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  1. Article sheds light on the basic premise that if you got money and friends in govt, your criminal actions will never go punished.... :cry: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/dec2008/pers-d24.shtml Fallout from the Madoff scandal continues to batter investors, banks and private charities in the US, Europe and Japan. The massive fraud carried out by a prominent Wall Street insider, Bernard Madoff, the former head of the Nasdaq stock exchange, has exposed clients to as much as $50 billion in losses. Recent press reports make clear that the Madoff affair is not an aberration. It is indicative of pervasive fraud and criminality in the highest echelons of the financial establishment, aided and abetted by government regulatory agencies. On Monday, Truthout, an independent internet news service, published an interview with former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigative attorney Gary Aguirre. The SEC is the federal regulatory agency tasked with enforcing securities law and regulating stock exchanges and the securities industry. As an attorney for the SEC, Aguirre launched an investigation several years ago into insider trading by the hedge fund Pequot Capital Management. Aguirre sought to subpoena one of Wall Street's most formidable figures, John Mack, then CEO of Credit Suisse and now the head of Morgan Stanley. But Aguirre "was told that Mack had 'juice' (meaning he had access to senior-level SEC officers) and that he had heavy political connections to the Bush White House," according to San Diego Magazine. "In the middle of June 2005, his superiors told him to take a week's vacation. ... Before the week was up, he was unceremoniously fired, and the investigation was scuttled." According to the Truthout account, the internal SEC watchdog found that Aguirre's supervisors acted improperly in firing Aguirre and shutting down the investigation, and recommended punishment against four SEC officials. But SEC Chairman Christopher Cox "refused to hold them accountable." Aguirre told Truthout that the SEC "has been reluctant to apply the securities laws to the big players, to Wall Street's elite." Instead, it is "focused on the small players." Commenting on the revolving door between government regulatory agencies and Wall Street, he noted that then-SEC Associate Director Paul Berger, who fired him and derailed the investigation he was conducting, subsequently took a job with the well-connected New York corporate law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. The sums of personal wealth generated through such financial skullduggery, under the protective arm of the government, are staggering. An Associated Press report published Sunday reveals that financial institutions which have to date received a total of $188 billion in taxpayer money through the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) paid their CEOs nearly $1.6 billion last year, or $2.6 million on average. In addition to TARP funds, the banks have been handed trillions in direct loans through the Federal Reserve. Among the executives remunerated in the millions, even as many of their companies began to report losses from the subprime mortgage collapse, were: * John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch, who was awarded $83 million. His firm, now merged into Bank of America, received $10 billion in TARP money. * Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, who took home $54 million. Goldman Sachs spread around $242 million to its top five executives. It has received $10 billion in TARP funds. * Richard D. Fairbank, the head of Capital One Financial Corp., who was paid $17 million. Capital One was given $3.56 billion in TARP money. * Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robert P. Kelly, who was paid $8.6 million. His firm received $3 billion from TARP. Another Associated Press article, published Monday, documents the refusal of the banks to reveal what they have done with the billions in taxpayer funds they have received. The AP put questionnaires to 21 banks that each received more than $1 billion in the government bailout, posing four questions: "How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what's the plan for the rest?" According to the AP, not a single bank provided specific answers. A representative of JPMorgan Chase, which has received $25 billion in TARP funds, said merely, "We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to." Comerica, which got $2.25 billion in TARP funds, said flatly "We're not sharing any other details." A Bank of New York Mellon spokesman said, "We're choosing not to disclose that," adding, "I just would prefer if you wouldn't say that we're not going to discuss those details." The arrogance and contemptuousness of the banks recalls nothing so much as the First Estate of pre-revolutionary France's Ancien Regime. It reflects the attitude of a financial aristocracy that operates with complete impunity and has no intention of giving up any of its spoils. These are people who have enriched themselves through the most reckless forms of speculation and outright swindling, in the process running their own companies and the entire US and world economy into the ground. Now, literally hundreds of millions of people in America and beyond are paying for the avarice and incompetence of the US financial elite in the loss of their jobs and in wage cuts, foreclosures and the gutting of pensions and savings. These events shed light on the