Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
A Scripps Howard News Service investigation informs you that you taxpayers are giving thousands of men (and perhaps a couple of women, maybe) hundreds of dollars a month in VA disability benefits for venereal diseases they contracted on their own time while on active duty, and, considering that returning Iraqi war wounded often have to battle the bureaucracy for months to get covered for real disabilities, this might be a caca-fan-hitting. [Ed.: This program stems from the 1970s, at the height of the influence of nonjudgmentalism on public policy.] [Ed.: Yr Editor is here violating his sacred 3-day freshness rule on this story, which was published last Wednesday but which Yr Editor missed on Friday.]

REMINDER: NOTW Daily is posted Mon through Sat by noon, NY time—except this month, when it’s Mon-Wed-Fri only, and Friday by 4 p.m.

Civilization in Decline
When U.S. soldiers and Marines get blown apart by IED’s, there’s world-class battlefield medical care, but when Iraqi soldiers get similarly blown apart, not so much . . . . . If you’re a big-shot Russian who’s the least bit not on Putin’s side, you better have lots of money for security, as Peter Aven appears to have, which is how he can build, in England, a $50M fortress for his family that probably puts Windsor Castle to shame.

The Human Condition Today
Doctors gave him 12 months to live, so he lived it up for 12 months, and now, oops, bad diagnosis, so he has to sue because he’s got years and years ahead of him, and no house, clothes, or money . . . . . A wearisome Guinness Book record try (85 hrs on a stationary bike) was for naught because the guy’s helpers couldn’t add and subtract too well, nor read a clock . . . . . Management at the landmark Robbs department store in Hexham, England, announced the store’s closing (and layoffs of 140 people) by pulling a fake fire alarm and then announcing the closing in the parking lot . . . . . The lawyer representing the so-called "D.C. Madam" is apparently a piece of work, himself, e.g., "[I] will litigate [against my estranged wife] until I am disbarred and bankrupt, if necessary," to describe the sixty lawsuits he had filed at that point . . . . . France has some powerfully courageous anarchists, like the ones in Lyon who protested Sarkozy’s election by dropping trou and bending over, pointing their butts at riot police who had already been firing non-lethal weapons.

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Washington state’s first bestiality trial started last week, following the new law spurred by a guy’s notorious 2005 death at the hands of a horse (well, not exactly at the hands) [NOTW 916, 8-28-2005], with the defendant here being Michael Patrick McPhail, who was caught in the act (by the wife) with the family pit bull terrier [NOTW 961, 11-26-2006]. Also, Slate.com has a review of Zoo, the just-out documentary on the fraternal group that populated that Enumclaw, Wash., farm, which was sort of like the "Cheers" bar of the local horse-man sex scene. "These [my fellow sodomites] were people I could trust," said one, in the film. "I did summertime barbecues, Thanksgiving, I did Christmas dinners. One year we did a turkey and a ham." [Ed.: OK, ladies and gentlemen, don’t embarrass me. Yr Editor put that quote in to demonstrate the mundanity of the horse-sex club, not so you fraternity-boy types could make jokes about "barbecue" and "did" a turkey.]

NOTW Lite
The photographer Spencer Tunick, who shoots groups of naked people, did up 18,000 in a downtown Mexico City park Sunday, and, as usual, his work means something or other, e.g., as one of the subjects said, "The important thing is not that it’s your body or someone else’s but that you participate in something as a society. This reflects the need for change and integration in world trends."

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
The Transportation "Security" Agency (part of the Dept. of Homeland "Security") announced it had misplaced a portable hard drive that contained SSN’s and other data on the 100,000 people who worked at the agency between 2002 and 2005 . . . . . And WGME-TV’s crack investigative team, looking through a Dumpster in the parking lot of Maine’s Lottery Commission, found a cache of discarded records with SSN’s and other data . . . . . The problem with the VA’s handing out bonuses to top executives, while service deteriorates for Iraqi returnees in clinics and hospitals, mentioned last week by Yr Editor based on complaints about North Carolina facilities [NOTW Daily, 5-1-2007], is actually a national problem, and U.S. Rep. John Hall of NY has introduced legislation to suspend the bonuses until the service improves.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
San Francisco artist Clark Sorensen has created a series of, er, flower-shaped urinals that are not only beautiful but are for sale ($6k-$10k), all "made of high fire porcelain and fired to cone 10 in an oxidation atmosphere." [Yr Editor hasn’t the slightest idea what that means, but it sounds really, really authentic.] You’ve got your Red Hibiscus, and your Yellow Orchid, and your Jack-in-the-Pulpit and . . .

NOTW, The Blog
United Press Int’l reported on May 4 that Citibank Korea Inc. had lost a court judgment to some of its female employees because it had failed to pay them "menstruation leave." That seems like a newsworthy story for this era, for someone besides the increasingly obscure UPI (which in the old days was a powerhouse), but so far only a couple of minor websites that habitually use UPI stories have run it.
Newsrangers: Jamie Anderson, Gary Goldberg.
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.