Monday, March 07, 2011

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
March 7, 2011
(datelines February 26-March 5) (links correct as of March 7)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Myanmar's Girlyboy, Plus the Chocolate Syrup Shower and the 40-Million-Year-Long Tryst

From Yr Editor

Last week, the pervos were in bloom, messed-up government continued to out-weird messed-up people, and Yr Editor barely could summon the ability (but succeeded, working overtime) to produce a completely-Sheen-free edition.

★ ★ ★ ★!

Myanmar's Cross-Dressing Strongman General: Senior Gen. Than Shwe appeared on TV recently in a women's sarong (but, really, it's not an Eddie Izzard thing). "Superstition" permeates Burmese society much as "sex" permeates America. Men, too, wear sarongs but of markedly different designs than women's, i.e., they don't switch off unless it's on purpose. Myanmar's generals run Asia's most oppressive regime, and apparently the only semi-effective opposition in recent years has been the "Panty Party," protests in which women's drawers are tossed at the generals or their property in the hope of feminizing them (i.e., sapping their masculine strength). It is possible that it was the generals' fear of Pantyism that caused them to release freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. So, Gen. Than's appearance on TV in a girly sarong constitutes either a taunt (I see your damn panties, and I'm still in charge!) or a protective immunizing against further weakening. Or, it's a personal ad (there's no Craigslist in Myanmar). AOL News

The Worst of the Worst: You can have your Benny Hinns and your Creflow Dollars and your Eddie Longs. The bottom of the barrel (i.e., the most wretched of the Christian fundie grifters) is Peter Popoff of Los Angeles, and KABC-TV did a takedown for Popoff's pushing of "debt cancellation" kits. Debt collectors hounding you? God "wants to cancel, erase, wipe out, obliterate your debt." If ya can spare it, send me what little money you have left, and miracles will come! Pray harder, don't buy things you don't need, and of course support Peter Popoff Ministries. KABC-TV

The Federal Government Believes Schoolteacher Quality Is So Important That It Has 82 (Overlapping, Duplicative) Programs to Improve It: GAO went over the whole federal layout to see what efficiencies could be gained by merely stopping different agencies from doing the very same things (a project that GAO has apparently been too busy to do for the last, what, 40 years). Help disadvantaged people with transportation? 80 different federal programs. Job training? 47. Help people understand basic finances? 56. [ed. The problem remains, of course: Bureaucrats from mid-level on up never accept contractions in their organization charts. That's why the overlaps were created in the first place. Find me just one bureaucrat who cheerfully accepts that he'll be less important tomorrow than he is today.] Wall Street Journal

Calypso Louie, Back on the Big Stage: Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, in a (typical) four-hour speech on his religion's Saviours' Day, praised Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard for recognizing that white people needed civilizing (the first, excellent step toward which, Farrakhan said, is running them through Scientology's "auditing" process). He also warned the U.S.'s Muslim president that America will soon be experiencing the revolutions now seen in the Middle East and urged Mr. Obama not to attack innocent people when that happens. [Please, President Obama, for the love of God! No fire hoses! No dogs! No lynchings!] Chicago Tribune

Can't Possibly Be True: An Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agent told CBS News (with backup evidence) that the agency is actually facilitating the Mexican drug cartels' bloodbath by running a cute little mapping-type program on the border, where it inventories the weapons of various dealers and then merely monitors where the weapons wind up. Neat-o! No responsibility yet for what the cartels do with the weapons. Analogy: What if the CDC actually created the infamous AIDS "Patient Zero" just to construct a map of infectees? (Well, so far, the only American death pinned to an ATF-monitored gun is one Border Patrol agent.) According to the agent-squealer, ATF is doing this because some day--some day, mind you!--they'll have a good enough map that they can get indictments! Arrest warrants! Trials! CBS News

And Still More Things To Worry About

Ida Valentine filed a lawsuit against the 99 Cents Only store in Fontana, Calif., over the extensive injuries she suffered (herniated disk, etc.) when she fell after slipping on a banana peel and being hit in the face by a pie. Reuters

Science story ledes don't get any better than this, from Discovery Channel: "Forty million years ago, a female mite met an attractive partner, grabbed him with her clingy rear end and began to mate--just before a blob of tree resin fell on the couple, preserving the moment for eternity." Discovery Channel via MSNBC

Sounds Like a Joke (I): Texas state Rep. Debbie Riddle proposed legislation to curb illegal immigrants by cracking down on employers . . except employers of maids, nannies, and yard workers. CNN

Sounds Like a Joke (II): Two female "friends" fought it out (syringe vs. razor) in Tacoma, Wash., maybe over the issue of whether heroin makes one more psychotic than crack. Crack won. (The H user is dead.) News Tribune (Tacoma)

NOTW/Pro Continues to Pile On (onto public employees): (1) Jill McGlone, who "works" for the city in Norfolk, Va., said that "[n]o rectification can justify the moral devastation" she has had to live with for 12 years . . because the city has been paying her while requiring no work, while it ponders whether she did something wrong. (It was obviously a close call.) (2) An unidentified schoolteacher in Ireland was revealed last week as having been on paid leave for 14 years (because officials couldn't decide if he or she was a classroom danger). Total income: €889,000 ($1.243m). Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) /// Irish Independent

The Food and Drug Administration decided that the time is right to crack down on makers of about 500 prescription allergy and cold medications that the agency has permitted to be sold without proof that they were "safe and effective" . . for a couple of decades now. [ed.: Actually, relax. Big Pharma has long since bribed doctors to move on to superior more expensive substitutes.] Associated Press via Bloomberg Business Week

Who Knew? It turns out that Sudan has a rich-enough middle class that a former police officer, Adam Ismael, wiped a lot of them out in a $180 million Ponzi scheme that he's now resting in jail for. "Resting" seems the appropriate word because it could be that various leaders had a hand in facilitating it. It also turns out that no matter where you are, under either cowboy capitalism or Shariah, if you give investors a 50 percent return on their money, people will be interested (only exception: Peter Popoff, who has a sweeter deal). Slate.com

The kingdom of Bhutan, not long ago one of the most isolated places on Earth (tucked between India and China and for some historical reason home of phallic signs and displays that are as ubiquitous as "Burma-Shave" signs were in the 20th century U.S. South), now has a (as they say) "draconian" anti-smoking law, and its first victim turned up last week: a monk nailed for importing cigarettes without paying the 100-200 percent duty. (Bonus: Angry smokers in this recently ultra-isolated country have now organized with . . a Facebook page.) Agence France-Presse via Calgary Herald

F State senate president Mike Haridopolos made headlines when records revealed that a state community college had paid him $152,000 to write a "textbook-quality" book that, now after four years on the shelf, had yet to publish its second copy. That makes Haridopolos better paid, on a per-copy basis, than J.K. Rowling. So the college released it, and reviews are in. It "doesn't show extensive research," wrote the Associated Press, kindly. (Bonus: Haridopolos also absolutely bludgeoned his required financial disclosure form last time around. Stay tuned.) Associated Press via Miami Herald

Losers

Oops: Firefighters in Gilbert, Ariz., rescued Eugene Ginzelberg from the bottom of a 40-foot sewer hole that he had fallen into (while--of course!--naked). PCP, marijuana, and mushrooms were involved. Arizona Republic

The reason for the suspension of 30-year-Houston cop Mike Hamby was that, while competing in his civvies in a barbecue cook-off, he decided to mess up a competing team by tear-gassing their booth. Houston Chronicle

Compelling Explanation: Brant Bader said he was so sorry but that he was aiming at the family dog, not at his wife, whom he had just shot dead. Los Angeles Times

Armed and Clumsy: (1) A man attending a gun show in Bloomington, Ill., laid the semiautomatic rifle back down on a table after fondling it, but somehow it fired and wounded two people with the same bullet. (2) Same Gun, Different Shooters: In Bay Minette, Ala., Allen Jones tripped while carrying a handgun and shot himself; his wife and their son rushed to Jones's side, but in their haste to grab the gun, the kid accidentally shot mom. The Pantagraph (Bloomington) /// WPMI-TV (Mobile)

The Pervo-American Community

Patrick Trejo, a middle-school teacher in Phoenix, was picked up in an online bestiality sting ("Hit me up / If you have a pup"), but he's no longer a problem because Sheriff Joe is on the case. KNXV-TV (Phoenix)

New Orleans Christian fundamentalist activist Grant Storms was arrested with his pants wide open in his car near a playground. He used the always-so-convincing defense that he had a perfectly valid explanation for everything but would save it for trial. Times-Picayune

Update: Our old pal Donald Thompson, the famously disbarred Oklahoma penis-pump-under-the-robes judge, was arrested in his hometown of Sapulpa and charged with stalking an "ex-girlfriend" (though "girlfriend" is maybe too generous). From the police report, it looks like he had his binoculars on her while engaged in his favorite pastime. The Smoking Gun

If the charges are true, Steven Demink, 41, knows more than we do. We would have thought it impossible, but Steven knows that if he brings his A-game as a fake shrink, he can actually talk some innocent, loving mothers into having sex (as earnest therapy) with their kids on a webcam so he can watch. Associated Press via Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A real shrink, Dr. Michael Taylor of Iowa, was court-appointed to look into what schoolteacher Larry Trigg, 53, did, which was get a student, 17, to play strip poker and let Trigg douse his body in chocolate syrup. Dr. Taylor testified that Trigg had no sexual motive. Waterloo Courier

And from the Anglo-Pervo Community, David Truscott, 41, was arrested again at a farm he apparently had repeatedly visited, for years, in order to masturbate while wallowing in the cow manure. Seriously. They got him for violating a 2009 no-trespass order. (Bonus: Remind you of C.M. Punk?) Falmouth Packet

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


A tough one: Jason Kircher, 31, was arrested for erratic driving on Interstate 64 in Louisville, Ky., and you tell me whether his weaving was due to DUI or that he was receiving oral sex while driving. WLKY-TV (Louisville)

From this week's The Smoking Gun collection: Guilty, Dorky, Ugly, Tacky, Wimpy

Editor's Notes

Updates from Last Week: The Country Afraid of Everything, not surprisingly, closed down the breast milk ice cream shortly after it went on sale. Unsafe. And although Dave "No Viagra" Cummings is "video porn hall of fame" material at age 71, he's still not as old as Shigeo Tokuda, already highlighted in Pro Edition [10-11-2010]. The Los Angeles Times gave Tokuda his props last week. (Bonus: And for those worried about the fate of witches and fortune-tellers from the imminent legalization of their craft in Romania [NOTW/Pro, 1-10-2011], well, the government caved--perhaps from fear of all those curses the witches were issuing.) Associated Press via Yahoo News /// Los Angeles Times /// Agence France-Presse via Yahoo News

Newsrangers: Derek Costello, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors