Monday, August 08, 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
August 8, 2011
(datelines July 30-August 6) (links correct as of August 8)

Trial of the Century, Plus Redneck WMD's and Muslim Punk

★ ★ ★ ★!

Warren Jeffs' Lolita Ride Is Over: You weren't in the courtroom to hear the "pastoral" audiotapes that Prophet Jeffs had made for posterity, but London's Daily Mail covers for you. Horniness couched in stilted biblicalisms. The brides (two of whom were underage, one subsequently a mom) are "honorable vessels." Sexual duties of the poly brides: "Everyone assists." So natural as unclothed as clothed." Instructions on how to groom their pubes. The 12-year-old, afterward, "experienced the heavenly session; she felt the all consuming fire of heaven." After a sex bout, "Everyone else let go of me, back away a little. Please get on the other side of the bed." To the 12'er: "Just don't think about the pain. You're going to heaven." And when it was over, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." The gals: "Amen." For Yr Editor, the trial highlight came when Jeffs, acting as his own lawyer, interrupted to read verbatim a message that he had received directly from The Lord, who threatened . . um, did He threaten to kill the judge or prosecutor? . . no . . He threatened a "scourge" upon the local counties if the trial did not stop. A scourge? That's the best He can do? A scourge? But The Lord has already been scourging up Texas pretty bad with an epic drought. Doesn't The Lord get management updates?] Daily Mail

Go Ahead--Try This at Home: Richard Handl.31, finally promised police he'd stop doing it (constructing a nuclear reactor in his kitchen, in southern Sweden). He had some radium, americium, and uranium, and once created a small meltdown in his stove. He helpfully blogged about it, and someone turned him in, leading to a July raid. He must've failed: No significant radiation levels were detected. BBC News /// His blog

Please, Do Your Part to Keep Us in Steaks: College kids, who may someday get tired of paying artificially-high tuition, have a great way to put those oppressive student loans behind them: Sell your kidneys! This advice is courtesy of Dundee University (Scotland) research fellow Sue Roff. (Bonus: More people who need kidneys will get them, she says! Win-win!) (Double Bonus: As long as the bills are being paid, professors avoid the elephant in the room, which is whether their salaries are too high.) The Scotsman

Absurdities

The per capita annual income of New Yorkers is around $47,000 a year, which is about what the per capita monthly income is for the 4-year-old son of supermodel Linda Evangelista (via child support). (Bonus: Consultants to the wealthy say the kid needs more. First grade costs a lot more than preschool.) Wall Street Journal

Skylar Capo, 11, was introduced to reality. She had just rescued a baby woodpecker from the family cat and intended to render care for a day or two and then let it go. In a local store, she and her mom just happened to run into a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent, who ultimately wrote Skylar up for violating the Migratory Bird Act (handling a baby woodpecker), and two weeks later, a trooper delivered a citation to her door (carrying a $535 fine). (Seriously) WUSA-TV (Washington, D.C.)

Not News: Drug addicts and the homeless can pick up a few bucks here and there by stealing copper and selling it to scrap-metal dealers. News: Meth-head Kirk Wise, 45, earned $95,000 last year doing it (but, remember, he has expenses. He's a meth-head). Phoenix New Times

Can't Possibly Be True: A retired Army sergeant major, Rob Dickerson, who was wounded in Iraq but failed to receive his Purple Heart due to lost paperwork, finally got it after four years of haggling. The Pentagon mailed it C.O.D. (That'll be $21, please.) KELO-TV (Rapid City, S.D.)

Questionable Judgment: This Kansas residential program is (a) sorta good, as a last-resort facility for troubled, unplaceable kids and (b) bad, for placing juvenile offenders (including sex-offenders) in an apartment complex with ordinary foster teenagers right down the hall. Whoa. (Bonus: A program official crows at glowing reports of the program's safety; the police beg to differ.) Wichita Eagle

Affordable Health Care in Indonesia: train-track therapy! Here they are, lying on the rails to soak up electricity to cure what ails them. (Yes, they move when a train comes.) Associated Press via MSNBC

Losers

Gordon Flavia, 46, trying to avoid a DUI charge, fled police, crashed his Jeep, and hid in a portable toilet . . where he doused himself with caca . . to cover his human scent just in case the pursuing cops had dogs. (They didn't.) The Daily News (Longview, Wash.)

Isaac Turnbaugh, 28, decided to confess to a 2002 Vermont murder. Perhaps it had slipped his mind that he had stood trial for that murder and been acquitted. The prosecutor thus had to let him go--except for the fact that while he was confessing, he punched a police officer, so he's in trouble again. Burlington Free Press

Oh! Dear!

John and Kristine marry and raise two daughters. Kristine goes nuts one day and kills the girls. Kristine is not guilty by reason of insanity. John and Kristine divorce. Kristine does four years in an institution and 10 years of psych monitoring. Meanwhile John marries Trisha, and they raise two sons. John and Trisha divorce and share custody. John and Kristine (now back on the street, with a clean bill of mental health) re-canoodle. Trisha is petrified at the thought of her boys being one triggering moment away from Kristine's relapsing. [But, Trisha, relax. Kristine has an official, state of Washington certificate of sanity. Do you have a certificate of sanity? Relax.] Associated Press via New York Times

Muslim Extremists, Glorified by the Media: Well, it's praise for a new film, The Taqwacores, reporting that disaffected Arab youth can form punk nihilist rock bands while maintaining Islamic consciousness: Look-ee at the gays, guys with red mohawks, one guy announcing morning prayers with his electric guitar, a chick doing freestyle editing of the Qur'an, another wearing the burqa ironically. The Guardian (London)

The Pervo-American Community

From the 8-4-2011 Saugus (Mass.) Police log: "At 3:51 p.m. an employee at Massage Envy reported seeing a man smelling the dirty sheets behind the building. The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 30 years old, 6-feet tall, brown hair, brown beard, and wearing a backpack and Army shorts." Saugus Advertiser

Give Chancellor David Lee, 64, of the proprietary University of Northern Virginia credit. He and his girlfriend may be bondage/discipline pervs of great intensity (as documented by The Smoking Gun), but they also appear to be quite joyous about it. See for yourself (but be careful; some photos are NSFW). The Smoking Gun /// slide show

Nathan Gastineau, 31, used to be a sheriff's deputy in San Bernardino, Calif., until he and some fellow deputies took hits for a string of indiscretions with ride-along-program jail bait. He had been free on $150,000 bail until he posted threatening language on Facebook. "This is your Admiral," "War is our imperative," "revenge, payback," "it's the only alternative my enemy has left us." (Judge, to Nathan, before upping bail to $350,000: "What on Earth is the matter with you?") San Bernardino Sun

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


Anita Lewis, 55, charged with DUI, claims that what did her in was that "Leg Spreader." WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)

Robert Ray, 37, of redneck-intense Crestview, Fla., is charged with . . assembling a "weapon of mass destruction." Well, chlorine and brake fluid. Northwest Florida Daily News

Daryl Rasmussen, aka "Ms. Puppy," arrested while a "person of interest" in a double murder in Denver. KUSA-TV

Cory Smits, 29, of Two Rivers, Wis., was charged with . . it doesn't matter what he was charged with. And it doesn't matter that you don't think he's 29. And it doesn't matter that you think his mug shot was digitally created from scratch. Herald Times Reporter (Manitowoc, Wis.) [July 16]

Obits

(1) Math professor Rudolf Alexandrov, 71, left his class and took a header over a second-floor railing at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. He had seemed "agitated" in class. (2) A 70-year-old tractor-trailer driver who stopped on the side of I-89 in Berlin Corners, Vt., to urinate, stood in front of the vehicle and didn't notice it was lurching forward. (3) A 44-year-old man who had been known by townspeople in Carthage, Maine, to sometimes lie down in the middle of the road at night yada yada yada. (4) James Bach, 54, was arrested in Calgary, Alberta, and charged with fatally stabbing Mr. Brent Stabbed Last, 29. PhillyNews.com /// Times Argus (Barre, Vt.) /// Portland Press Herald /// Canoe News

Editor's Notes

Recommended treatment for those oh-so-special Benz drivers (in Vilnius, Lithuania). New York Daily News

Newsrangers: Joshua Levin, Craig Cryer, Waylon Register, Sandy Pearlman, Donna Smyers, Dennis Tucker, and Bob McCabe, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors