Monday, February 27, 2012

Chuck's Weekly Cite-Seeing Tour
The Crème de la Crème, Every Monday

Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
February 27, 2012

(datelines from February 17 or later) (links correct as of February 27)
© 2012 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Hong Kong: The Guizhentang pharmaceutical company is looking to expand (by 3x) the size of its bear-bile-farming operation. Bear bile is thought to be a magic curative for many illnesses (and according to the farmers, bears couldn't be prouder to give it up) (sedated) (with long-ass syringes). New York Times

San Francisco: The state Administrative Office of the Courts is collecting demographic data on all judges in the state, to encourage diversity in the selection of 50 new ones. (But they can't ask about "sexual orientation," can they?) (Yes.) The Weekly Standard

Columbia Heights, Minn.: A cop noticed that Eric King, 21, seemed to be shuffling along with the gait of someone 101 rather than 21. (It was that 19-inch TV in his pants, along with remote and power cords, from a shoplifting.) KSTP-TV (St. Paul)

Cayce, S.C.: I know how you and I can make some money! Let's scam an insurance company! Ummm, I'll handle the paperwork, and you . . your job is to let me chop off your hand, OK? WIS-TV (Columbia)

Wasilla, Alaska: Two local artists displayed their sculpture, "Warrior Within," at Wasilla High, but yanked it after three days. It's a pair of shields, surrounded by feathers, and according to people up in Palinville, it looks too much like a hoo-hah [image Completely Safe For Work]. Mat-su Valley Frontiersman (Wasilla)

Jacksonville, Fla.: The convenience store "robber" fled empty-handed. He was armed, well, he was pointing his finger like a gun under his shirt. (Bonus: You know you've failed if, in the course of a "robbery," a customer breaks out laughing.) Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville)

St. Paul, Minn.: Busted! Prosecutors found at least 104 cops from 18 agencies who accessed the kinda-cute Anne Marie Rasmusson's records on the official-business database. (Her lawyer: Cops treated the confidential database like it was Facebook.) City Pages (Minneapolis)

Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Can't possibly be true, but Judge Mark Martin, in a December ruling that only last week drew national attention, absolved a Muslim of harassing an atheist (dressed as Zombie Muhammad at the Halloween parade). Judge Martin, an Islam convert, said Islam basically requires Talaag Elbayomy to snatch Ernest Perce's sign out of his hand, First Amendment be damned. The Sentinel (Carlisle, Pa.) [via Jonathan Turley blog]

Fayetteville, N.C.: Anthony McDaniel, 47, had to come back all the way from Texas (where he now lives) just to answer a charge that he once embezzled food from his employer, the Skibo Skillet (meatballs, anchovy dip, etc., total value, $208). (Bonus: Skibo Skillet's out of business, but so what?) Greensboro News-Record

Croydon, England.: Three widely-admired, 30-year-old trees were ordered chopped down. One person had warned the Council that the trees' berries, lying on the ground, were slippery and that someone might get hurt. This Is Croydon Today

Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Charles Hersel was acquitted. He may well have paid high school students to spit in his face and slap him, but since it wasn't for "sexual gratification," he gets off (so to speak). KTLA-TV (Los Angeles)

Gosport, England: Man had a seizure in 3 ft. of water and drowned. Cops, firefighters arrived on scene . . and watched.. (They're not trained in water rescue; the firefighters trained in wading were on their way.) Daily Telegraph

Washington, D.C.: Under the District of Calamity wonderland's contracting rules, David Wilmot qualifies for special consideration as "economically disadvantaged." (Outside of D.C. contracting rules, he's one of the fattest-cat lobbyists in town.) Washington Times

Salt Lake City: They're trying hard in Mormonia to respect the rights of non-believers, so much so that a bill winding through the state legislature requires that at least two members of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission be certified drinkers. New York Times

Houston, Tex.: KTRK-TV reported on Wednesday the arrests of both Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor (he, stealing from a CVS, she, drug possession). KTRK-TV /// KTRK-TV

Brisbane, Australia: Defrauding is still a crime even if your victim is a Nigerian scammer. Courier Mail (Brisbane)

Washington, D.C.: C'mon, who doesn't respect our returning troops? Well . . (1) The number-one violator of federal job-security law for returning war veterans is . . federal agencies (18% of all complaints). (2) If the war zone messes you up psychologically, at least you get free treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder the Army tries to diagnose you with Personality Disorder, a "pre-existing condition," leaving you discharged and benefitless. Washington Post /// New York Times

Editor's Note: That last story was pretty harsh. Here, relax a bit, with some Japanese Fart Art. Tofugu.com

Thanks to John Egan, Jim Dukes, and Carol Taylor, and the mighty NOTW Board of Editorial Advisors.