Monday, January 18, 2010

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
"You're Still Not Cynical Enough"
January 18, 2010
(datelines January 9-January 16; links correct as of January 17)
by Chuck Shepherd
© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Weapon of Self-Destruction, Plus Window Captures Felon, Witnesses Vomit, and the Urban Caveman

He Just Can't Stop: Scott Ritter was a leading voice against the invasion of Iraq after first being so tough as a UN weapons inspector that Saddam kicked him out of the country. In 2002 he began warning us that the "evidence" of WMDs that was so impressive to Vice President Cheney was actually trifling. In early 2003, though, Ritter was picked up for talking sex with an underage girl, his second (maybe third) such bust. He stayed off the radar until last week, when they got him again, for vividly ejaculating for a webcam during an online chat (again with an underage girl, i.e., police officer). (No conviction on any of these arrests has been reported, though.) New York Times /// TheSmokingGun.com

Transportation Security Administration says it's one of those unfounded myths going around (An 8-year-old on the "no fly" list! Ha!). That's technically true, but Michael Hicks, 8, has been on the "selectee" screening list since he was 2 and regularly gets patted down at airports. His last-used boarding pass showed 4 random screenings. There are at least 1,600 Michael Hickses in America, presumably with the same problem. (Official response: We're working on it; after all, it's only been 8½ years since 9-11.) New York Times

So many radio waves dance through the air these days that they overwhelm the aluminum foil. Arthur Firstenberg is one of the electromagnetically-sensitive who live in New Mexico for its relative isolation, but the menace is growing, and Firstenberg filed a $530,000 lawsuit against a neighbor (and former friend) because he gets nausea, vertigo, diarrhea, aches, pains, insomnia, and impaired vision from her wi-fi and cell phone. (Earlier, she had compassionately started to phase out her fluorescent lights.) He's been sleeping in his car all winter. Santa Fe Reporter /// Wikipedia.org

America's War Against Soldiers: Illinois National Guard Spec. Billy Miller is awaiting court martial for "child pornography"—actually family snapshots his mom in Galesburg sent him of a young female relative in a swim suit. The same pictures appear on the family's website and Facebook page. Associated Press via ChicagoBreakingNews.com

One of America's more prominent delusional patriots, Ed Brown of New Hampshire, got a 37-year sentence for his combination tax-evasion and 2007 stockpiled-weapons standoff with U.S. marshals (he had 60,000 rounds on hand). He and Mrs. Brown (who got 35 years) had vowed to die before paying taxes on any of her income from the previous decade. Root of all evil, says Brown: the Freemasons! Associated Press via Comcast.net

Meanwhile, on the Left Tail of the Bell Curve . . .

Travis Copeland, 19, bolting from a courtroom in Waukegan, Ill., tried lowering his shoulder and crashing through a window to freedom, but the window is bulletproof, and he staggered away and fell to the floor. Here's a frame from the surveillance video showing Travis about to hurt himself. Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.)

Four men who allegedly pulled off a home invasion in Oakland, Calif., were caught in the getaway when they accidentally wedged themselves into a narrow space between two buildings. KTVU (Oakland)

Bible-Belt Honesty: Clarence Burnett, 25, sitting for a polygraph test for a sheriff's deputy's job in Pensacola, Fla., admitted that he has possessed child pornography. His interview turned out badly, but at least he passed the polygraph. (Bonus: Last August, Max Hinton, 21, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for having child pornography after he admitted the fact during an interview to be a police officer in Montgomery, Ala.) Press-Register (Mobile) [with mug shot of an honest man] /// Birmingham News

Recurring Themes: (1) People still commit robbery just for attention, going through the crime pro forma but then immediately giving up and waiting for the police. (2) People still try to sell their young kids in the underground economy (or trade, say, for a gun). KPTV (Portland, Ore.) /// KSAZ-TV (Phoenix)

Angst, Confusion, Crisis

Stephen Gough, the UK's "naked rambler," was released from prison on December 17th after his latest public frolic, but, according to a news report last week, he then immediately ripped his clothes off and was back behind bars "within seconds." He vows never to wear clothes in public again. The prosecutor responded, Well, then, maybe you'll never be in public again. STV News (Glasgow)

Marian Chadwick, 57, owner of a Dallas-area boutique, fended off a gunpoint robbery by wagging her finger at the thug and commanding him, "in the name of Jesus, you get out of my store. I bind you by the power of the Holy Spirit." Following more wagging, he walked away, cursing. Dallas Morning News

Can't Possibly Be True: Here's a genuine shack, five by seven, no door, no electricity, no plumbing, nothing. Asking price: £40,000 ($65,000). It sits on a small plot of land on a British beach overlooking the North Sea. Daily Telegraph

"I Look Like a Man, I Talk Like a Man, I Am a Man": That's alleged South African drug lord Fadwaan "Fat" Murphy, who was widely feared around Cape Town until his recent arrest. During booking, Murphy's strap-on penis fell off, causing him to admit he was born a hermaphrodite. The Times (Johannesburg)

From a Details.com interview with "Markus," the first licensed male prostitute in America (in Nevada): "[I]t's more of a civil rights thing." "[T]his is the first time in the economy of the United States that a male has actually stood up and said, 'I want to do this for a living.' And be protected under law to do it. It's just the same as when Rosa Parks decided to sit at the front instead of the back." Details.com

A new ordinance from the city council in Glasgow, Scotland, requires that kids visiting restaurants be within sight of their parents at all times. So far (until they think it through), "kids" means age 15 and under. Awkward for restroom breaks. The Times (London)

Below The Fold

Vomiting Witnesses Disrupt Murder Trial Edmonton Sun (Edmonton, Alberta)

Sequoyah Hills Neighbors Oppose Man's Plan for Music Studio, Sperm Bank at Home Knoxville News-Sentinel

Floor Collapses at Swedish Weight Watchers Clinic The.Local.com (Stockholm)

Eyewitness News

Pat Robertson might have had a different world history teacher than the rest of us. Even before the earthquake and the Duvaliers wrecked Haiti, there was . . . Satan. Christian Broadcasting Network via YouTube

In Izmir, Turkey, a sheep gave birth to a stillborn calf, which somehow produced a mutant head that eerily resembles a human's. Agence France-Presse via News.com.au /// Technabob.com [Not Safe For Stomachs]

Someone With a Worse Sex Life Than You

Kyle Knupple, who owns KUSA Aviation of Beaumont, Tex. [by the way, there's also a Kyle Knupple of Galveston, Tex.; he's not the one], is the object of a lawsuit by his former long-time office manager, who said she's finally had enough of Kyle's prolific and often theatrical masturbation around the office. Houston Press

Bonus: Scott Ritter and Kyle Knupple were not the only self-servers dominating the news last week. Basim Salim Abdul-Rahim, 41, of Seattle, is in trouble with police for several well-lubed displays of himself at his local bar. Arrestee Larry Booker, 55, of Kansas City is well-known by the local police for flashing body parts liberally adorned with baby oil. And here's a success story from Shanxi province, China, where one reformed onanist was singled out for helping in the government's campaign to locate and shut down Internet porn. Said he: "[W]hen I was in middle school, I used to get grades that were good enough to enter a really good university. It is because of the influence of pornography on the Internet that I was only able to go to junior college." SeattlePI.com /// Kansas City Star /// BBC News

Your Weekly Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]


Gary Mortensen, 26, pulled over in a traffic stop near Eugene, Ore., might just be an innocent victim of deputies' profiling. The Oregonian

Bonus: Aron Johnson, 46, of Scott Bar, Calif., might have side issues, but the question is whether he's guilty of threatening to kill a local good Samaritan. Siskiyou Daily News (Yreka, Calif.)

More Things To Worry About

An elaborate marijuana farm was busted in Lenoir County, N.C. The plants were grown inside a school bus, but the bus happened to have been buried completely underground (with backhoes), with a garage built on the land over it. WITN-TV (Greenville, N.C.)

Urban Cavemen: A few fitness buffs avoid foods that were unavailable before the invention of agriculture (just meat, a few vegetables and fruits); they fast for long periods and work out just before meals, to mimic hunter-gatherers who didn't eat unless they found food. They do specific exercises to build sprinting and bounding abilities so they can escape ferocious, now-extinct animals. (Remaining issue: Real Paleolithics' lives maxed out at about age 30.) New York Times

And For Further Review . . .

Your Editor has notified you of the "Breatharian" movement before [NOTW 610, 10-15-1999; NOTW 999, 3-25-2007], which is the philosophy that humans don't really need "food" because they can train themselves to survive on only sunlight and oxygen. That there aren't many Breatharians around is either self-explanatory (they've all starved to death) or an indication that Breatharianism is easily abandoned. Now comes Mr. Wiley Brooks, assuming the mantle and vaulting to a higher plane. Wiley promises to teach you the secret to eternal life through Breatharianism, but as you'd expect, immortality is expensive: $100,000 cash ($10,000 down, immediately). (It's still cheaper than ridding yourself of thetans, via Scientology.) (Bonus: Brooks even reveals his bank account and routing numbers.) Breatharian.com

Newsrangers: John Ellwood, Sarah Del Collo, Steve Dunn, Stephen Taylor, Tom Burnett, Sam Gaines, Ken Wilder, Tom Barker, Pete Randall, Jim Rehmann, and H.Thompson, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors