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The Route 29 Batman, whose roadside encounter with Montgomery County police three years ago made him a viral sensation around the world, has died.Prior posts on Mr. Robinson are here and here.
Lenny B. Robinson, the 51-year-old Maryland man who drove a custom-made Batmobile and dressed as the Caped Crusader to visit sick children in hospitals, was struck by a car on Interstate 70 on Sunday night near Hagerstown, Md., after the Batmobile broke down. He was coming home from a car show in West Virginia.
In the years since leaving the Air Force, I have been appalled and horrified at the casual attitude of many high government officials in their handling of classified information, and also at the lack of serious consequences for major breaches of security.
Northwest true crime author Ann Rule has died.
Rule, 83, had been in declining health in recent years. She appears to have died Sunday night at a Seattle-area hospital.
Andrea Vitalich, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in King County, Washington noted her passing.
Ann Rule was an asset to true-crime writing: she did not sugar-coat the horrible things her subjects did to other human beings, she did not glamorize her subjects, she was a meticulous researcher, and she always paid respectful tribute to the victims. She was well-liked and well-respected by everyone in law enforcement who knew her. She was also a very nice person.
Once upon a time, reinvention was an integral part of the myth of the American Dream. As the story went, one could leave the old country or old neighborhood, without looking back -- fashioning one's own second chance by stepping into a newer, better identity, crafting a redesigned life story out of whole cloth if necessary. As one legal historian noted, "American culture and law put enormous emphasis on second chances." For most of the 20th Century, this notion of the second chance was also alive and well in the American criminal justice system, as rehabilitation was considered its primary goal. My earlier article, "A Good Name: Applying Regulatory Takings Analysis to Reputational Damage Caused by Criminal History," couched the need for rebiography upon reentry in terms of the ongoing reputational damage suffered by the previously convicted. Then, regulatory takings analysis was applied to that reputational damage. In doing so, it analyzed the critical property-like characteristics of reputation, concluding that reputation is a form of "status property" and that such continued stigma attachment and reputational damage constitutes a "taking" without just compensation. Finally, it was argued that rebiography can serve as "just compensation" for this type of taking.
The Internal Revenue Service said identity thieves used its online services to obtain prior-year tax return information for about 100,000 U.S. households, a major setback for the agency that is charged with safeguarding taxpayers' privacy.
The IRS said criminals used stolen Social Security numbers and other specific data acquired from elsewhere to gain unauthorized access to the tax agency accounts. About 100,000 more attempts were unsuccessful, the agency said.
Big for his age at 14, Jack Lucas begged his mother to help him enlist after Pearl Harbor. She collaborated in lying about his age in return for his promise to someday finish school. After training at Parris Island, he was sent to Honolulu. When his unit boarded a troop ship for Iwo Jima, Mr. Lucas was ordered to remain behind for guard duty. He stowed away to be with his friends and, discovered two days out at sea, convinced his commanding officer to put him in a combat unit rather than the brig. He had just turned 17 when he hit the beach, and a day later he was fighting in a Japanese trench when he saw two grenades land near his comrades.
He threw himself onto the grenades and absorbed the explosion. Later a medic, assuming he was dead, was about to take his dog tag when he saw Mr. Lucas's finger twitch. After months of treatment and recovery, he returned to school as he'd promised his mother, a ninth-grader wearing a Medal of Honor around his neck.
Just as important is passing on our traditions and values to succeeding generations. In this photo, Scouts place flags on graves at the Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Click on the photo for a larger view.