reality of class relations in the US. They provide insight into the immense power exercised by a semi-criminal financial elite over the government. Indeed, they reveal the government and all of the official political institutions--the White House, Congress, the judiciary, both political parties--to be the facilitators of Wall Street's plundering of society. It should be recalled that the Democrats, including Barack Obama, led the charge in September and early October to pass the bill enabling the Bush administration to transfer hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds to the banks without any restrictions or requirements on how the money was to be used. Since the passage of TARP, which was pushed as an emergency measure to head off a recession, more than a million jobs in the US have been wiped out, while the banks have refused to use their taxpayer windfalls to ease the credit freeze and provide new loans. But when it comes to the jobs and living standards of auto workers, both political parties unite to demand "transparency" and "accountability" for, by comparison, a pittance in loans to the auto companies, using these buzz words as a cover for the impoverishment of the auto workers and the launching of a nationwide assault on the working class. The removal of all restrictions on the banks and the transformation of government regulators into direct and open accomplices of financial fraud is the outcome of decades of deregulation, carried out by Democratic as well as Republican administrations. It is one of the forms taken by the decay and putrescence of American capitalism, which has responded to an objective and historic crisis of profitability in basic production by dismantling vast sections of US industry and generating unprecedented levels of personal wealth for the ruling elite through previously unknown levels of financial parasitism. In a fundamental sense, the entire economy has become a gigantic Ponzi scheme. Now the vast edifice of paper values is collapsing, posing either a revolutionary transformation of economic life on socialist foundations, or the ruination of the working class and broad sections of the middle class. The ill-gotten gains of the financial aristocracy must be confiscated and used to provide for the needs of the people. No rational and humane solution to the deepening economic crisis is possible without the working class politically settling accounts with the present-day "Ancien Regime" of Wall Street swindlers and their political accomplices
  2. When there is evidence of physical abuse to kids----aren't doctors supposed to call social services? Maybe they should have a number to call to report thuggish cops.... :coollook: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081224/hl_nm/us_police_er NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In a survey of a random sample of U.S. emergency physicians, virtually all said they believed that law enforcement officers use excessive force to arrest and detain suspects. The sample included 315 respondents. While 99.8 percent believed excessive force is used, almost as many (97.8 percent) reported that they had managed cases that they suspected or that the patient stated had involved excessive use of force by law enforcement officers. Nearly two thirds (65.3 percent) estimated that they had treated two or more cases of suspected excessive use of force per year among their patients, according to a report of the survey published in the January 2009 issue of the Emergency Medicine Journal. Dr. Jared Strote of the University of Washington, Seattle, and a multicenter team also found that emergency physicians at public teaching hospitals were roughly four times more likely to report managing cases of suspected use of excessive force than those at university or community teaching emergency departments. Blunt trauma inflicted by fists or feet was the most common type of injury cited in cases of suspected use of excessive force, followed by "overly tight" handcuffs. Most emergency physicians (71.2 percent) admitted that they did not report cases of suspected use of excessive force by law enforcement officers. A large majority (96.5 percent) reported that they had no departmental policies on reporting their suspicions or they did not know of a policy to guide their actions, and 93.7 percent said they had received no education or training in dealing with these situations. However, most emergency physicians (69.5 percent) felt that it was within their scope of practice to refer cases of suspected use of excessive force for investigation and almost half (47.9 percent) felt that emergency physicians should be legally required to report cases of suspected use of excessive force by law enforcement officers. These findings, Strote and colleagues conclude, "suggest that national emergency medicine organizations in the USA should become involved, jointly developing and advocating for guidelines to manage this complex issue."
  3. This response pretty much summarizes the reality world Bush and his followers live in. http://www.itvnews.tv/World/World/bush-on-al-qaeda-not-existing-in-iraq-before-invasion-so-what.html BUSH: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take- RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded. BUSH: Yeah, that's right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they're going to take a stand. Well, first of all in the post-9/11 environment Saddam Hussein posed a threat. And then upon removal, al Qaeda decides to take a stand.
  4. perseus29

    Shoes Thrown at President Bush in Iraq

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7783608.stm for the full story, click on the link Thousands of Iraqis have demanded the release of a local TV reporter who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush at a Baghdad news conference. Crowds gathered in Baghdad's Sadr City district, calling for "hero" Muntadar al-Zaidi to be freed from custody. Officials at the Iraqi-owned TV station, al-Baghdadiya, called for the release of their journalist, saying he was exercising freedom of expression. Iraqi officials have described the incident as shameful. A statement released by the government said Mr Zaidi's actions, which also included him shouting insults at President Bush, "harmed the reputation of Iraqi journalists and Iraqi journalism in general". Correspondents say the protesters are supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr - a leading critic of the US presence in Iraq. Smaller protests were reported in Basra and Najaf.
  5. perseus29

    Shoes Thrown at President Bush in Iraq

    How much we have done for them? :icon_roll Let's hear it from the iraqis: From the man who brought down the saddam statue: "I really regret bringing down the statue. The Americans are worse than the dictatorship. Every day is worse than the previous day." http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/mar/19/iraq.topstories3 Many Iraqis think conditions have gotten so bad in their country, they'd like to see Saddam Hussein back in power, according to some of the seven young Iraqi men who had a candid discussion with The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/05/24/earlyshow/main1649689.shtml All are college-educated and speak English. "When the Americans started this whole war issue," said one, who will be referred to as person No. 1, "we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we walked toward it. But when the war happened, that light was the American train coming the other way that ran us over." He told of a recent day when he "saw a body on the sidewalk, and it was covered with cardboard, and people were still in their shops, saying hello to each other and inviting each other for tea, and I asked about him, and they said, 'He got killed this morning.' 'Oh, OK, yeah, see ya later.' " "They are killing people for what they say, just like Saddam," said a young man who will be referred to as person No. 2. "They kill people because the people say, 'I don't like (this one or that one).' You get killed for that. "They're using horrible ways to kill people. They're not just shooting them in the head. They suffocate them, strangle them, burn them. Horrible things, things we heard about only during Saddam's days are coming back now. It's an effort to terrorize people, not just to eliminate your enemy, but to force everyone to shut up 1 | 2 and stay home.
  6. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5332897.ece Pressure grew on two of Barack Obama's closest political aides yesterday as new details emerged of the "pay-for-play" allegations against the Governor of his home state. Rahm Emanuel, the President-elect's new Chief of Staff, and Jesse Jackson Jr, the co-chairman of his presidential campaign, both faced new revelations about their possible involvement in the scandal. Fox News Chicago reported that Mr Emanuel, a Chicago politician who won the Illinois Governor's former congressional seat, may have been captured on FBI wire-taps discussing the fate of Mr Obama's vacated US Senate seat with Rod Blagojevich. The TV station said Mr Emanuel had "multiple conversations" with the Governor, who is accused of trying to "sell" the open Senate seat for a Cabinet post or lucrative top foundation job. The report said the Governor was given a list of Senate candidates acceptable to Mr Obama. Because the FBI was secretly taping Mr Blagojevich in recent weeks, Mr Emanuel's conversations may have been recorded, Fox News Chicago said. Any recordings of the newly appointed White House Chief of Staff speaking to Mr Blagojevich about Mr Obama's former Senate seat would prove an acute embarrassment to the incoming Obama Administration, even if no illegal deals were discussed, and could even force Mr Emanuel's resignation. Mr Obama has promised to release details of any contacts between his staff and the Governor's office but told a news conference on Thursday that he was "absolutely certain" that none of his aides was involved in any deal-making. Mr Emanuel skipped Mr Obama's press conference, which he typically attends. Cornered by a Chicago Sun-Times reporter at a concert at his children's school, he refused to comment. "I'm not going to say a word to you," Mr Emanuel said. "I'm going to do this with my children. Don't do that. I'm a father. I have two kids. I'm not going to do it." He was asked: "Can't you do both?" Mr Emanuel replied: "I'm not as capable as you. I'm going to be a father. I'm allowed to be a father." Mr Emanuel told an ABC News cameraman, whom he invited into his house to use the toilet yesterday, that he was receiving "regular death threats" because his home address had been put on TV. Jesse Jackson Jr, the Congressman son of the famed civil rights leader, also faced new questions yesterday about his quest for Mr Obama's vacated Senate seat. A group of ethnic Indian businessmen with ties to Mr Jackson and Mr Blagojevich reportedly held a lunch on October 31 and discussed raising $1 million for the Governor's campaign to encourage him to pick Mr Jackson as Senator, the Chicago Tribune said. Raghuveer Nayak, a major Blagojevich donor who also has ties to the Jackson family, then co-sponsored a fund-raiser for the Governor on Saturday attended by Mr Blagojevich and Jesse Jackson Jr's brother Jonathan, the newspaper said. Mr Nayak, a leader of Chicago's Asian community, owns a string of surgery clinics and was once involved in a land deal with Jonathan Jackson. Mr Jackson Jr met Mr Blagojevich at 4pm on Monday to discuss his interest in the Senate seat. Mr Blagojevich was arrested at his home at 6am on Tuesday by prosecutors who said they were trying to thwart a "political crime spree". Jesse Jackson Jr is due to meet prosecutors next week, but has been told he is not a target of the investigation. He insisted yesterday that no one had offered the Governor money for the Senate seat on his behalf. "People know me. They know who I am. I'm confident that no one on my behalf made a single offer to anybody for anything. I would not accept the position if it were offered under those circumstances," he said. Mr Blagojevich, meanwhile, went to work again yesterday without making any public comment despite the growing clamour for his resignation. Lisa Madigan, the Illinois Attorney-General, filed a motion with the state's highest court asking the judges to declare the scandal-plagued Governor unfit to hold office. John Harris, Mr Blagojevich's Chief of Staff, who was charged along with the Governor, last night stepped down from his job, adding to the pressure on his boss.
  7. perseus29

    I got robbed tonight

    REally sorry to hear the robbery happened to you; given the way the economy is going, robberies might become a popular thing in these troubled times. Way back in my freshman year of college I took this dorm safety class by the university police dept. Back then I had a wallet that had all my life in it---social security card, driver's license, id card, credit card, atm card, insurance card, etc. The policeman giving the presentation made a point to say that you don't need your social with you when you go out, unless you're going out to show your social as proof of for employment; neither do you need to have your car insurance card on you when going out; the same with an ATM card, etc. So after that presentation, i emptied out my wallet, and all that i carry is one credit card, driver's license and cash. I leave my social at home, and my car insurance card in the car, and only carry the atm card when i go to the bank to withdraw money. I carry the cash because as the police pointed out, if you get robbed, at least you can offer the cash to the thieve and hopefully still keep your life. Ironically, i lost my wallet 2 times, and i didn't have to worry about much when i couldn't find it.
  8. http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-thu-notebook-1211-dec11,0,4869269.story A top academic medical center in Cleveland is leading the way in disclosing on the Web its physicians' ties to the drug and medical-device industries. Last week, the Cleveland Clinic made what is believed to be the boldest move by a U.S. teaching hospital by agreeing to disclose its physicians' and researchers' financial relationships on its Web site. The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and its affiliated health system quickly followed suit and said it would make a similar move. Cleveland's prestigious health facility will include the name of each doctor and scientist and lists of companies "with which they have collaborations, further identifying whether they have equity, the right to royalties, a fiduciary position or a consulting relationship that pays $5,000 or more per year," according to its Web site, clevelandclinic.org The moves come as pressure grows for doctors and hospitals to be more transparent about potential conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries. Gifts and other payments to doctors are under fire because critics say it can lead to medical-care providers' choosing an expensive drug or device over something cheaper that may work just as well. In addition to potentially contributing to higher health-care costs, industry gift-giving can compromise a doctor's judgment and lead to poor patient care, critics say. Academic medical centers in particular are under fire to be more transparent because they conduct medical research, train tomorrow's physicians and often are viewed as opinion leaders to whom doctors at community hospitals and elsewhere look for guidance.
  9. perseus29

