Monday, December 05, 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
December 5, 2011
(datelines November 26-December 3) (links correct as of December 5, 2011)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Attorney-Client Confidentiality in the F State, plus More Things to Worry About

★ ★ ★ ★!

"Assistance of Counsel": Lawyers are of course entitled to visit their clients locked up in the Federal Detention Center in Miami, Fla.(say, lieutenants of cartel drug dealers), and sometimes by the complexity of the case, it helps if they bring along their paralegals. According to "multiple attorneys," reported Miami New Times, the interview rooms have been "taken over" by friendly lawyers bringing "strippers" and "pole-dancers" with them as they "discuss legal strategy." Clients get shows and feel-ups. "Any lawyer can sign a form and designate a legal assistant." Miami New Times

What? You Think It Was My Fault? (1) Bicyclist-marathoner Sabine von Sengbusch, 46, filed a lawsuit in New York City against pedestrian Meghan Rohan, 28, whom she had rammed in Central Park, alleging that Rohan caused her "painful and permanent" injuries that kept her out of work (but not out of her next scheduled marathon, in which she finished 2nd). von Sengbusch was inside the bike lane, but New York law gives pedestrians the right of way, period. (2) Jesse Dimmick filed a $235,000 lawsuit in Shawnee County, Kan., against Jared and Lindsay Rowley for breaching their "contract" to help Dimmick in exchange for money. The "contract" was "agreed to" while Dimmick held the Rowleys captive in the Rowley home, following his escape and with police surrounded the house. Because the Rowleys failed to help him out, a police officer eventually shot Dimmick in the back, and that hurts, and Dimmick wants the Rowleys to pay him. (He's in prison, of course, but still . . ..) New York Post /// Capital-Journal (Topeka)

Readers' Choice: The year's nastiest downfall occurred in Arapahoe County, Colo., when Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. was charged with trading methamphetamines to male addicts in exchange for sex and was booked into the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Center, named for him after he retired as sheriff in 2002. Denver Post

Point Taken: Mark Wach's defense to charges that included aggravated domestic assault and shooting at his lawn mower and various other targets in his backyard in Palm City, Fla. (according to the police report): "He then stated that he shoots in the yard all the time and that fighting is what redneck people do." TCPalm.com (Stuart, Fla.)

Absurdities

Recurring Theme: Once again, a rape victim is thrown in prison (in Afghanistan), but this time she's pardoned by the country's big cheese himself (Hamid Karzai) because she has decided of her own "free will" to marry the rapist. Honor preserved; sanctity of marriage achieved; tribal harmony kept. BBC News

Update: In Pro Edition, 7-18-2011, Yr Editor informed you that the most-highly-paid California bureaucrat last year was a prison surgeon who can't operate because his bosses think he's incompetent, but whom they can't fire because personnel officers think not enough T's were crossed and I's dotted to fire him. Last week, the Los Angeles Times said there were 29 more prison medical workers in the same condition (thus wasting $8 million over the last five years). Los Angeles Times

Fine Points of the Law: Alleged New Jersey mobster Alfonso Cataldo owns beaucoup assets and a handsome spousal income stream, but technically, he qualifies for a public defender. (Actually, it's his phony income stream that prosecutors will lay out in his trial.) Philadelphia Inquirer

Nicolas Cage on the cover of a 1998 8th-grade biology textbook in Serbia? Daily Mail (London)

The U.S. Air Force Academy has opened an $80,000 "outdoor worship center" (i.e., rocks and a fire pit) for all of its pagans, druids, witches, and Wiccans. This year, that's "3." [ed.: And the appeal to a practicing Wiccan of a career in the U.S. military during a time of war would be . . .?] Los Angeles Times

Can't Please Everybody: Condemned murderer Gary Haugen has demanded a speedy execution. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber says no one will be executed on his watch, and unless he resigns soon, Haugen will just have to go on suffering a while longer, like the rest of us. Associated Press via Yahoo News

Losers

Rookie Mistake: Tyechia Rembert, 33, robbed a Burger King in York, Pa. Police know it was she because they tracked her cell phone location when she called the BK back to see if anyone had copied down her license plate number. (They hadn't.) York Dispatch

The Aristocrats! (1) Hey, y'all, look at my hemorrhoid!! Arthur Andrews was arrested for flashing in Orland Park, Ill. (2) Mercedes Donahue was angry that her neighbor was taking incriminating pictures of her dog pooping in his yard: I'll give you something to take a picture of! She dropped trou and showed her 'roid (if she has one). Orland Park Patch /// TCPalm.com (Stuart, Fla.)

A 36-year-old man in Monroe, Ore., watched a squirrel run up his leg while he was holding a .22-caliber rifle. So he pointed it at the squirrel and fired--missing (except, of course, for hitting his foot). Associated Press via Statesman Journal (Salem, Ore.)

He was proclaimed "Germany's dumbest bank robber." Siegfried K., 57, knocked over a physiotherapy studio in Osnabrueck. He thought it was a bank, and he acted like it was a bank, but the bank had moved out of the building. (Bonus: 17 years ago) Agence France-Presse via Google News

Oh! Dear!

The perils of pre-purchase of cemetery plots: By the time you die, they may be running out of space. Agnes Zimmick's family is suing St. Stanislaus cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pa., because the casket was too big for the space, requiring employees to jump up and down on it to force it into the hole. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Perfectly Synchronous Retaliation: So, the snail-slow Indian government refuses to act on Mr. Hakkul's applications for property to raise and caretake venomous snakes. Hence, Mr. Hakkul releases "dozens" of them into the lobby of the government office presiding over the delay. BBC News

The Pervo-American Community

Peter Bower of Shelby, Ohio, is one of your harder-core dog lovers, but he may skate for some in-the-act bestiality because the state doesn't quite yet have an anti-bestiality law. (Hence, prosecutors must prove actual "abuse" of the dog, and Bower does seem quite solicitous of his bitch's welfare.) In a previous law enforcement visit, animal porn and a blow-up sheep doll were discovered. WBNS-TV (Columbus) /// WOIO-TV (Cleveland) via KLTV (Tyler, Tex.) [6-20-2011]

The io9.com blog made reference to "Subcutaneous Penile Insertion of Domino Fragments by Incarcerated Males in Southwest United States Prisons" in Journal of Sexual Medicine. Conclusions: (1) Prisoners thought it would feel good. (2) It doesn't. io9.com

A female teacher in Shawnee, Okla., had her third-grade girls over for a Christmas pizza party and had them model underwear for her camera. Highlight: underpants reading "Santa's Little Ho Ho HO." Apparently a man was also involved, by phone. The Smoking Gun

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


Four selections from The Smoking Gun's weekly collection: hairstyling on a probation violator /// beard-styling for a disorderly conduct guy /// Could he possibly be guilty? /// Ya think he respects our traffic laws?

Below The Fold

A factory in Rhea County, Tenn., went up in flames. Before the fire, they had been making firewood. WRCB-TV (Chattanooga)

Charged with vandalizing the Hope Valley Barracks mailbox in Richmond, R.I.: the 27-year-old Mr. Wanker Rene. RI.gov

Renaissance man Thomas Ackerman, 24, must've been quite a disappointment to his mother, what with being charged with arson on a laundry in Oklahoma City. After all, Ackerman said he has seven college degrees, is an architectural engineer, phlebotomist, stuntman, mixed-martial artist, and sex toy engineer, and designed the Green Goblin's hoverboard in three "Spider-Man" movies. NewsOK.com (Oklahoma City)

Updates & Recurring Themes

Samir Chowhan [Pro Edition, 10-26-2009] received only a one-year suspension from the Illinois Bar Association for his help-wanted ad on Craigslist, seeking a legal secretary who would also put out regularly for him and his partner. ABA Journal

Editor's Notes

Time-Wasters: (1) Well, here's a pig born without back legs, but never mind, because he's learned to walk on the front ones. (2) A video'd last will and testament with granddad disbursing the family property boringly until he gets to his crown jewel: Who will get his precious, extensive collection of dildos? Might even be real. Well, possibly. OK, outside chance. [NSFW language]

Newsrangers: R.L. Rittmaster, Kathy Kelly, Perry Levin, Charles Landau, Douglas Boyle, Matt Korth, Karen Bledsoe, Chris Schulman, David Swanson, John Ellwood, Seth Chernoff, Sharon Corbett, Telaraj Webster, and Jim Weiss, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors