Monday, July 25, 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
July 25, 2011
(datelines July 16-July 23) (links correct as of July 25)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Inelegant American Justice, Plus Satan in Your Mucus and the Great Tonsil

★ ★ ★ ★!

Wrong Place, Wrong Time: First, there's this guy, minding his own business when his neighbor tells police that he sees a burglar at our guy's house. Cops respond. Our guy freaks out (gets pepper-sprayed, locks himself in a closet). Judge now says, That'll be six months in jail for resisting arrest (cut to 30 days upon recommendation of the jury). It's Tex-ass; you must co-operate when police wrongfully arrest you in your own home. Then, here's John Gass of Natick, Mass., who is representative of the growing group of Bay State drivers firmly (but wrongly) identified as scofflaws by facial recognition software. [It'll get worse; get used to it.] And finally, you have this Georgia woman and her three kids, crossing the street (perhaps jaywalking, perhaps not), banged into by a hit-and-run driver, killing the woman's 4-year-old. It's already awful for her, but the prosecutor then administers the coup de grâs, charging her with second-degree vehicular manslaughter (a felony) because she jaywalked (a misdemeanor) with her kids. She faces a tougher sentence than the three-time hit-and-run driver. (Seriously.) [The woman? African-American--why do you ask?] Lufkin Daily News /// Boston Globe /// Atlanta Journal-Constitution [July 14]

Update: That Cute White Supremacist Girl Group: Prussian Blue (twin blonde singers Lamb and Lynx Gaede, then age 13), at one time the toasts of NOTW [Weirdnuz 930, 12-30-2005], are now 19, and they're sorry 'bout all that Aryan stuff. They are still tight with their Hitler-admiring mother-manager, April, who thinks the girls' diversity/rainbow obsession is just a phase. Lamb and Lynx are also fairly sickly but are toughing it out . . with medical marijuana! The Daily

Further Substantiating the Big-Stuff Theory: Researcher Tatu Westling of the University of Helsinki might have started his study as a hoot, but he now takes it more seriously. If you chart countries' economic growth rates against their average penis lengths, there's a decent correlation for concluding that "smaller" nations obviously try harder while "larger" nations might be resting on their laurels. (Also last week, DailyCaller.com trotted out an evergreen on federal spending--ongoing work using National Institutes of Health grants to learn how gay men with big stuff differ from gay men with smaller stuff.) The Atlantic /// Daily Caller

American Gothic: Small towns are so cute, the way they do things, like the city council of Gould, Ark. (pop. 1,100), which thinks it's OK to require people forming any kind of group to first get their permission. New York Times

Return of the 1980s' Scary Monster: Jason? Michael Myers? No, it's the Daycare Molester (dormant since almost all of the celebrated cases of the 1980s died of prosecutorial embarrassment). He's back, in the person of "Mr. Bob" Adams, principal and owner of Creative Frontiers in Citrus Heights, Calif., who stands accused of improperly feeling up at least 10 kids over the last 15 years. ABC News

Absurdities

New Jersey law counts behavior "to degrade or humiliate" in its definition of "sexual" contact, so when a 14-year-old bully held a younger punk down and dragged his bare butt over the punk's face, i.e., "horseplay," he's now a "sex offender" . . for life. Star-Ledger (Newark)

Among possible reasons for a federal worker's having to give up his job, "death by natural causes" is five times more likely than "fired for poor performance." USA Today

Illinois inmate Johnathan Pinney, 26, filed a federal lawsuit against the state and the feds for repeatedly, wrongly arresting him over the years. For all to be forgiven, he wrote, the judge needs to award him uninhabited land so that he can start his own country. WBBM Radio (Chicago)

At least according to one guard at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, There's no lesbian hand-holding! The exhibit the handholders were viewing was by the late lesbian artist Gertrude Stein. (Bonus: In the F State, though, Lesbians 1, Straights 0. It's a major felony to boff someone without disclosing your HIV-positive status. However, in Florida, "sexual intercourse" can only be between a man and a woman; thus, these-here HIV-spreading lesbians go free.) San Francisco Chronicle /// Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Can't Possibly Be True: There's actually a Guinness Book record for largest tonsil ever removed (2.1 inches by 1.1 inches by 0.7 inch thick). The proud overachiever is Mr. Justin Werner. Associated Press via Wichita Eagle

