Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday’s 5-Star Special
Child-sex hysteria is back: In McMinnville, Ore., the prosecutor is falling all over himself to prove his sensitivity to how devastating "sexual assault" can be to girls, "life-altering," in fact, and therefore must be severely punished—and that’s why he’s filed 10-yr-max, sex-offender-for-life-labeling charges against two boys who were goofing on the latest trendy horseplay at Patton Middle School: "butt-slap" (apparently engaged in by both genders). (And if the boys’ aim had been bad, and the slaps had landed 10-12 inches north, in the back, they’d be looking at a max of, what, a day’s detention?) Despite numerous howls from the community, and from counselors who deal with real sex abuse, the prosecutor, and the parents of the two fragile "victims," are not backing down, and the boys’ parents’ legal fees mount.

Civilization in Decline
Killing ourselves with "fairness": A Maryland judge has dismissed, with no re-files allowed, a child-rape case against a Liberian immigrant just because, supposedly, he speaks a rare tribal language for which no translators were available (and thus, a "fair" trial is impossible, and we can’t wait forever for a translator to be found). However: (1) The perp attended high school and community college here; (2) he spoke English well enough to the cops when he was telling them he was innocent; (3) the Washington Post reporter did a better job than the court clerk in finding translators who could have worked the case; (4) the court actually found three translators, but each had a way out (including one who was set to work but freaked out when she studied the charges); (5) the court had a 4th translator in the wings, but the judge said it was too late.

The Human Condition Today
The F-State version of identity theft: It was by a woman’s former female roommate, who turned out to be an adam’s-apple-less man, who started to fix herself up just like the victim, and who was a prostitute, and called up the victim’s boss and said he was she and would the boss please bail her (him) out . . . . . Police in Bolton, England, say a genuine 12-yr-old thug, Oliver Clinch, is guilty of at least 60 crimes and probably double that, and Oliver says if any neighbors have a problem with him, they’re going down . . . . . A Darwin near-miss: Brianna Sanchez, 19, will survive (presumably, to breed) after she set herself on fire by "playing" with a cigarette lighter while pumping gasoline . . . . . But a Darwin success: A 16-yr-old Pennsylvania kid touring abandoned Mexican mines will not be breeding, as he tried to jump across a 10-ft open shaft and missed [Ed.: or maybe he’s not dead at all and just wanted to start his life all over, because he supposedly fell into a deep well of arsenic and water, and his body, if there was one, may never be recovered] . . . . . Chicagoland woman Amy Mueller tried to climb onto the bar to dance at Samy’s place but fell and broke her ankle, which, of course, is all Samy’s fault . . . . . A French painter was so overcome at a dominantly-white painting on display at a gallery that she kissed it ("The artist left this white [space] for me") and was arrested for defacing it with her lipstick . . . . . A Las Vegas mother forced a hospital to give her back the placenta from her daughter’s birth, but she now thinks she can survive post-partum depression without having to actually eat it.

Your Daily Loser
A campus postal carrier at Eastern Illinois Univ. freaked out when he saw the oversized, tattered, stained envelope with the poorly-written address (to the admissions office), the misspellings, and no return address, and the bomb squad was called, but it turned out to be just an ordinary college application by a kid whose chances of success in life, Yr Editor guesses, are small.

NOTW Lite
Too Many Punchlines to Deal With: (Well, not as many as from the Bush colonoscopy) (1) An F-Stater thought the problem in the neighborhood was those Iraqis running through the yards, and so he fired off 10 to 12 rounds at them, and of course there were no Iraqis (and probably no non-Iraqis, either) and (2) French neurologists discovered that a gov’t bureaucrat operates with a brain that’s a record-low 50-75% the size of a normal person’s and that he appears to function fine . . . . . Sounds like a joke: The school district in Houston, Tex., has refused to release the Belleaire High School baseball team’s batting averages, claiming that would violate federal privacy law. (Seriously)

Good Enough for Gov’t Work
The City of Phoenix, Ariz., apparently didn’t get the memo about screening baggage and packages during non-passenger hours at Sky Harbor Airport (midnight to 4:30 a.m., which is when federal screeners take over and start screening again) . . . . . A GAO report says the Dept. of Agriculture uses the honor system to weed out dead farmers from its subsidy program, and surviving kin are only so happy to continue to swear that the recently-expired "farmer" is "actively engaged" in the business . . . . . But, hey, USDA are amateurs compared to the Omaha (Neb.) Public Schools Retirement System, which recently discovered that it had been paying Winifred Brinker a pension for 27 yrs now, which is 20 yrs after her death, and they don't really know yet where the money went . . . . . The NY Post says the special $1B FEMA insurance fund that pays claims against New York City stemming from 9-11 has so far paid out, er, $45K (to a carpenter who fell off of a ladder) but has incurred lawyers’ expenses of $47M.

Updates
Oops! Just as yesterday’s NOTW column debuted, with that story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on expensive playsets that parents seem to think their kids can’t live without, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a much, much, much better piece . . . . . The Washington Post yesterday had a long piece on that AA chapter in the Washington, D.C., area—the one Yr Editor mentioned a while back as apparently having a one-step program for young women, with that step being to have sex with the older men sponsors.

Professor Music’s Weird Links
According to legend, some guy bought a huge barn in Portugal, thinking it was empty, and it contained 180 deluxe, expensive, old, etc., cars, i.e., every one of them better than what you’re driving, and here are the photos. But actually, Snopes.com says it was just a collector who had bought and stored the cars, and the part about the lucky buy was tacked on. But, really: A guy owns these, and they’re sitting in a barn grabbing dust.

Newsrangers: Ken Vermette, Paul Music, Steve Dunn, Ginger Katz, Harry Farkas, Casey Hermanson
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2007 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.