Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Things To Worry About On Tuesday
Beer cheaper than water / Assault by handshake / The illiterate schoolteacher / I had to hit her because she wouldn’t punch me in the mouth / And more!

Civilization in Decline
Behold the “variable prepaid forward contract,” which rich people use to save more just in taxes in a year than you make in several yrs. And understand: This scheme has zero to do with jobs and growth and productivity; it’s just about rich cats who think, Damned if I’m gonna pay my fair share of taxes the way ordinary people do! So, you want to sell a stock, but not pay tax on the gain for yrs to come. Make a “variable prepaid forward contract” to sell it to a bank, say, five yrs from now, which the bank pays you for today and which the bank then insures itself against loss by borrowing the stock from you now and selling it short in case the stock is worth less five yrs down the road when it has agreed to formally buy it. And IRS now knows what it didn’t know in 2003: Lots and lots of rich people do these contracts. Now, why would a society’s financial system be set up to allow ridiculous diversions like that? (Answer: because it can be set up to allow ridiculous diversions like that)

The Human Condition Today
The adoring wife of a Pentagon official told reporters her husband is “absolutely innocent” of espionage charges brought yesterday, thus disagreeing with her husband, whom prosecutors say they have on tape admitting to the Chinese guy that he’ll go to jail for showing him these-here papers he’s showing him . . . . . In Alaska, Mark Fulmer was arrested for jumping bad on a woman because she refused to punch him in the mouth (to loosen his abscessed tooth) . . . . . A fun-loving nursing-home head nurse in Wales was fired because she left her patients so she could go play in the staff water fights outside . . . . . At an oil rig off the coast of Scotland, a 500-person evacuation (“complete madness”) was ordered because, well, one of the workers (a 23-yr-old woman) said she had a dream about a bomb on the platform . . . . . Least Mature Lawyer in Florida: Kathy Brewer Rentas was charged with assault for doing one of those let's “shake on it” things that boys do in the 5th grade, y’know, where you pretend to shake hands all-friendly-like and then try earnestly to rip the other guy’s arm out of its socket, except Kathy (allegedly) did this to a federal prosecutor . . . . . And in the strangest story of the day, it says here that a fella named John Corcoran, who’s about 70, a high school grad, college grad, who went on to a job as high school teacher for (it looks like) 40 yrs, was “illiterate” until he was 48 yrs old. Bless KGTV (San Diego) reporters’ hearts, ‘cause they apparently accepted everything he told them. (On the other hand, Yr Editor himself can feel quite illiterate at times, so maybe I feel Corcoran’s wildly-exaggerated pain.)

In Yr Editor’s youth, a screw-up meant a loss of TV privileges, and now, in Australia’s Northern Territory, it’s proposed to be gov’t policy except there, it’ll be the parents who lose their TV sets if they can’t curb their unruly children . . . . . Once again, it is pointed out that, depending on fluctuating price points, department-store house-brand beer in the UK is sometimes cheaper than bottled water.

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict based on mugshot only]
Look at the photos, but not the caption. These three men are accused in the murder of a convenience-store owner in Northport, Ala., but only one of them has the middle name of Wayne. [Yep, you got it right; that’s the one.]

Professor Music’s Weird Links
Not today. Maybe tomorrow.™

NOTW, The Blog
(1) The British press is now covering the shocking gov’t policy whereby dependents’ unemployment benefits can be paid to each of the multiple wives of Muslims, even though polygamy is illegal in Britain. That is shocking. Now, London’s Daily Mail is not a world-class newspaper, journalism-wise, but Yr Editor notes that the Mail had this story exactly right 10 months ago (and News of the Weird reported that in NOTW M019, 8-19-2007). (2) New York City was abuzz last week with the near-death experience of a customer of the well-known Nutcracker Suite S&M parlor in Manhattan. He was apparently left hanging, without “supervision” until he started to turn blue, but is recovering at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Many are critical of the S&M house’s personnel, but you Pro Weirdos understand the dilemma: Many prudent practitioners do need “safe” words so they can get out of danger if need be, but for others, and M is an M and not an M-lite. The customer was apparently very well known to the staff and liked to hang, for hours, alone, as in, "Get y’all’s asses outta here and leave me be." But the damned PC police will probably come out of this telling masochists that it’s improper for them to feel too crappy about themselves.

Newsrangers: Emory Kimbrough, Paul Di Filippo, Steve Miller, Mike Wilson, Joe Littrell
This posting to News of the Weird Daily is © 2008 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.