To comply with federal law, the District of Columbia must have at least one federally licensed gun dealer (to handle lawful transfer purchases from other states), but the last surviving D.C. dealer lost his lease and can't find alternate space because D.C. zoning laws make it hard to be a gun dealer. However, the D.C. police, as part of a newfound good-neighbor policy, have rented him store space inside police headquarters . . and for $100 a month. Washington Times

The End Game: It doesn't get more basic than this. Salvador Pachuca of Bryan, Tex., saw an image of the Virgin Mary and now believes his life has been blessed by this "miracle." The Virg appeared on his truck's rearview mirror . . in the mosaic of splatter from the rear end of a flyover bird. KBTX-TV (Bryan) via KWTX-TV (Waco)

Losers

DIY Masterpieces: (1) This guy siphoned gasoline with an electric leaf blower (because he was worried someone was putting sugar in his girlfriend's car's tank) (keyword: "electric," as in "sparks"). (2) This-here guy set out to cremate his dog but somehow set his house on fire. (Bonus: A week later, the dog's still lying there.) BayNews9 (Tampa-St. Petersburg) /// WJLA-TV (Washington, D.C.)

Jared Madeiros, 21, was found in distress in Ceres, Calif., and rescued. By "in distress," I mean he fell into a storm drain, head first, with only his feet and lower legs visible. Modesto Bee

Two fellas, ages 21 and 22, broke into a police van in Radnor, Pa., to take pictures of themselves pretending to be under arrest, but naturally they locked themselves inside by accident. They called 911 and were rescued, and then re-locked-up. PhillyNews.com

Oh! Dear!

Penal Code Reform: A local court in a village near Dhaka, Bangladesh, found a man, 30, guilty of kidnaping and marrying an underage girl, and the punishment was to walk around naked in the village with a brick tied to his stuff. Agence France-Presse via Evil Empire [news.com.au (Sydney)]

The Pervo-American Community

Sounds Like a Joke: Jerry Prieto, 38, was arrested in Benton County, Wash., for soliciting men's room sex. Police say there were sex messages and an arrow drawn on the floor, from a felt-tipped pen, pointing to Prieto's stall. (Bonus: He was found in a "modified yoga pose.") Seattle Weekly

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


Here's Matthew Miranda. 24, of West Haven, Conn., who might possibly have taken a neighbor's car without permission and rammed her above-ground swimming pool. Possibly. Hartford Courant

And here's Joseph Zeock, 61, charged--just charged, mind you--in Woodstock, Ga., with a sexual encounter that was consensual right up to the part where the woman gets set on fire. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

And here are Wilma Mannella, 53, and her son Joshua, 24, who were charged after they relocated to St. Charles, Ill. Their new digs are too close to a daycare facility (seeing as how they're both registered sex offenders). Chicago Tribune

From last week's Smoking Gun collection . . this latest in male arrestee hair fashion. The Smoking Gun

Editor's Notes

ABC News was there in East Aurora, N.Y., with video of a typical deliverance service of the Agape Bible Fellowship, in which Pastor John commands the demons to leave believers' bodies from whatever avenues they are using (tattoos, hemorrhoids, etc.). It usually gets messy as the afflicted hock their mucus and throw-up into church-supplied barf bags. (Snot and pus also accepted; Satan is sneaky that way.) Services always end with some congregants (apparently demon-free that week) holding the possessed ones down on the floor as they spit and cough and moan for the spirits to GTFO. ABC News

Yr Editor hasn't seen it, but it says here, on Salon.com, that Summer's Eve (the freshen-it-up people) has a new series of video ads on the "power" of the "V": "Over the ages, and throughout the world, men have fought for it, even died for it. One might say it's the most powerful thing on earth." "Hail to the V!" Indeed. Salon.com

Newsrangers: Perry Levin, Peter Hine, Steve Dunn, and Garry Swaffar, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors

Monday, July 18, 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
July 18, 2011
(datelines July 9-July 16) (links correct as of July 18)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Prescient German Engineering, Plus Mac & Mag & Cheese and Fun with Corpses

★ ★ ★ ★!

Love Dolls, the Early Years: A mainstream British historian, peeling through records on the history of the Barbie doll, learned of the Borghild Project, in which Adolf Hitler, wary that STDs (especially syphilis) were disabling more soldiers than munitions were, ordered production of the forerunner of life-sized anatomically-correct female dolls, to encourage, umm, stress relief. Turned out that the allied bombing of Dresden in 1945 wiped out the factory and the project. Thus, Mattel and Doc Johnson had to start elsewhere. (Bonus: And don't forget the talking dogs!) Daily Mail (London) /// Mother Nature Network

Citizen-Legislators: How refreshing, the narrative goes, that from time to time in America, we elect ordinary people (yay!) in place of professional politicians (boo!). Enter Tennessee state Rep. Julia Hurley, newly-elected following a stint as a Hooters gal. Turns out that, in the lege's first late-night session, featuring complicated budget issues, the bored-silly Rep. Hurley carved her initials in her lege chamber desk. Associated Press via Knoxville News Sentinel

Fine Points of the Law: Marc Gilbert, in Tacoma, Wash., is likely the only U.S. prisoner allowed child porn in his cell . . in fact, quite a stash (100 DVDs). (The videos depict him molesting boys--the centerpiece of the case against him--and since he has permission to be his own lawyer at trial, he gets access to the evidence.) KOMO-TV (Seattle)

Out of Order!: Melissa Hartwick lodged an informal objection to the judge's ruling ("contempt of court," 10 days' lockup), and by "informal objection," I mean she tried to climb over the judge's bench and take Her Honor out. Of course there's video. WLEX-TV (Lexington, Ky.)

Absurdities

Frances Ragusa threatened her ex-husband: No more delays on that $14,000 child support! (Bonus: It's 34 years overdue, the kids are way-grown, Frances is 75.) New York Post

Julia Sullivan, 16, of Aurora High (Aurora, Neb.), keeps getting passed over for the cheerleader squad and is now suing. The squad ought to "accommodate" Julia's disability, she says, and develop some cheers that can be done by a girl like her, born with (a) arms only down to her elbows and (b) no legs. Omaha World-Herald

At an international food products show in Washington, D.C., a Welsh company offered Illanllyr brand, er, organic water. (Organic water?) (Yes.) It is pumped from underneath certified organic fields, which is one way to look at it (but another way to look at it is that "water" cannot possibly be "organic"). NPR

Government in Action: (1) Air Canada was fined $12,000 for speaking English instead of Francais with a customer in 2009. (It's the law.) (2) Omaha Public Schools was revealed to have spent $130,000 of federal stimulus money . . . to buy copies of a touchy-feely self-help book for every single employee (8,000) in the system. (3) NYPD's latest pension absurdity: Cop retired on "disability"; he was malingering; got caught; ordered back to work; failed drug test and was fired; Pension Board saved his job, but NYPD won't put a druggie cop back to work--leaving his stream of pension payments intact. Ta-daaa! (4) The highest-paid state employee in California last year was Jeffrey Rohlfing, M.D., prison surgeon, $777,423, but he's so incompetent, the prison won't even let him operate on murderers. Toronto Sun /// Omaha World-Herald /// New York Post /// Los Angeles Times

Oh! Dear!

William Chambliss, 69, Huntington, Tex., picked a bad time to get caught for DUI--just after putting his two grandkids up on the roof of his SUV for a little thrill ride. KTRE-TV (Lufkin, Tex.)

School Spirit: Ohio State fan Roy Miracle, 80, died, and his daughter Juli conceived the perfect send-off: photo of dad and some relatives contorting their bodies to spell out letters O, H, I, and another O--but this time with Roy's corpse as the "I." Columbus Dispatch

Oops! Indianapolis police officials intended only to alert officers who had had irregular-fit problems with their protective vests, but somehow that translated into releasing names and chest sizes of 13 female cops. Gannett News Service via WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

This Summer's State Fair Food: Chocolate-covered bacon, fried butter, Krispy Kreme-encased cheeseburgers . . and this year's big discovery (at the California State Fair) . . the maggot melt (which is just what it sounds like). KCCI-TV (Des Moines, Iowa) /// Sacramento Bee

Life can't have been all pleasant so far for this fella (who's now in the hospital after his DUI collision in Buffalo, N.Y.)--Mr. Jack Goff. Buffalo News

The Pervo-American Community

Prominent exotic animal collector-daredevil-neckpain Sam Mazzola was found dead in Columbia Station, Ohio, under undignified circumstances ("bound to the bed with handcuffs, chains and padlocks," face down, ball-gag, etc., the usual). Plain Dealer

According to NYPD, Darnell Hardware, 26, has had many happy endings in the past "nearly a decade," but achieved by rubbing against women in crowded NYC subway cars. Lots of DNA around. Metro (New York)

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


Charles Gurin, 66, charmer? Or a guy with a need to perv women up first? WJW-TV (Cleveland)

Patrick Brooks, 21, was arrested for burglary and forgery in Redding, Calif. Tough call. [mugshot Not Safe For Work] The Smoking Gun

Ivan Charles, 23, was charged with severely roughing up his 4-week-old kid (who's now on a ventilator), but he couldn't possibly be guilty because, if he were, why would he be laughing in the mug shot? Orlando Sentinel

Editor's Notes

Yr Editor is busily embroiled this summer in trying to correct earlier mistakes in his life, mainly dealing with Packratism Syndrome. I've had a rich and varied life (good), but it has left a rich and varied paper trail (bad). Thus (through August, I'm afraid), Pro Edition won't quite be as important to me. (Hey, but it's free of charge!. That's something, right?)

Newsrangers: Mackenzie Aylesworth, Gerald Thomason, Dale Ireland, Robert Schwartz, Dave Shepardson, Patrick Larson, Ken Wilder, Phil Helms, Dean Ferro, and Bruce Leiserowitz, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors

Monday, July 11, 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
July 11, 2011
(datelines July 2-July 9) (links correct as of July 11)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

One Grand Prosperity Gospel, plus High-Tech Dive-Bombing and . . a Zedonk

From Yr Editor

Ehhhhh . . . halfway-back issue. Getting there. Keep expectations low for News of the Weird (which by the way is now the world's only English-language news source with the acronym NOTW)

★ ★ ★ ★!

The Day Pastor Creflo Dollar Foamed at the Mouth: The foremost practitioner of the "Prosperity Gospel" (i.e., God measures his servants' goodness by their wealth) was surely struck constipated after learning last week that one Hindu temple in southern India contains at least $22,000,000,000 worth of gold, diamonds, and other jewels, collected by the priests as offerings over the years. Imagine, Pastor Dollar might have thought . . every priest . . each with his own personal private jet! NPR News Blog [referencing Associated Press, The Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, and BBC News] /// Creflo Dollar

Won't You Please Be Generous to the Severely Afflicted?: Michigan inmate Kyle Richards sued the state for its ban on porn in prison, citing his disability of "chronic masturbation syndrome." Detroit News /// Macomb Daily [mugshot after the January bank robbery that put him in the slammer]

Way-Inconvenient Truths: (1) Global warming by man-made greenhouse gases is real, acknowledged a Boston University researcher, but countervailingly real is global cooling by sulfur particles (which reflect sunlight back into space) from all those Chinese coal-burning power plants. (Bonus: "Cooling" may be winning.) (2) Surveys led by a Cornell researcher demonstrated, over a wide range of "Government Social Programs," that 25% to 64% of beneficiaries either don't know or refuse to believe that what they're getting is a "government social program" benefit. The Independent (London) /// BoingBoing.net [source available at link]

Sounds Familiar . .: An Air Force plane crashed on Wednesday just south of . . Roswell, N.Mex., and the local commander issued a statement reminding all the paranoids considering trekking to the area that they should "cooperate with military and civilian authorities." Of course. Associated Press via Fox News

Absurdities

Taiwan celebrates the "lower gods." The Electric Flower Car is a traveling strip show that plays funerals, celebrating the deceased while entertaining their families in song and dance (formerly nekkid but now in tasteful bikinis). It is chronicled in a recent documentary. i09.com

The founder of the Guess fashion house sued IRS to force an audit of his books, but--who would've known?--there's no right to an IRS audit! TaxProf Blog [law citation at the link]

Sadly, people still can't legally shoot their own cars in most jurisdictions--even Arizona!. Kingman Daily Miner

Artist Cy Twombly died, leaving behind a collection of oversized child-like scribblings and paint smudges that have, for decades, sent connoisseurs into tizzies of awe. New York Times [obit] [a gallery is available high up on a Google search for cy twombly]

"Three Squares a Day": At New York City's Coney Island, the Parks Department is rationing toilet paper for visitors . . that is, female visitors . . because the men's room has none at all. New York Post

Australia's Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency circulated a paper proposing, as one way to reduce greenhouse gases, culling the country's 1.2 million [whoa!] camels . . because each one emits 45kg of methane a year. Australian Associated Press via News.com.au

Losers

Jonathan Schwartz (911 call): I just killed my mom! Jonathan Schwartz (upon reflection, as cops arrive): My mom just killed herself! New York Daily News

Skinhead tough guy Daren Abbey, 28, confronted a black man in an Idaho bar (no, no, seriously--black, in Idaho) and punched him. Black man, 46, put a bigger hurting on Abbey. It was dark in the bar, and Abbey apparently couldn't make out the man's T-shirt, which read "Spokane Boxing Club champion." KREM-TV (Spokane) via Northwest Cable News

Rednecks At Large: Three guys were charged with stealing a big stuffed alligator, strapping it to their pickup, and joy-riding it though the mud. From the mugshots, it's not clear that these particular gentlemen had any better opportunities to have fun than this. Flint Journal

Sean Ogden, 19, Durango, Colo., was badly burned when he attempted to create bigger fireworks from the innards of smaller ones . . by using a coffee grinder to rip the smaller ones open. Associated Press via Denver Post

Did Frank Pence really try to extort $22,000 from his former employer via an elaborate "drop the money in a bucket out in the woods" scheme, or is he (as he says) just a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, reeling in the wrong bucket? WLWT-TV (Cincinnati)

Oh! Dear!

According to a research paper presented at a Glasgow conference last week, pigeons' facial-recognition software is so sophisticated that they'll correctly dive bomb an old human enemy even if you try really hard to disguise that enemy as a friendly. Eurekalert.org

A More Honorable Profession: British banking consultant Thomas Heathfield, 32, got out just in time, entering an endurance training program in South Africa to become a sangoma, an herbal-cure witch-doctor sort who reads bones and goes by the name Gogo Mndawe. Daily Telegraph (London)

Run for Your Life! At the Xiamen Haicang Safari Park in China, a donkey was born with the legs of a zebra. The zoo's three adult male donkeys aren't talking, and neither is the female zebra. WhatsOnXiamen.com [link from Nothing to Do with Arbroath]

Cliche Come to Life: The latest well-hung female CEO is apparently the screeching Nancy Silberkleit, former head of Action [CORRECTION: Archie] Comics, who has been trespassed from Action Archie headquarters as a menace. Among her legacies: the time she burst into an office yelling "Penis, penis, penis, penis!" and the time she told a subordinate, "I need to adjust my balls." New York Daily News

The Pervo-American Community

David Castricone, 62, is a legendary high school wrestling coach at Massachusetts's North Andover High School, but his recent legend includes lurking in the girls' locker room at least nine times in a recent month. New York Daily News

Usually a perv who compulsively snaps photos in a restroom is a male perv, and almost never an actual working member of the judiciary. However, meet Plantation, Fla., traffic magistrate Rhonda Hollander, 47. (Bonus: She kept clicking, even as cops hauled her away.) South Florida Sun-Sentinel via Orlando Sentinel

Caught in a closet in the MVC Late Night adult shop in Woodbridge, Va., getting familiar with a blow-up doll, was Mr. Justin Dale Little Jim, 28, clearly guilty of something under the Three First Names protocol. Inside NoVa.com

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


Ryan Grunewald, 35, might be innocent of stealing that truck, i.e., perhaps he's telling the truth that he bought it with money sent to him by Ms. Paris Hilton when they fell in love telepathically and he set out from Madison, Wis., aiming for Hollywood and wedded bliss. La Crosse Tribune via Madison.com

Weird 2.0

A Southampton University (England) professor verified that too many mothers smoke during pregnancy for the primary purpose of having smaller babies that will be easier to deliver. Daily Telegraph

S-s-s-s-s-s-s-s!: The worst big U.S. bank? Obviously, that's Bank of Amer-- . . no, wait, Chase . . yeah, Chase . . no, no, Bank of America . . no, Chase, yeah, Chase. This poor schmuck, Mr. Ikenna Njoku, actually did jail time for Chase's error . . and lost his job . . and his car. (Update: Chase apologized . . a year later!) [Full Disclosure: Yr Editor may have an ax to grind; see Editor's Notes] KING-TV (Seattle)

Below The Fold

Manure News: (1) Norfolk, Neb., is expecting at least 1,200 this coming weekend for the 2011 North American Manure Expo, with 53 vendors and panels of manure-management experts (i.e., people who do know jack sh*t). (2) Someone stole a female Sulcata tortoise (70 lbs.) from The Animal Store in Lincolnwood, Fla. (Threatened the store owner, "The first time it takes a dump in your bedroom, you're going to be sorry.) Associated Press via KLKN-TV (Lincoln) /// Orlando Sentinel

Updates and Recurring Themes

Philip Contos died last week. He was part of a bikers' protest of New York's mandatory-helmet law, and he was riding helmetless. Something went wrong, and he crashed to the pavement, head first. Doctors were certain he'd still be alive if . . .. WSYR-TV (Syracuse)

Editor's Notes

I hate to be the one to have to tell y'all, but in two recent instances, the U.S. legal system was not weird. In fact, it worked perfectly. The New York D.A. (Cyrus Vance, not Jack McCoy) correctly arrested Dominique Strauss-Kahn on the fly and then correctly made prompt disclosure of troublesome aspects of his case. (As far as I know, I have no readers in Frawnz, but if I do, and you sense DSK vilified by CV, well, KM[US]A.) As well, the Casey Anthony jury reached the only possible verdict justified by the ordinary meaning of "beyond a reasonable doubt" (given that there was no serious proof of exactly how the little girl died--without even exploring too closely the mystical nature of the forensic evidence). But there was one little imperfection: According to state law (which is similar to the laws in other states), Anthony will have to pay "court costs" . . six hundred dollars . . when the actual costs to which she put the court, just by virtue of her lies during the investigation, were exponentially higher.

Alas, however, the Anthony case continues to provide succor, such as the certainty by central F-Staters that it was divine disapproval of the verdict that caused the lightning strike that tore the bark off a tree at the child's makeshift memorial site. (That is, an estimated 200 children are murdered by their parents every year [not counting "fetuses" as children] . . so, did the Lord have a thing going on for Caylee?) (Bonus: Defense lawyer Jose Baez was basically a moral bottom-wallower who barely clawed his way into the bar association [sort of like Donald Trump becoming President of the United States] . . and now he's the toast of the town!. Orlando Sentinel /// Criminal Report Daily /// Miami Herald [citing several Orlando Sentinel reports]

Disclosure regarding J.P. Morgan Chase: Yr Editor has a mortgage with Chase, and is and has always been in full compliance, including annually renewing my contractually-required flood insurance. Nonetheless, nearly every year, a month after the flood insurance has been renewed, Chase mails me a formal threat that it is about to be "forced" to sell me a (ridiculously overpriced) flood insurance policy because, gee, it has no record of my renewal. My agent faxed it. We don't have it. I then faxed it. Oh, it's smudged, and we can't read the renewal date. I then mailed a hard copy. Oh, dear, we can't seem to find that. I try to win over the poor 800-operator but once again draft my lawsuit for damages in my head. (Obviously, based on what happened to Mr. Njoku, a mere threat is useless.) Miraculously, Chase finds my document and won't be forced to write me a new flood insurance policy after all! It surely bothers me that Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is (properly) treated with suspicion on behalf of his company but that Jamie Dimon, for all Chase's many continuing missteps in the mortgage business, retains respectability as J.P. Morgan Chase CEO. Dimon is easily the most morally overrated executive in America.

Newsrangers: Gerald Sacks, Sandy Pearlman, Bob Pert, Nathalie Shein, Sue Clark, and Peter Hine, and the waves and waves of readers who noticed the biker-helmet protester's passing, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors

Monday, July 04, 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
July 4, 2011
(datelines June 25-July 2) (links correct as of July 4)
© 2011 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Green Vibrations, Plus A Pair of Human Reptiles and Our New Mexican Overlords

From Yr Editor

Umm . . er . . well . . this is the 5th of four consecutive weeks of half-assed three-quarters-assed jobs at putting Pro Edition together. "These fixes take time," said President Obama (possibly referring to a different matter). (Spoiler Alert: There may be a 6th.)

★ ★ ★ ★!

Environmental Movement Aroused: Ten Green Party members of the German parliament issued a formal demand for improved regulation of air water forests dildos and anal plugs that "contain a high amount of phthalates, other carcinogenic plasticizers, and toxic substances" that can lead to "infertility, hormone imbalances, diabetes, and obesity." Starting point: the same regulation of adult toys as already exists for children's toys. Spiegel Online [photo at link Not Safe For Work]

Parental All-Stars: (1) Toronto police are circulating the surveillance photograph of the 30-ish woman who, in an altercation with another on public transit, grabbed her own urchin from its stroller and used it as a pummeling weapon against the stranger. (2) Angel Flores was arrested in Sweetwater, Tex., having tossed his son, 4, from the car just outside of town--on orders from the Man Upstairs. The kid was rescued and taken to a hospital, where doctors began carefully extracting the 100 or so cactus needles that stuck in him after he landed. (3) Robert Gonzales and Monica Ochoa of Austin, Tex., the parents, respectively, of two combative middle-school girls, arranged, Don-King-style, for the girls to brawl it out in a schoolyard, promoted on social media and recorded for YouTube (but since removed). (Bonus: The parents were also their daughters' cornermen.) Toronto Star /// KHOU-TV (Houston) /// Houston Press

The School Where Everybody's an It: There's a preschool in Stockholm with 33 kids, ages 1-6, with every single gender reference in the place eliminated. The idea is that kids can decide for themselves whether to do aggressive, violent things or to wear pink lace and nurture dolls, etc. (because 4-year-olds are so very smart that way). Oddly, even in Sweden, some people think this is silly. [Y'see, "liberals" identified a real problem, which is that boy stuff is overvalued by society, but then they went and proposed a solution, which is always much trickier than problem-identification.] Associated Press via WRAL-TV (Raleigh, N.C.)

U-S-A! U-S-A . . Sucks! At the Gold Cup soccer championship a week ago Saturday, the raucous crowd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on hand for U.S. vs. Mexico, cheered wildly for the home team, which would be, of course, Mexico, and jeered Mexico's opponent. Home team won, 4-2. (Bonus: Also seemingly aligned with Team Mexico: Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Allstate . . because, well, the Mexican audience is a more loyal tie-in audience.) (Double Bonus: The post-match ceremony was in . . Spanish.) Reuters /// Daily Mail (London)

Lizardman: News of the Weird has reported from time to time on Erik Sprague, the fella who has carefully carved and tattooed his body, and sharpened his teeth, and had bumps inserted in his forehead, to resemble what he apparently would rather be . . a lizard. Well, here he is, sitting in a studio, interviewed by none other than the chief of AOL Weird News, Buck Wolf. [Toward the end of the video clip, it gets Not Safe For Stomachs.] AOL News