    Ill. governor arrested on corruption charges

    now, hold on a second...don't have all th e facts on this dude, but, isn't he the one that said not to do business with bank of america? Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced Monday that he is asking all Illinois government agencies to suspend business with Bank of America. Blagojevich contended that Bank Of America received a multi-billion dollar bailout from the government and should accordingly restore credit to the Republic Windows & Doors company in Chicago http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/08/illinois-governer-suspend_n_149272.html so basically----go agaisnt your daddy the bankers, and get arrested for corruption? no surprise there!
  10. People would be naive to think that in 21st century this is just one big accident. http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1607707/could_males_really_become_the_weaker_sex/index.html Scientific research from around the world suggests that the male gender is in danger, with incalculable consequences for both humans and wildlife. The research shows that a host of common chemicals is feminizing males of every class of vertebrate animals, from fish to mammals, including people. On Wednesday, Britain will lead opposition to proposed new European controls on pesticides, many of which have been found to have "gender-bending" effects. Recent U.S. research has also shown that baby boys born to women exposed to widespread chemicals in pregnancy are born with smaller penises and feminized genitals. The basic male tool kit is under threat, according to the report's author, Gwynne Lyons, a former government adviser on the health effects of chemicals. The European Commission said that wildlife and people have been exposed to more than 100,000 new chemicals in recent years and 99 per cent of them are not adequately regulated. There is not even proper safety information on 85 percent of them. The majority of these chemicals have been identified as "endocrine disrupters" - or gender-benders - because they interfere with hormones. These include phthalates, used in food wrapping, cosmetics and baby powders among other applications; flame retardants in furniture and electrical goods; PCBs, a now banned group of substances still widespread in food and the environment; and many pesticides. The report is based on more than 250 scientific studies from around the world and concentrates mainly on wildlife.
  11. perseus29

    Obama and Gun Sales

    Right...coming from the man that first opposed the fisa bill and then voted for it. Obama comes out against a proposed FISA bill granting retroactive immunity, October 18, 2007: Obama: "It is time to restore oversight and accountability in the FISA program, and this proposal -- with an unprecedented grant of retroactive immunity -- is not the place to start." Obama issues a statement endorsing the bill, saying that security needs are more important this objections, June 20, 2008: "It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives -- and the liberty -- of the American people." Yep, I'll take the man for his word, so best to get some guns....
  12. perseus29

    Proposed fee on Smelly Farm Animals...

    Actually, that's the final plan....tax us to death, while avoiding real environmental issues, like companies dumping chemicals in rivers, water aquifers being polluted with drugs, amazon forests being cut down to get to the oil parts, etc....We the peons always have to pay for the damage the big boys do, and they know we are too dumb to complain. so they tax us to fund their fancy lifestyles! :smokin:
  13. After i read the story, i found the comment below highly amusing and thought provoking: Well, if I were a terrorist carrying a dirty bomb, I'd now make sure I had some forged hospital documents just in case I got pulled over by a cop. :coollook: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/12/05/detecting_nuclear_mischief_trooper_finds_a_pet_peeve/ On his way home last month after receiving a PET scan at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Michael Rosenthal noticed a State Police sport utility vehicle driving next to him and the trooper inside staring at him strangely. The trooper then sped in front of Rosenthal, slowed down, and pulled behind him. "I was in the granny lane, driving on cruise control, taking my time, when all of a sudden I looked over and I saw this trooper with a puzzled look," said Rosenthal, a former New York City police officer who lives in East Wakefield, N.H. "When he put on his blue lights and pulled me over, I knew it wasn't a normal traffic stop." The trooper, Bill Burke, walked over to Rosenthal, but the State Police veteran didn't ask for his license or registration. Instead, he had an all-too-knowing, Big Brotherlike question. "Were you in contact with any radioactivity today?" he asked. Rosenthal began to wonder whether his veins were glowing from the chemicals injected for the scan. "I thought it was an odd question, like I was on 'Candid Camera,' " Rosenthal said. He asked Burke why he was asking the question, and the trooper explained that he carries a radioactivity sensor and that something in Rosenthal's car set off the alarm. "It's very rare that you get them going off for a vehicle going by," said Sergeant John Begin of State Police Troop G, which monitors radioactive waste in commercial vehicles passing through New Hampshire. "I can only think of three or four cases." Rosenthal registered a six on the sensor's scale, which goes from one to nine, with nine the highest amount of radioactivity. Begin said that about 30 New Hampshire troopers carry the sensors, which are the size of a bulky cellphone and can detect radioactivity as far away as 100 feet. New Hampshire bought the radiation-detecting equipment, called Mini rad-Ds and made by D-tect Systems, with a grant from the US Department of Homeland Security before the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston as part of efforts to prevent attacks on the city. On the side of the turnpike that Nov. 21, Rosenthal explained to Burke that he had just come from having a positron emission tomography scan, which requires an injection of short-lived radioactive isotopes to identify any unhealthy cellular activity. The isotopes can remain in the body for as long as 18 hours, and patients are advised to keep their distance from others for that period. "I told him I was surprised his equipment could detect the radioactivity in my body," Rosenthal said. But Burke didn't take Rosenthal's word for it. He asked him to prove it. "I was very lucky that I had the documents with me from the hospital," he said. "After that, he was satisfied and sent me on my way."
  14. unbelievable! http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article5276983.ece A doctor volunteering in war-torn Congo performed a complex amputation to save a boy's life by following instructions sent by text message from a colleague in London. David Nott, 52, a vascular surgeon, was working for a Medicins Sans Frontieres hospital in the eastern town of Rutshuru, an area ravaged by bloody battles between Congolese and rebel troops. Among the hundreds of wounded soldiers and civilians brought into the hospital in October was a 16-year-old boy who had been caught in the midst of a gun fight between advancing combatants in a forest in the Nyanzale region. The boy said that he had felt a heavy blast beside him, and woken up later with his brother screaming beside him and his arm "totally destroyed". He had walked out of the forest towards soldiers, who could not help him. Local people found him and escorted him to a nearby MSF clinic, from where had been taken by ambulance to Rutshuru. A doctor had performed an amputation, but the stump had become gangrenous. When Dr Nott saw him, what remained of his upper arm was severely infected. "He had about two or three days to live when I saw him," he said. He knew the boy's only hope of survival lay in a forequarter amputation, a huge operation which involves removing the collar bone and shoulder blade. It usually requires much careful planning and a well-equipped operating theatre. "In the best hands (it) carries huge risks," he said. "I had never done this operation before but I knew a colleague in London who had so I texted him. He sent me two very long text messages back explaining how to do the operation step by step." Dr Nott was unsure that he should operate. "I had to think long and hard about whether it was right ot leave a young boy with only one arm in the middle of this fighting," he said. "In the end he would have died without it so I took a deep breath and followed the instructions to the letter." He felt able to understand precisely what his colleague meant in each text message, having operated with him many times before on a more immediate basis. He was equipped with a pint of blood and an elementary operating theatre. The boy has now made a full recovery. "It was just luck that I was there and could do it," said Dr Nott, who works at Charing Cross Hospital and volunteers for MSF for a month every year. "I don't think that someone that wasn't a vascular surgeon would have been able to deal with the large blood vessels involved. That is why I volunteer myself so often, I love being able to save someone's life."
  15. http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/InsureYourCar/crash-taxes-add-hefty-fees-for-aid.aspx Imagine you're cruising down the road when you hit a patch of black ice and slide into a guardrail. A passing motorist calls 911. Soon firetrucks and police arrive. Weeks later, a $1,400 bill does, too -- for the cost of the police and firefighters who answered the call. What's worse, it's not covered by insurance, and it might scar your credit if you ignore it. Sound implausible? It's happening in a number of towns, cities and counties in at least 24 states. And given today's cratering economy (and property-tax revenue), more strapped local governments may be tempted to authorize so-called accident response fees. Private vendors that promote such programs show up at city council meetings and police and fire chief conventions with model ordinances and fee schedules in hand. The vendors typically take a 10% cut of what's recovered.