more general faith in God, humanity and himself, he said.

But each exposure to wickedness, tragedy or catastrophe withdraws from that "spiritual bank account," he said, and can lead, eventually, to "spiritual bankruptcy."

Quoting American crime author Joseph Wambaugh, formerly with the Los Angeles Police Department, Friedman said: "Law enforcement involves a daily drop of corrosion on your soul."

And that's where the bad behavior often comes in, Friedman said.

"In spiritual bankruptcy, an officer loses faith, hope, confidence and optimism and engages in all kinds of destructive and self-destructive behaviors," he said. "Abuse of power, professional misconduct, domestic violence, marital difficulties."

Those were some of the same problems outlined in the internal affairs report conducted for the Connecticut State Police by the New York State Police and the Connecticut Attorney General's Office. The report, released in December 2006, outlined misconduct involving domestic violence, sexual assaults, drunken driving and larceny.

"That taints the whole profession, the few people who succumb [to misconduct], succumb in a horrible ugly way that brings us all down," Friedman said.

There are employee assistance programs and peer counseling to help state troopers deal with their problems, but the missing piece of the puzzle has always been spirituality, Friedman said.

"It's the chaplain's sacred privilege, honor and responsibility to minister to law enforcement officers," Friedman said. "Reintroduce the hard-core veteran to the type of person he or she once was," Friedman said. "To be able to connect with God."

"We always had a chaplain program. But ours has been more ceremonial in the past," said Lt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman. "This is more hands-on, available to lend assistance."

Police chaplains understand that police officers require a different kind of ministering, Vance said, and they must penetrate the often closed police culture.

"It is a different kind of ministry," he said. "And, really, we are not looking for the chaplains to provide religious guidance as much as helping employees to discuss things, talk about them."

Chaplains are also a valuable tool for the community at large, providing spiritual support when residents are notified of the death of a loved one and during funerals.

Danaher said he hopes to get more clergy involved as chaplains than the 15 who have signed up. Those who have volunteered say they are happy to help police officers.

"I am very involved in the community and I feel this is another area of the community I can be involved in," said Rabbi Norman "Shalom" Siegfried of Waterbury.

James Dolan, the state police master sergeant, said he views the program as "another vehicle, another asset we can use to help troopers."

"It takes a little bit out of you when you go to [horrific accident] scenes," he said. "There needs to be some type of rejuvenation."

Contact Tracy Gordon Fox at

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My comment left on the Hartford Courant forum:

Morally bankrupt police officers feel bad when they break the law and abuse the public?

Well, if a police officer breaks the law, shouldn't they be arrested and prosecuted like everyone else?

No one should be above the law.

I think it is going to take more than a little religion to fix an ailing Connecticut State Police force. They need to be abolished for a Highway Patrol.

As it is now they police their own. That doesn't work.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Guilty Plea In Trash Price-Fixing Case

By EDMUND H. MAHONY | Courant Staff Writer
May 9, 2008

The former top salesman for the [Connecticut] Danbury trash company at the center of a federal price fixing case pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Thursday to racketeering and making a false statement to federal investigators.

Among other things, Richard Galietti, 35, of Fort Myers, Fla., admitted in court Thursday that he asked his state trooper cousin and another law enforcement officer to check the ownership of cars that the garbagemen thought might be surveillance vehicles driven by federal investigators.

Until recently, Galietti was the lead salesman for Automated Waste Disposal and a number of affiliated companies based in Danbury and operated by indicted trash executive James Galante. Galietti, Galante and 31 others, as well as 10 businesses, are named in a series of indictments beginning in June 2006 and are charged in a broad racketeering conspiracy with monopolizing the trash hauling business to drive up prices in western Connecticut and upstate New York.

A year ago, Galante and his employees were in the news when former state Senate Minority Leader Louis C. DeLuca admitted asking the trash executive to have someone rough up his granddaughter's husband.

In the garbage indictment, Galante, Galietti and their co-defendants are accused of conspiring to set up a "property rights system" under which carters divide up customers and agree not to compete. Such a system allows carters to artificially inflate prices, according to federal prosecutors.

Galietti is accused of helping to set up the system and enforce compliance by reluctant participants through the use of threats and violence. Sources familiar with the case said he promised to "gouge" out the eyes of a rival hauler during a drunken telephone conversation. The sources said he also has been tied to a BB gun attack on a rival's truck.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that Galietti asked his state trooper cousin and a friend who worked for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to run license plate information through law enforcement databases in an effort to learn whether he was under investigation.

The false statement charge to which Galietti pleaded guilty arises from a 2006 Internal Revenue Service investigation of a Fort Myers company. Galietti went to work for the Florida company after being released on bond in the garbage case.

IRS agents encountered Galietti on Dec. 14, 2006, while executing a search warrant on the company. When the IRS agents asked Galietti whether he worked for the company, he replied that he did not and that he was just "dropping by to say hello." A federal grand jury in Florida indicted Galietti for the false statement, federal prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns said Thursday that Galietti will be sentenced on July 24. Under sentencing guidelines, he faces 37 to 46 months in prison and a fine of from $7,500 to $75,000. Federal prosecutors said he also has agreed to forfeit $130,750 in property to the government.

Contact Edmund H. Mahony at

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My comment posted to the Hartford Courant piece:

There seems to be more and more evidence of a mob/CT State Police connection.

Maybe the CT State Police should be investigated as a corrupt organization by the Feds.

The 128 page official report on the Connecticut State Police shows them to be an armed and dangerous criminal gang, it is about time to break up their little party.

Reasons to abolish the Connecticut State Police for a Connecticut Highway Patrol:

Without Civilian Oversight of Police

Police have no fear of punishment or losing their jobs when they behave like this:

US man alleges police broke into home illegally, tore catheter from his body

[International Herald Tribune story]

HARTFORD, Connecticut: A man alleges that police entered his home illegally and ripped a catheter from his body during a child pornography investigation that led to the arrest of two neighbors.

Andrew Glover, 60, filed a notice with the city Thursday that he intends to pursue a federal civil rights lawsuit. He accused the officers of inflicting severe injuries as he was recovering from intestinal surgery in February.

Glover's lawyer, Paul Spinella, said police entered Glover's apartment Jan. 30 and Feb. 28. Glover wasn't involved in child pornography, has not been charged and has no criminal record, Spinella said.

"The poor guy," Spinella said. "They ripped the catheter off his person. They assaulted the guy. He's got major problems as a result of this. He's a mess now."

Lt. James Wardwell, a police spokesman, said Friday that the department had not received the intent-to-sue notice and would not comment. A message was left for the city's corporation counsel.

Glover has two years to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

Spinella said officers "tossed" Glover's apartment during a search Jan. 30. In February, he said, Glover returned home from the hospital after his surgery to find officers searching his apartment again. That's when they assaulted Glover and left him alone in the apartment without calling for medical help, Spinella said.

The police didn't have search warrants, Spinella said.

Glover's neighbors — Harold Spurling and Jeffrey Brisson — were charged Jan. 30 with sexual assault and other crimes. They are accused of molesting children, including a 3-month-old girl found in their apartment, and making movies involving child pornography.

Both men have pleaded not guilty and are being held in lieu of bail.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008


OPSEC is short for "Operation Security".

What could be overheard in some bar in the US when soldiers are returning home.

"What's this about the CIA recruiting mercenaries to fight in Iraq, torture prisoners, and assassinate the Iraqis that can't get with the program? We better see who is listening we don't want to violate any OPSEC policies and leak anything."

Well, I more than overheard something.

So, is the US and military venturing into the continent of Africa to hire mercenaries to do the internationally illegal dirty work?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Child's autism linked to parents' mental illness

Having a schizophrenic parent roughly doubles risk of disorder, study finds [Reuters]

updated 11:10 a.m. ET, Mon., May. 5, 2008

CHICAGO - In another sign pointing to an inherited component to autism, a study released on Monday found that having a schizophrenic parent or a mother with psychiatric problems roughly doubled a child's risk of being autistic.

"Our research shows that mothers and fathers diagnosed with schizophrenia were about twice as likely to have a child diagnosed with autism," said Julie Daniels of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who worked on the study.

"We also saw higher rates of depression and personality disorders among mothers, but not fathers," she said in a statement.

Charlie Wilson's War

information on [IMDb]

Tom Hanks' portrayal of the Texas Congressman is probably not spot on.

The sanitized Hollywood version of what really is going on is merely hinted to, but if you connect the dots, it is a scathing indictment of the policies in Afghanistan that seeded current events and major US wars.

The covert funding and operation of the CIA and military operations with the military corporation raking in billions, hand over fist, has to stop.

Oversight, Civilian Oversight, has to be instituted. We need to be represented as US Citizens, this is "our will" honored for our out of control US taxation. We pay, we should be the bosses.

It is time to let the elected official Bozos know.

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Have juries been rendered useless?


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