Absurdities

Birtherism 2.0: In Davenport, Iowa, Obama protester Richard McCaslin eventually moved on after a stint teaching the good citizens on the street that the President is "reptoid royalty." "Every American president has British peerage, and royalty has always said they have the right to rule by their bloodline. Their ancestors weren't human, they were aliens, probably of the reptilian type." Quad City Times

Wired.com reported that the U.S. Navy bought 59,000 microchips from China last year that were not only cheap knock-offs but might have also been made back-door-hackable to help Chinese techies identify U.S. missiles in flight. BusinessInsider.com

Remember this airline: Jetstar. It looks like the go-to airline if you plan on going nuts and urinating in the aisle while waving your stuff around like an uncontrollable fire hose and then want a mulligan so that the episode doesn't go on your permanent record. Y'see, this-here guy did that . . and Jetstar merely sent him on his way with a warning that he had been a bad boy. New Zealand Herald

Losers

Melvin Jackson, 48, was arrested in Kansas City, Mo., charged with attempting to have sex with an unconscious woman. But, wait, he protested. He'd never rape an unconscious woman, he said: "I thought the lady was dead." Kansas City Star

A man and a woman with extremely short attention spans were arrested in Hillsboro, Mo. They were in the middle of a residential garage burglary and . . got horny . . right there . . as the resident walked in. KSDK-TV (St. Louis)

Matthew Davis, 32, was traffic-stopped and arrested in Cairns, Australia, and charged with stealing an office safe. Professional policework consisted of cops noticing that Davis's car had a large safe hanging out of a door. Cairns Post

Joseph Lombardi, 23, was charged with trying to make a drug buy with a piece of U.S. currency in the denomination of $1 million . . which is appropriate because the "marijuana" he was trying to buy was bogus, too. WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Oh! Dear!

All hail the Lede sentence by reporter Bruce Vielmetti of Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel: "Milwaukee police suspect Otis Lockett of illegally having a gun, so they got a warrant to photograph his penis." Journal Sentinel

Elsewhere in Wisconsin, Thomas O'Neil, 47, took a dump on a stranger's garage floor in Wausau, but he had a valid explanation that clears this up, he thought. He told police that he believed he was in his own garage. Gannett Wisconsin Media via Sheboygan Press

The Pervo-American Community

Alan Walker, 47, of Cowpens, S.C., was arrested for theft, among other things, after being caught in a Hot Spot convenience store just after he had shed his pants and walked out holding his junk inside a plastic bag normally used for bank deposits. Drugs were involved, but otherwise, there's no explanation yet. Spartanburg Herald-Journal

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


[Judges have asked for y'all's expert opinions . . guilty or not guilty?]

Alleged master criminal bulk toilet-paper thief David Pinkham, 53. WHDH-TV (Boston)

Kristen Bush, 29, might have some child-porn issues. KSAT-TV (San Antonio)

And Eugene Hickman, 54, might have a, um, bulldog issue. Northwest Florida Daily News

Below The Fold

In White Plains, N.Y., three guys robbed the Five Guys burger joint, but actually four guys were involved. Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.)

Stephanie Robinette, 30, was one of the most famous women on the Internet last week after she fought with her husband in their car, then locked herself inside, and when cops came, she pulled out a breast and sprayed them (and the inside of her car) with milk. The Aristocrat! Columbus Dispatch

AWI: James Onak, 45, is the most recent driver to find himself in the embarrassing position of needing to be informed by a law enforcement officer that there was a dead body in the passenger seat (who apparently entered via the windshield). Houston Chronicle

The (Quarantined-Story) Zone

It's from London's The Sun, so, y;know, but, reporting from court in Kanturk, County Cork, Ireland, they quote a translator for rape defendant Przemyslaw Jakubowski as saying that, while Jacubowski listened to his alleged victim give testimony, he was, right there in the courtroom, y'know, making himself feel good. The Sun

Newsrangers: Brian Bjolin, David Brideau, Craig Wildman, Todd Watson, Matheu Weidenbach, Jim Fregeau, John Werkman, Cindy Carlson, Shawn Stottlemyer, and Hal Dunham, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors