Freelancing! VA Employees Busted For Running Coke Ring out of Bronx VA Medical Center

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Tristyn Bloom reports: Two Veterans Affairs Medical Center employees were arrested last week for using VA facilities to smuggle and deal cocaine, the Department of Justice recently announced.

Robert Tucker and Erik Casiano had been using the U.S. Postal Service and the mailroom of a VA Medical Center in the Bronx to receive and distribute cocaine since “at least November 2013,” according to the press release.

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Tucker has worked for the VA since 1997, and in 2012 was promoted to supervisor of the Logistics Warehouse and Mail Center. Casiano, a pipefitter in the plumbing department, had worked for the center since 2012.

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All told, the two attempted to distribute over 5 kilograms of cocaine. If found guilty, they each face a minimum of 10 years in prison, and could be jailed for life.

[PDF – U.S. v. Robert Tucker & Erik Casiano Complaint]

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The investigation began in December 2013 when a package addressed to the center caught the attention of postal inspectors in Puerto Rico, who discovered 2 kilograms of cocaine inside. Undercover investigators watched the pair receive and exchange such packages four times before finally busting them after Tucker was caught on video surveillance handing one over to Casiano in exchange for $500. Casiano was arrested while attempting to drive away with the package. One kilogram of cocaine was seized from his car. Read the rest of this entry »


Private Group Re-establishes Contact with Decades-Old NASA ISEE-3 Comet Probe

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The 35-year old spacecraft will be sent on a new comet flyby mission (Image: NASA)

For Gizmag writes: A 35-year old space probe has come back to life after a 16-year slumber thanks to the world’s largest single-aperture radio telescope. Using the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico, the ISEE-3 Reboot Project has re-established contact with the mothballed ISEE-3 space probe. The private organization took control of the unmanned ex-NASA spacecraft and is commanding it to execute functions as part of an assessment of its health before returning it to exploration service.

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Despite being launched by NASA on August 12, 1978 atop a Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the effort to recontact the ISEE-3 is not a NASA project. Instead, control of the space probe, which formally belongs to the Smithsonian, was given to the private ISEE-3 Reboot Project. Read the rest of this entry »


The Tyranny of the Organic Mommy Mafia

JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images

JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images

She had just come back from the park where two mothers were discussing a recent vacation to a resort in Puerto Rico. One told the other that there, for the first time, her toddler was given Jif peanut butter. He loved it. Prior to that he had only had Whole Foods peanut butter, which (one might guess) pales in comparison for a 3-year-old palate.

When the boy came home and asked for more Jif, his mother told him it wasn’t available — that it was “Puerto Rican peanut butter.”

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Wrapped up in that phrase is all of the arrogance and class snobbery of the organic-food mafia. If these moms haven’t come to your neighborhood yet, just wait.

Another mom, a class parent at a preschool in Westchester, told me she was being harassed by one of the other mothers to issue a new rule: Only organic snacks would be allowed in the classroom.

A mom in Washington tells me that she was unable to participate in a number of nanny-share agreements she looked into because the other parents were so crazy about not having their children come into contact with anything non-organic. One mother she met was convinced her child’s ADD became worse when he was exposed to non-organic food. A stray Goldfish or Cheerio might set him off.

But sometimes these parents are not even worried about their own child’s well-being.

organicfoodThey’re worried about yours. The organic foodies are not satisfied with controlling their own family’s dietary habits, they want to “evangelize,” says Julie Gunlock, author of “From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.

The pressure on parents to use only organic food is, she says, an “outgrowth of helicopter parenting. People need to be in control of everything when it comes to their kids — even the way food is grown and treated.”

Order From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back” by Julie Gunlock from Amazon.

“Moms feel guilty,” Gunlock adds. They can allow themselves to think that even if they’re not perfect at something else, at least they feed their kids the best food out there.

The organic-food industry is thrilled by this attitude. But let’s be clear. Organic food does not necessarily mean better. It’s a term that’s been co-opted and manipulated into a billion-dollar industry by some of the biggest food companies in America. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] Family Props Up, Poses with DEAD BOXER in Boxing Ring at Wake

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In a scene reminiscent of Weekend at Bernie’s, the family of a dead Puerto Rican boxer propped up his embalmed body at his wake in a fake boxing ring on Friday and posed for photographs with the corpse.

The family was honoring the wishes of slain boxer Christopher Rivera, who was shot to death on January 26, according to police.

Read the rest of this entry »