Ex-Soldier Spends Year In Iraq Because Of Clerical Error

jmo1121l.jpgFrom here:

MOUNT ORAB, Ohio (AP) — A former National Guard captain whose military service was supposed to end seven years ago was sent to Iraq for a year by mistake because of an incorrect discharge date in his records.

Jim Dillinger was 43 when he received a letter from the Defense Department in May 2004 saying he was one of 5,600 members of the Individual Ready Reserve being sent to Iraq. The IRR is a component of the Army made up of retired soldiers who agree to be subject to recall to active duty for a defined time.

When Dillinger signed up for the IRR in 1997, his contract said his military obligation would end in April 1999. But his personnel record mistakenly said his service would end in July 2010 – the date he would have been discharged had he remained in the Ohio National Guard. He had resigned his captain’s commission in 1996 after serving 17 years in the Guard.

“They were still carrying me on the books as a captain,” Dillinger, now 45, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “And nobody caught it. Including me.”

Dillinger was told he had not been discharged because of the military’s “stop-loss” program, which kept thousands of soldiers from ending their tours or retiring.

“That explanation didn’t make complete sense to me, but I accepted it,” he said. “I’d been in the Army a long time, and when they tell you something, you believe it.”

A message left at a listing for Jim Dillinger in Mount Orab was not immediately returned Tuesday evening.

Dillinger left in January 2005 for Iraq, where he spent a year searching for and destroying roadside bombs. When he returned to the U.S. in December, he saw the erroneous discharge date in his records.

“My eyes popped out of my head,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that was right. And I knew darn well that it could mean I’d be deployed again.”

He got the Guard and the Army Human Resources Command to investigate. On May 22, a human resources assistant reported that Dillinger’s discharge date was incorrect. His discharge papers were issued the next day, followed by apologies.

The Human Resources Command did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

“I honestly believe I helped accomplish something over there, and the men I served with, they are like brothers to me,” Dillinger said. “But I can’t get past the fact that I should never have been sent there in the first place.”

GOP Senator Calls For Pimp Tax

Pimp-Tom-Pimp-Posters.jpgFrom here

WASHINGTON — Pimps and sex traffickers could soon find themselves being chased by tax collectors, not just the vice squad.

Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, wants the Internal Revenue Service to chase after pimps and sex traffickers with the same fervor it stalked gangster Al Capone for tax evasion.

So glad our Republician politicans have nothign better to do. 🙂

DJ Fired For Calling Condoleezza Rice ‘Coon’


From here

A St. Louis radio show host is out of a job after using a racial epithet on the air while talking about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

KTRS-AM announced the firing shortly after morning talk show host Dave Lenihan used the word “coon” in describing Rice’s attributes for the post of NFL commissioner.

Lenihan and the station’s management both called the use of the word a “slip of the tongue.”

Station president and general manager Tim Dorsey said the utterance was nonetheless “unacceptable, reprehensible and unforgivable.”

Lenihan was heaping praise on Rice, a big football fan, then said: “She’s African-American, which would kind of be a big coon. A big coon. Oh my God. I am totally, totally, totally, totally, totally sorry for that.”

Reached at home, Lenihan said he was trying to say “quite a coup.” He says he’s drafting a letter of apology to Rice.

Cheney Shoots, Injures Man While Hunting

From here: WSOCTV.com – Charlotte News – Cheney Shoots, Injures Man While Hunting

WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney’s spokeswoman said Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a hunting trip in Texas.

The accident happened at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas. The property’s owner said the 78-year-old victim is “alert and doing fine,” after Cheney sprayed him with shotgun pellets while trying to shoot a bird.

Cheney’s spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, said the vice president is with the victim and his wife at the hospital.

American Tax Dollars at Work on Wikipedia

Taken from here:

[…]The staff of U.S. Rep Marty Meehan wiped out
references to his broken term-limits pledge as well as information
about his huge campaign war chest in an independent biography of the
Lowell Democrat on a Web site that bills itself as the “world’s largest
encyclopedia,” The Sun has learned.

The Meehan alterations on Wikipedia.com represent just two of more
than 1,000 changes made by congressional staffers at the U.S. House of
Representatives in the past six month. Wikipedia is a global reference
that relies on its Internet users to add credible information to
entries on millions of topics.

Matt Vogel, Meehan’s chief of staff, said he authorized an intern in
July to replace existing Wikipedia content with a staff-written
biography of the lawmaker.

The change deleted a reference to Meehan’s campaign promise to
surrender his seat after serving eight years, a pledge Meehan later
eschewed. It also deleted a reference to the size of Meehan’s campaign
account, the largest of any House member at $4.8 million, according to
the latest data available from the Federal Election Commission.

“Meehan first ran for Congress in 1992 on a platform of reform,” the
pre-edited entry said. “As part of that platform Meehan made a pledge
to not serve more than four terms, a central part of his campaign. This
breaking of the pledge has been a controversial issue in the 5th
Congressional District of Massachusetts.”

The new entry reads in part: “Meehan was elected to Congress in 1992
on a plan to eliminate the deficit. His fiscally responsible voting
record since then has earned him praise from citizen watchdog groups.
He was re-elected by a large margin in 2004.”

Vogel said, “It makes sense to me the biography we submit would be the biography we write.”

The change doubled the length of the entry on Meehan, corrected
errors and replaced “sloppy” writing, Vogel said. “Let the outside
world edit it. It seemed right to start with greater depth than a
paragraph with incorrect data from the ’80s.”

Wikipedia’s online honor system has made it ripe for abuse by
vandals. Recently, a user wrote in a Wikipedia bio that Virginia
Congressman Eric Cantor “smells of cow dung.” Another wrote that Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist is “ineffective.” These statements were
traced to the House Internet-protocol (IP) address.[…]

[…]While vandalism is a problem, deleting factual
information raises ethical concerns, said Geoffrey Bowker, director of
the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara

“The vandalism is just plain childish,” Bowker said. “The term-limit
pledge (that was changed by Meehan’s staff) is a much more serious
case. That’s someone trying to alter the public record.

“To knowingly remove a truthful statement is just wrong,” he added.
“It’s not the place of any special-interest group to tamper with the
facts available to the public.”[…]

[…]In November and December, The Sun has learned, users
of the House’s IP address were temporarily blocked from changing
content because of violations described by the site as a “deliberate
attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia.”[…]

[…]Yesterday, Wikipedia was ranked the 19th- busiest
site on the Internet, according to alexa.com, a subsidiary of
Amazon.com that tracks Webtraffic.

A new reference to Meehan’s term-limit pledge was inserted in the
Wikipedia entry in November by a person not using the House address.

On Dec. 27, someone using the House IP address reduced the reference
to a single sentence: “(Meehan) also supported term limits, pledging to
serve no more than four terms.”

Vogel said he did not authorize the change.

No reference to Meehan’s top-rated campaign account has been reintroduced.

The changes by Meehan’s staff are not as “reprehensible” as
inserting derogatory comments in someone else’s entry, said Stephen
Potts, former director of the federal Office of Government Ethics,
which establishes conduct standards for the executive branch.

But the sheer breadth of changes emanating from the House reflects
an abuse of public time and equipment, said Potter, now chairman of the
Ethics Resource Center.

“That kind of usage, plus the fact that they’re changing one
person’s material, is certainly wrong and ought to be at a minimum the
focus of some disciplinary action,” he said.[…]

The entry in question.