Archive for the ‘Bizarre’ Category

We only recently passed the 20,000,000 mark last February but we just hit 21,000,000, according to WordPress. Congratulations everyone. This has been a banner year for the site with a continuing increase in traffic, links on other sites, and new voices on the blog. These milestones are coming faster and they give us a chance to look at the spread of our regular readers and commentators. As always, I want to offer special thanks for our weekend contributors: Mark Esposito, Eliane Magliaro, Mike Appleton, Larry Rafferty, Charlton Stanley and Darren Smith. The increasing traffic on the site is gratifying and reaffirms that there are many people looking for mature and civil debate. Even among the top ten sites, I believe that we offer a unique forum of different views and backgrounds in the discussion of law and politics (and a few quirky items).

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Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

LunchBox Laboratory AdRestaurant chain Lunchbox Laboratory caused a bit of a stir when it presented its annual 4/20 sale offering a thirteen dollar Burger of the Gods in a “Buy one get one free” special. 4/20 is celebrated in the cannabis subculture as a national holiday of sorts and the numbers refer to California Senate Bill 420 which authorized medical marijuana in that state. Events during this day are celebrated in many areas of the United States.

For the year 2014, April 20th coincides with Easter. In a melding of the two holidays Lunchbox Laboratory sought a new way to generate business.

The restaurant e-Mailed the advertisement to 13,000 subscribers with the add featuring a burger toting, joint toking Jesus who laments: “When I Get Back, All I Want is the Burger of the Gods.”
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hiattChristopher Nicholas Hiatt, 34, is charged with a rather novel form of assault in Montana: he licked the eyeball of an arresting officer. For that bizarre act, he is charged with felony assault on a peace officer and assault with a bodily fluid in addition to two other charges.

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bully-2-e1397330995935article-2603196-1D0E0E1500000578-133_634x819We have previously discussed the use of shaming punishments by judges around the country — a practice that I have previously denounced in columns and blog postings. I discussed a new case this week on BBC involving Edmond Aviv, 62, in South Euclid, Ohio. Aviv pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. Aviv, 62, had been feuding with his neighbor for 15 years, particularly over the smell of her dryer vent when she did laundry. He retaliated by hookup up kerosene to a fan to blow the smell on to the property of Sandra Prugh. Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams-Byers (left) decided to impose her own brand of justice and ordered him to demean himself in public and wear a signing reading “I AM A BULLY! I pick on children that are disabled, and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in.” For those of us who view this type of novel or shaming punishment to be unprofessional and abusive, it is Judge Williams-Byers who is in serious need for corrective measures. Indeed, many view judges who entertain the public with shaming sentences to be the ultimate bullies.

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Not Recommended by AAA

In Saudi Arabia, this appears the way to change tires on a SUV.

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ows_139692579398037There is a truly horrific case out of Minnesota after David J. Gherity, 60, was arrested for setting his girlfriend on fire in his condominium. What struck me as odd was that he was not charged with attempted murder as opposed to assault in the attack. However, Gheirty’s lawyer says that there is a videotape of Gherity at work at the time of the crime that will vindicate his client.

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310px-Pencils_hbIn New Jersey, Glen Meadow Middle School has added its own bizarre entry in the ever-lengthening list of zero tolerance insanity. According to Ethan Chaplin, he was suspended for twirling a pencil in math class. He says that a student (who had been allegedly bullying him) yelled to the teacher that “He’s making gun motions, send him to juvie.” The school responded by suspending Chaplin and the Vernon Schools Superintendent Charles Maranzano insists that it is the only appropriate response because he must investigate any time that a student claims to be uncomfortable or threatened by another student.

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040114_otr_conti2_640If the police are correct, Colin Chisholm III, 62, and Andrea Chisholm, 54, just may be the most outrageous welfare frauds in history. The Chisholms lived on a $1.2 million yacht when they were not in one of their expensive homes. However, they still collected more than $160,000 in state welfare benefits. They each face one count of welfare fraud. They also portrayed themselves as Lord Colin A.J. & Lady Chisholm of Struy.

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OhwhILJI do not know what concerns me more: that this is news to someone . . .

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Ax BladeA 51-year-old Puyallup, Washington man was reportedly charged with harassment Thursday after allegedly threatening to cut his neighbor’s “nuts off” with an ax for, in part, stealing his underwear.

According to the charging documents filed with Pierce County Superior Court, the victim was outside his home around 4 p.m. Wednesday when Daniel Urton yelled across the yard to him, asking if he had his car keys. When the victim told Urton he didn’t know what he was talking about, Urton fetched an ax from his house and started walking toward the victim, according to the charging documents.

The victim asked Urton what he was doing, and Urton reportedly replied, “I am going to cut your nuts off” and, “I’m going to…kill you.”

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

national-health-service-logoThere is a disturbing and somewhat macabre report out of Great Britain where the bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried fetuses were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found.

Ten National Health Service (NHS) trusts have admitted burning fetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat. Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice which health minister Dr Dan Poulter branded ‘totally unacceptable.’

At least 15,500 fetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts over the last two years alone, according to British news agencies.

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01senator-leland-yee.thumbnailCalifornia State Senator Leland Yee has been charged in a bizarre series of crimes including a conspiracy to traffic weapons after a series of videotaped meetings with an FBI informant. It was a curious position for any elected official to be in but particularly curious for a senator who authored gun control legislation.

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220px-The_Wizard_of_Oz_Lahr_Garland_Bolger_Haley_1939While the wife versus mother-in-law struggle is something of a stereotype, it appears all too real in Truro, Cornwell where Andrew Salmon was mourning the loss of his mother. The death of his mother was bad enough, Salmon insisted, without his wife’s mocking her death by constantly singing “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”. He notably did not respond as did Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: “You have no power here! Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!” Instead, he responded by locking her in a shed — resulting in his arrest for assault.

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If you watch closely, this bizarre hit and run involves a truck that first hits the man and then a mattress flies off the truck and cushions the man before he hits the ground. If this was staged, it was an impressive piece of work.

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220px-Barberini_Faun_front_Glyptothek_Munich_218_n2We previously discussed cases of tourists demanding art in efforts to get memorable photographs, including a recent incident involving an American tourist. We now have an even more egregious incident where a tourist actually climbed on the leg of an early 19th Century statue entitled “The Drunken Satyr” to take a selfie and caused the entire leg to snap off.

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468px-Egri_no_220px-Taron_vl_18_1_gdWe have been following police in this country and abroad arresting people for taking public photographs, including police in England. Now Hungary has passed a law that make photographing people in public a violation of the civil code. When taking a picture for example at a landmark, you must get the consent of anyone who happens to be in the shot even if you have no intention to publish the picture. It is a good thing that this picture of the Siege of Eger was painted in 1552 — a photograph would have resulted in a slew of lawsuits.

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PwqI7OgWe just saw a lawsuit over the selling of the same amount of beer as a small and a large at Steelhead games. This all-too-familiar scene shows that it is not just beer that is misrepresented in terms of quantity at sporting events.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Sub-Machine Gun SelfieIn another example of felons making law enforcement easier Jules Bahler allegedly posted onto Facebook images of himself toting a sub-machine gun the same day he reportedly robbed a Chemical Bank branch in Bay City, Michigan. He is also accused of two more robberies over an eight day period.

On March 5, Bahler reportedly walked into a Chemical Bank branch in Bay City and “displayed what appeared to be a black sub machine gun and demanded money,” according to an affidavit sworn by FBI Agent Sean Callaghan. After a teller gave Bahler $7000, he fled the bank. The prior Pontiac robberies, Callaghan noted, netted Bahler a combined $8300.
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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

No Quartering Association LogoA controversy is developing in Cornwallis, Washington where residents of a neighborhood bordering the army’s Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) say the city council’s latest ordinance is yet another example of an overreaching government.

During the Christmas recess the mayor called a midnight city council meeting, with no public notice, and reportedly of all places in a Seattle pub. After seven exhausting hours the council voted 5 to 4 to enact a law that was purportedly intended to ease the severe traffic jams along Interstate 5 which runs through JBLM. But these intentions some believe were not so benevolent.

The law allocated nine tracts of park land to build high density housing for military personnel and their families. The land is just west of the Berkeley Bridge and soldiers going to and from the base would not need to use I-5. However the land is platted within the realm of the Lafayette neighborhood and its homeowner’s association. Residents angrily objected to their former park being taken over by the city, and in response turned to a relatively unknown civil rights advocacy group, the No Quartering Association, (NQA) to seek redress for the city violating the Third Amendment’s prohibition of quartering soldiers in citizens’ homes. Unfortunately for them, the worst was yet to come.
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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Mary RootIn an outrageous lack of discretion,  some members in the animal control and court system in Havre de Grace, Maryland put 81 year old great grandmother Mary Root through a harrowing ordeal.

Mary Root says her pets somehow got loose from her yard several times. A neighbor took pictures of the dogs running down the street and reported her to Animal Control.
The agency slapped Root with a $7,000 fine or she could spend nearly a year in jail.

“I’m struggling to pay my house taxes. I couldn’t pay it. It’s a different thing when you leave your dogs out and you don’t care. But I do care,” Root said. But when the cancer survivor failed to show up at court on her doctor’s orders, a judge had Root arrested.

She was booked, fingerprinted and issued a striped jumpsuit. She waited to see a judge in a cell without her cancer medication.
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Entreating the Godfather

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Due to the close of the legislative session, the various families in the legislature were not able to agree how to put the Medical Marijuana industry out of business. Bosses at the Liquor Control Board and the two prominent political families worked all session to preserve the state’s business interests in the Recreational Marijuana Racket, with its excessive taxation and protection.

This had the potential to force medical marijuana patients to give up their medical privacy, pay more for their medicine, and force the medical dispensaries out of business. This in the hope of shunting people in to the state sponsored highly taxed recreational marijuana racket. Luckily for now, the bill is dead.
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220px-Chinese_buffet2It is a good thing that it is not April 1st because this would an obvious April Fool’s joke. Then again most of the fatwas coming out of Saudi Arabia seem like jokes to most people living in the 21st Century. Saudi cleric Saleh al-Fawzan has issued fatwa against all-you-can-eat buffets in Saudi Arabia — declaring that the popular lunch establishments will now be viewed as unlawful under Sharia law. You might want to get Sharia defense counsel before going to that Smörgåsbord in Jetta.

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beer13sThe Idaho Steelheads have been accused of a clipping violation of sorts against the fans. A YouTube video appears to have spawned a lawsuit after a Boise fan showed how a $4 cup of draft beer holds the same amount of brew as a “large” $7 cup. The video by Gwen Gibbs is below.

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SNAKECAB14 There is an interesting controversy out of New York (where so many interesting controversies can be found). In this case, taxi driver and comedian Jimmy Failla has been filming the reaction of passengers when they encounter his 10-foot albino python in the backseat. He calls the video below “Snakes in a Cab,” which he hopes to draw attention to a forthcoming book. While he says that he is not afraid of liability, he should be. This could easily turn into Torts In A Taxi.”

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Screen-Shot-2013-03-01-at-1.19.00-PMYouTube was posted a bizarre melee that erupted at a fashion show and competition where tables and chairs became weapons between disgruntled onlookers. One woman, showing remarkable strength, actually tosses a huge table across the room. What is fascinating is that not a single criminal charge was filed despite the clear video and evidence of assault and public disturbance.

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franciscalar1We have previously discussed child pornography prosecutions, particularly in terms of restitution and sentencing issues. The case of Francis Calar, 53, shows however the addictive or compulsive character of these crimes. Calar was arrested after on a Colorado Army base masturbating in his car while watching child pornography on his laptop. He is a military contractor “technical trainer” and married with two boys at home.

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260px-The_statues_of_Kim_Il_Sung_and_Kim_Jong_Il_on_Mansu_Hill_in_Pyongyang_(april_2012)While millions are dying of starvation and North Korea remains an isolated, despised power, it appears that supreme leader Kim Jong Un still has that magic of his old man, Kim Jong Il. Kim was reelected unanimously in his first election after taking over the country after his father’s death and then killing off his rivals, including family members. The North Korean press reported 100% of the country voted, though they found a ballot with a single name on it. In other words, you can have any leader as long as it is Kim Jong Il.

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

Caught By Computer? Scotty Patterson

Caught By Computer? Scottie Patterson

Lucky or just good? That’s what police in Madison, Wisconsin are wondering after crime analyst,  Caleb Klebig, successfully predicted the date and time of Scottie T. Patterson’s, 28, latest and last bank heist. Using data from other similar robberies, Klebig estimated that the then unknown Patterson would hit his next bank on a Wednesday or Thursday between 2 and  7 p.m. He narrowed the field of potential targets to five banks in greater Madison. Police staked out the banks and, sure enough, Patterson arrived right on cue at  2:40 p.m. on Wednesday.  Confronted by the seemingly omniscient detectives while exiting the bank with the loot, Patterson made a break for it but was captured behind a nearby shopping center. (more…)

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By Charlton “Chuck” Stanley, Weekend Contributor

EPALogoA few days ago, there was some good-natured banter in the comments about Chicken, Alaska. Since I have relatives who do gold mining there during the summer months, I followed up with some reading about Chicken. This old gold mining town was founded in 1886. We often hear of something being “in the middle of nowhere.” In this case it’s true. Chicken is a six hour drive northeast of Fairbanks on the Taylor Highway, which goes to Dawson, Yukon.

This is one of the most isolated and difficult to reach communities on the North American continent. The only way in and out is either by the Taylor Highway or a small airstrip. I was surprised to learn that this town of 17 people (6 households and 4 families) was the subject of a raid last fall. The raid was carried out by a black-clad SWAT team in full body armor and armed to the teeth. The eight agents appeared out of nowhere in the tiny town. They were from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on a mission to inspect the water associated with gold mining.

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article-2572711-1C07EFB400000578-224_634x612New Jersey Judge Peter Bogaard has rejected the initial effort of Rachel Canning, 18, to force her parents to pay for her financial support and college. Retired Lincoln Park police Chief Sean Canning and his wife, Elizabeth, insist that she moved out of their house voluntarily after she refused to live according to the rules of the house, including speaking respectfully to them, taking a curfew, reconsidering a relationship with a boyfriend (viewed as a bad influence) and doing chores. She said that they kicked her out as soon as she turned 18. However, the problem is that she is indeed 18 and the idea of forcing parents to pay for schooling after the age of majority is a problematic one. She has accused her father of being “inappropriately affectionate” but an investigation reportedly cleared Sean Canning (shown here with Rachel).

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FOX news reporter Steve Keeley was able to show vividly the road conditions on Philadelphia and New York stations.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Centinela Valley SD LogoIn the two past contested elections for what now has become the controversy magnet of the Centinela Valley School Board, (as reported in a previous article regarding Superintendent Jose Fernandez’ generous $663,000 compensation package seen HERE) it was revealed that a major California construction firm TELACU poured large amounts of money into campaigns to elect their favored candidates. In return for the favor, the friendly school board awarded TELACU two construction bond measures on the ballot totaling nearly $200 million. Voters approved both, and TELACU was awarded contracts to manage the construction projects.

Trebar MatrixThe Daily Breeze reports Centinela Valley officials have pointed out that as a result of the two successful bond measures — one in 2008, another in 2010 — major face-lifts have occurred or are in the pipeline for all three campuses. The projects have replaced old, sometimes crumbling facilities with state-of-the-art classroom wings, media centers, offices and commons areas.

Critics, on the other hand, say the whole thing smacks of a money grab for the interested parties at the expense of the taxpayers.
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The Taxfather

I’ll make a tax they can’t refuse.

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In the seemingly endless hunger to tax everything under the clouds the Washington Legislature is considering placing a 95% wholesale tax on electronic cigarettes and supplies. Currently retail sales of e-cigarettes are taxed as ordinary sales tax where as tobacco products are taxed at the highest wholesale tax rate in the United States. 

Not to be pushed out of the tax racket, the various families at the state legislature are trying to make sure their interests are “protected”.
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Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Centinela Valley SD Logo

Superintendent Jose Fernandez

Superintendent Jose Fernandez

In the Los Angeles area a quickly drawn school board meeting demanded by members of the public, a hearing was held on the total compensation package of Centinela Valley Union High School District Superintendent Jose Fernandez. The package with salary, benefits, and perks for the calendar year 2013 amounted to $663,365.00. The school district has 6,600 students enrolled. This compares, or rather contrasts, with that of John Deasey, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District who received a total compensation package of $309,997.00 and enrollment of 650,000 students. President Obama receives a compensation package of $569,000.00

In addition to Jose’s base salary the compensation package included a loan of $910,000.00 to purchase a residence in the affluent Ladera Heights neighborhood with a term of 40 years and an annually compounded interest rate of 2%, half the prevailing market rate at the time.

Is this a compensation package commensurate with the talent brought to the school district or another example of news reports of questionable public employee compensation endemic in California as of late? Much more intrigue follows.
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by Charlton “Chuck” Stanley, Weekend Contributor

Since February is Black History Month, it seemed to me that a local story was worth discussing. I first became aware of the story when it appeared in the Johnson City (Tennessee) Press last Tuesday . A little further digging revealed the story originated when a member of the church sent a copy of one of “Brother” Donny Reagan’s sermons to The American Jesus blog. The American Jesus blog is run by the Rev. Zach Hunt, who is currently working on a graduate degree at Yale Divinity School. Zach published a brief story and posted the seventeen minute long sermon on The American Jesus blog last week.

“Brother” Danny Reagan is pastor of the Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ, located between Johnson City and Elizabethton, TN.  He records and archives all his sermons on the church website. Or at least he did until a couple of days ago. Now look what you get when you click the link.

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0miw2Rochief-photoPeople in Austin were outraged recently when Amanda Jo Stephen was arrested for jaywalking – a crime that ultimately required four officers and left Stephen sitting cuffed and crying on the ground in front of onlookers. The video is below. However, it was the response of Austin police chief Art Acevedo made this even more bizarre and disturbing.

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Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Bumble Bee

They Hate Our Freedom

Statistical analysis has shown that in the past ten years a great threat has been lurking under every dandelion, apple blossom, and tulip growing in the United States, one that is seemingly innocent but is proven to be even more deadly than we could have imagined. And it is with us nearly everywhere during half the year. Your children playing in your back yard, they are especially at risk to this menacing brood. This threat is not to be taken lightly, as it is even greater than terrorism, which you all know is the worst threat our politicians tell us there is.

My fellow Americans we need to look at the degree our government has gone to protect us from terrorism. The NSA monitors seemingly every e-Mail, telephone call, video uplink, and cellphone record it can to address this threat along with billions and billions of dollars for nebulous programs, fought long wars, all to protect us from terrorism. But if this effort is warranted to protect us from terrorism, it is only reasonable that an even greater effort should be waged to protect us from a worse threat: Bees.
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Get the Window. It’s Domino’s!

180px-Eq_it-na_pizza-margherita_sep2005_smlCheck out this video of a novel pizza delivery. With the recent discussion of drone deliveries, this pizza company appears to have found its own low-tech alternative. If this catches on with the industry, they may have to change the slogan “Get the Door. It’s Domino’s!”

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220px-Curtis_Sliwa_mahmood190px-Melinda_Katz_2013There is an interesting legal ethics case out of New York involving Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa (left) and his girlfriend, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (right). It appears that Sliwa, now a radio host making some $400,000 annually, is in the midst of a messy divorce after being accused of adultery. He has been sending confidential legal communications without realizing that his wife, Mary Sliwa was being blind copied on the messages. Paul Siegert, her lawyer, however, insists that it is the fault of Curtis Sliwa and neither he nor his client had any obligation to let him know of the breach of confidentiality or refrain from reading the confidential communications.

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220px-Lingerie225px-Vladimir_Putin_official_portraitRussia appears to be looking at a new cause for protesters who are seething with anger. No, it is not over Putin’s rollback on free speech or the criminalization of open displays of homosexuality. Women in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are rising in anger over a trade ban on lacy lingerie. The ban prevents the importation, manufacture, or sale of any underwear containing less than 6 percent cotton. It is not clear if Putin’s infamous police units will begin panty raids in addition to their press raids, but the law has many knickers in a knot.

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Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Sang Like A Canary

Sang Like A Canary

The code of DUI offender silence was violated in Mexico after police allegedly contacted a driver at a checkpoint, suspecting him of drunk driving. As Guillermo Reyes stepped out of the car, his parrot called out “Está borracho, Está borracho!” Spanish for “He’s drunk, He’s drunk !” Police at first believed the parrot’s voice to be that of a passenger.

Reportedly the parrot was correct as Guillermo was later arrested for DUI.
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220px-Curlingstoneold220px-Curling_Canada_Torino_2006As many on this blog know, I have long been a critic of the International Olympic Committee which has long been accused of corruption, cronyism, and plain stupidity. One of the most outrageous decisions was the elimination of wrestling, one of the few original sports, in favor of events like golf with more wealthy supporters. (Wrestling was later reinstated after global outcry). My sense of confusion depended this week with the reappearance of curling — a sport viewed by 99 percent of people every four years and met with the same universal question: “why is this a sport?” I do not contest that curling is a sport, I just fail to understand why it is an Olympic sport (like shooting) when sports like wrestling were cut.

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The Ultimate Soccer Mom

The sign said “don’t squeeze the fruit.” It said nothing about playing soccer with the fruit.

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1381566_244373695712868_2025785586_n220px-Baby_wolphin_by_pinholeThe senior official associated with the annual and notorious dolphin hunt in Japan assured U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy that the harpooning of the cetaceans in entirely painless. Yoshifumi Kai of the Taiji Fishermen’s Cooperative wants to correct the odd impression that the dolphins writhing in the blood infused slaughter are actually experiencing pain when a giant spear-like weapon is thrust through their bodies. If so, we may have a solution for the shortage of lethal drugs for executions: we could just harpoon death row inmates. Indeed, in euthanasia countries like the Netherlands could switch over to harpooning for the terminally ill.

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150px-Porta_Potty_by_David_ShankboneThere is an interesting torts case out of Pennsylvania where Donald H. Adams III has won a $5 million settlement in a products liability against Poly-San, a portable toilet manufacturer and installer. Adams was left a quadriplegic after two of his relatives decided to play a prank on him by rocking the port-a-potty with him inside only to watch it tip over. The case in the Sullivan County Court of Common Pleas, Adams v. Poly-San, raised interesting elements of superseding forces and negligence. Notably, the case also included his relatives as defendants with the company as well as the toilet installer, Lewis Crawford. (Portable toilets shown are not involved with the company or case)

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President_Barack_ObamaUnknownPresident Obama has continued the practice of selling ambassadorship off to wealthy friends and donors — a practice that many used to denounce during Republican administration but has been dismissed with a shrug in this Administration. I have long been critical of the practice which places a president’s and a party’s interest ahead of that of the nation. I was at a dinner party a few years ago where an Obama donor spoke openly how the White House gave him an ambassadorship and he decided to just give it to his wife who he said is delighted that she is now called “ambassador” wherever she goes. As discussed this weekend, donor Noah Bryson Mamet has been nominated for ambassador to Argentia but has never even visited the country. This follows an embarrassing hearing with Obama bundler George Tsunis, who was nominated for ambassador to Norway. Tsunis showed as striking lack of knowledge of that country.

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

Forensic-Science-S_2132330bA 2009 report by the National Research Council (NRC) passed quietly into the night (except in legal and forensic circles) while barely garnering more than a ripple in the public’s psyche. It should have been a tidal wave given news last December  that a  48-year-old New Jersey man, Gerard Henderson, who spent 19 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, was done in by faulty crime lab work. Henderson was convicted largely on “bite mark” evidence. Bite mark evidence is a process used to exam indentations and anomalies on a victim’s body and  ostensibly made by human teeth which are then matched to a defendant’s dentures in an effort to prove that he/she was the perpetrator of the crime. Convicted in 1995, Henderson proved that state testing of the bite marks on the back of 19-year-old victim, Monica Reyes, was deeply flawed and conducted without sufficient safeguards to insure its reliability.

Independent forensic scientists working for Project Innocence could not reproduce findings by the state crime lab which is the gold standard for scientific verifiability. Henderson became one of the more than two dozen people wrongfully convicted of rape or murder  since 2000 as a direct result of flawed bite mark evidence analysis all duly attested to as accurate by the local crime lab.

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

article-0-1B3F38C300000578-259_634x801Teen idol and Canadian citizen Justin Bieber just entered the consciousness of serious adults but it wasn’t for his singing or making their teenage daughters swoon. No, Justin set the world ablaze due to a pot smoke-filled airline cabin and a felony arrest for egging a neighbor’s house. And lest you think the American Congress has better things to do than follow the shenanigans of today’s latest pop star, think again. At least one senator has called for his deportation and an on-line petition to jump-start that process has gathered 100,000 signatures.

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filename-img-1649-jpgCNN has issued an apology for a story that ran this week calling the famous “Courage” Monument in Brest, Belarus “the world’s ugliest monument.” Not to be outcome on the stupidity scale, Russian Senator Igor Morozov has proposed a temporary ban on CNN (I guess until their tastes change in conformity with state demands). I do not happen to agree that such memorials should be immune from artistic or architectural criticism. Indeed, I have criticized some of our own memorials. However, I was most struck the harsh critique. I find the memorial to be refreshingly different from the usual flaming torch or sword. CNN however appears to have taken down the story, which raises concerns over withdrawing a piece due to unpopular opinions. I happen to disagree with the author, but what is the standard for post-publication deletion of opinion pieces? This was not racist or sexist or even categorically false. It was an opinion.

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smallbadge-1gavel2Clyde Ray Spencer, a former motorcycle patrolman, was secured a $9 million damage award from a federal jury after spending nearly two decades in jail on a fabricated case. The jury found that two of his colleagues at the police department fabricated evidence and possibly coached witnesses to convict him of sexually abusing his two children. Retired Clark County Police police Sgt. Michael Davidson and retired Detective Sharon Krause have been accused of the most serious violations in the case.

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