Tuesday, June 01, 2010

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
"You're Still Not Cynical Enough"

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
May 31, 2010
(datelines May 22-May 29) (links correct as of May 31)
© 2010 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Comprehensive Immigrationists, Plus Spit Power, Fast Eddy, and Lord Google

★ ★ ★ ★ ★!

Principle! Massachusetts state Rep. Mike Moran–one of those enlightened people who would give border-jumpers like Isaias Naranjo a leg up toward U.S. citizenship over those idiotic goofball Mexicans who actually, y'know, filled out the paperwork at U.S. consulates and patiently waited to enter the U.S. legally–says his views haven't changed on that even after Señor Naranjo, DUI and doing 60 mph, accidentally rammed into him (and even though, when questioned by police, Sr. Naranjo just laughed and said, "I plan to go back to my country, Mexico. Nothing is going to happen to me, man."). WHDH-TV (Boston)

Principle (II)! Mexico's Foreign Ministry declared that Arizona's new law (requiring citizenship status-checks of arrestees) "violates inalienable human rights" (a point echoed by Presidente Calderón during his recent trip to Washington). Turns out that Mexico has almost precisely the same law on the books for its own, mostly Honduran, immigrants. According to some of them, Mexico doesn't rely on deportation but rather on beatings, then theft by police of immigrants' money and property, then prison. USA Today

Sounds Like a Joke: Juries' perhaps-primary duty is to assess the credibility of witnesses. Drew McAdams was kicked off a jury in Scotland's Livingston Sheriff Court because he's likely too good at it. Citizens of ordinary ignorance are preferred for juries, and not "professional lie detectors" like McAdams, who is a former Army intelligence officer who made a name for himself on TV reading human body language. That's apparently TMI. Scottish Daily Record

A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall–But Not on France: The European Community is in considerably worse shape financially than even the U.S. Community–yet French workers went on strike last week over the issue of preserving their retirement age . . at 60. Associated Press via USA Today

Pakistan and India are vying for conspiracy capital of the world. Zaid Hamid, the Pakistani Glenn Beck, is just one of many spreading word that the U.S. is behind every single bad thing that has befallen the country (e.g., America planted that Times Square bomber, to embarrass Pakistan). But then in the Indian state of Punjab, an official captured a pigeon with strange markings, which he said were obvious indications that the pigeon was sent on a spy mission by Pakistan. (Bonus: The pigeon is being held incomunicado in, like, the Punjabi Gitmo.) New York Times /// Agence France-Presse via New York Post

In the first decade of the 21st century, your house, job growth, and 401(k) have pretty much tanked. However, over the first decade of the 21st century, a guy named Eddy Curry will make $72 million, no strings attached. Eddy's a pro basketball player, but not a very good one, and he's got a heart condition, anyway, and his coaches don't much want him around. (Bonus: He's still closing in on being bankrupt!) Associated Press via NBC Sports /// Sports.Yahoo.com

Losers

Anthony Gonzales, 20, aka the only man in Pueblo, Colo., with the name of his gang ("East Side") tattooed on his upper lip, really needs a full-face balaclava if he sets out on a life of crime because he will be ID'd. Pueblo Chieftain

"If Google told you to jump off a cliff, would you?" asked a Fortune.com columnist, describing Lauren Rosenberg's lawsuit over whose fault it was that she was hit by a car. She asked Google Maps for a walking route in Park City, Utah, and the result, on her Blackberry, included one stretch of state Route 224 that has no sidewalk. (It has a shoulder, but she felt the right to walk on the road.) Fortune /// Scribd.com [lawsuit]

Michael Lessard, 25, with revenge on his mind and a shotgun in his hands, broke into the home of a former friend–but he didn't count on the former friend's secret weapon: the guy's mom. Mom and son beat the crap out of Michael, as you can see. Orlando Sentinel

Pedro Guzman, 21, warned the woman, "[G]et your grandma [to shut up] or I will put her on the floor." She didn't, and he did–a sucker punch that broke granny's jaw. "People got to learn not to mouth off to people they don't know," he explained later. Pedro . . will now be serving 25 years for that one punch. The Pitch Weekly (Kansas City)

Rodney Newsome's seven-month-old scam on Virginia authorities had given him a new lease on life, erasing his then-current criminal woes. Oblivious (supposedly), Newsome's lawyer had convinced prosecutors that his client had, sadly, passed away at age 37. However, Rodney, thus then in the clear, couldn't leave it alone. He activated another start-up: a check-theft scam on a bank in the same area, which tipped off an alert court clerk that Rodney had miraculously returned from the dead! Washington Post

The proper remedy for dinner's not being on the table when Guy Jones wants it: Guy set fire to his basement. Associated Press via WSAZ-TV (Charleston, W.Va.) [mugshot!]

Strange World

A Reading University (England) scientist said he's the first human ever "infected with a computer virus." [ed.: pause while you, as they say, wrap your head around that] If the computer chip you're implanted with itself has a virus, then the control-room door you pass through using the implanted chip then acquires that virus, and the next person to enter with a chip thus acquires the virus in his own chip when he passes through that door. Whew! Who knew? BBC News

The beams on the well-known Howrah bridge in Kolkata, India, are becoming seriously eroded because so many commuters hock out their gutkha as they cross. The Telegraph (Calcutta) /// Wikipedia (gutkha)

The leadership of Ireland's Parliament has ruled that, based on a 1947 precedent that they can't seem to ignore, it's not a punishable offense for one MP to yell "F--- you" to another. (Mitigating circumstance: MP Paul Gogarty of the Green Party, the offender, did, bless his heart, precede his two "F--- you"'s by saying, "With all due respect . . ..") Sky News (London)

A group of three dozen side squeezes of various Italian Catholic priests wrote a joint letter to the Vatican imploring il Papa to get rid of that celibacy thing. The Guardian (London)

Free clothes in Indonesia: The vice/virtue cops in Aceh province have been given 20,000 loose swaddling skirts to hand out if they encounter fly Muslim women in form-fitting threads. Agence France-Presse via Google News

That's Messed Up

Oregon National Guardsman Gary Pfleider II wears a (permanent) brace on his leg, courtesy of an Iraqi sniper in 2007. But apparently in all the trauma of being shot, and bloody, and air-lifted out of the line of fire, Pfleider neglected to pause to take a formal inventory of his battlefield-issued supplies, and the government is now garnishing his benefits and tax refunds for $3,150 worth of stuff. KOMO-TV (Seattle)

The Nye County, Nev., sheriff's office's chief media spokesman, Det. David Boruchowitz, announced to the press the arrest of a man charged with burglary and assault. That man was . . Det. David Boruchowitz. The chief investigator on the case, Boruchowitz told reporters, was . . Det. David Boruchowitz. Associated Press via Google News

Anne-Marie Gray filed a lawsuit in New Britain, Conn., against ESPN for illegally firing her over her medical condition, which is Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gray was an original 1980 ESPN employee and a true-blue company gal for 30 years. She was so dedicated to her job that when IBS struck (often, at a moment's notice), she'd unload in plastic bags in an out-of-the-way conference room, but when she slipped up, the bosses got all huffy and somehow must've thought "IBS" was off-message. Williamson Daily News (Clinton, Conn.)

LAPD is looking for Mr. Eduardo Ibarra Perez. He's wanted for murder, and is "considered armed and dangerous." He's also considered "moobed," and the ever-respectful LAPD doesn't want to embarrass him, as you can see from the mugshot. LAPDOnline [via Fark.com]

Americans' kindness to animals extends only to companions, lab animals, and zoos. Livestock? It's generally OK to stab them with pitchforks, beat them with crowbars, cut their beaks with hot blades, lynch them with log chains from a front-end loader. If you break any of the few rules there are against cruelty to livestock, it's usually a misdemeanor. Slate.com

If a man asks his daughter for a photo of his four-month-old granddaughter, and the daughter works at the [Steve Irwin] Australia Zoo, this is the photo that arrives. Townsville Bulletin

N'yawkers are the hardiest, street-smartest, toughest SOB's in the country . . . except for these 51 bus drivers, who needed an average of 64 days' paid time off after reporting that riders had spit on them. New York Times

An "ugly secret of global poverty," revealed the New York Times's peripatetic moral conscience, Nick Kristof: "[I]f the poorest families spent as much money educating their children [and buying mosquito nets to stop the spread of malaria] as they do on wine, cigarettes, and prostitutes, their children's prospects would be transformed." New York Times

The Pervo Community

Good to Know: Expert witnesses testifying at an Australian medical board de-licensing hearing went on record assuring women that there are "no acupuncture points in the vagina." Dr. Grant Woo was wrong about that and can no longer practice medicine. Herald Sun (Melbourne)

The 24-year-old man who had sex with the 14-year-old girl said it was her fault, that she kept coming onto him. Ho-hum. Come on, man, how stupid do you think we– . . . wait . . . the cops actually believe him. They pixellated out his face in the mug shot because he, not she, is the victim of a sex crime. He's certified-mentally-challenged, and she's just a trollop-in-training who freely admits that she got naked and teased him over and over until he caved in. WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)

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


How 'bout it? Is Colin Belle a serial sexually annoying bar customer . . or is Colin Belle so damn good looking and sexy that women just can't stay away from him? Northern Territory News (Darwin, Australia)

And come on! Is this the face of a man who just about axed up his landlord? City Pages (Minneapolis-St.Paul)

A few prime cuts from The Smoking Gun's weekly collection: Accused of obstructing law enforcement (and of having bad hair) /// Accused of assault (and really bad hair) /// Accused of disorderly conduct (but possibly acquittable under the "witch" exception to the law)

Updates & Recurring Themes

The American Academy of Pediatrics came to its senses and rescinded the policy recommendation it made three weeks ago [NOTW/Pro, 5-10-2010]: It is no longer OK to recommend genital "nicking" to third-world parents who are bent on totally de-clitorizing their young daughters. New York Times

More Poor Multitaskers: Four teenagers were hospitalized in Wheatland, N.Y., when their driver lost (won?) the game of who-can-hold-his-breath-the-longest. He passed out and smashed into a tree. Another poor multi-ta–wait a minute, this is a championship multitasker! Amanda McBride, 29, gave birth while driving to the hospital. The baby's daddy was with her . . but he couldn't drive because he suffers seizures. WHEC-TV (Rochester) /// Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer

According to shrinks, a "hoarder" is different from someone "living in squalor." The hoarder irrationally overvalues "things," but a person living in squalor is basically a lazy slug. Last week, a mid-70s couple, Jesse and Thelma Gaston of Chicago, were rescued, both in critical condition, from their house where they had fallen two weeks earlier and become trapped underneath breathtaking mounds of junk. The diagnosis given by the director of the hoarding study project at Boston University: The Gastons are indeed hoarders . . and lazy slugs. Chicago Breaking News /// Daily Mail (London) [better photos]

John Mark Karr is the guy who famously, falsely, confessed to murdering little JonBenet Ramsey, in 2006, 10 years after her death, and since has run through a series of romances with JonBenet-like youngsters, the latest with Samantha Spiegel, who was 9 when she came to his attention. She's 19 now and has just gotten a restraining order against Karr, who is currently known as "Alexis Reich" in preparation for his gender-reassignment surgery, which Spiegel says was Karr's idea only to make it easier for him to get close to younger and younger girls. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

And for Further Review . . .

The Internet's worst parents last week were the Rizals of Banyuasin, Indonesia, whose lax supervision of two-year-old Ardi has allowed him to acquire a two-pack-a-day cigarette habit. Seriously. Said Mom: "If he doesn't get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall." Said Dad: "He looks pretty healthy to me. I don't see the problem." (One problem is that Ardi will only smoke one particular brand, which sets the folks back the equivalent of $5.50 a day, which in Indonesia ain't a mere bag of shells.) (In fact, WWNKT--What Would Nick Kristof Think?) Daily Mail (London) [with photos galore of Ardi puffing away!]

Newsrangers: Bob Pert, Douglas Boyle, Perry Levin, Joshua Smith, Jenny Aus, Larry Seltzer, Sandy Pearlman, George Elyjiw, Carl McGlone, Gerald Sacks, and Colleen Cheney, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors