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Monthly Archives: March 2009

Two students enter, one student leaves!

thunderdome.jpgDonald Moten is the former principal of South Oak Cliff High, a Dallas high school. For two years, from 2003 through 2005, a 2008 report says that Moten arranged for student cage matches in a form of “gladiator-style entertainment.” Moten says it’s bullhonky: “That’s barbaric. You can’t do that at a high school. You can’t do that anywhere.”

(Clearly, Moten hasn’t heard of a little thing called Thunderdome!)

Moten retired last year, with no charges having been filed against him or anyone else over the years-long gladiating, depsite the report’s finding that many school employees knew about this and let the battles rage on.

Moral of the story? Texas approves of cage fighting. Which really isn’t a surprise if you’ve ever been to Texas.

(Hat tip: Megaera)

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Awwww … I think Matt Taibbi’s in love

matt-taibbi.jpgLast week, you might have seen an op-ed letter published by the Gray Lady, wherein an AIG executive v.p. offers a self-satisfying resignation because he’s not getting his big honking bonus, even though he’s purportedly guilt-free and just a simple man working his job and doing the best he can.

Well the always entertaining Matt Taibbi was less than impressed with the letter, and has a long something to say about. His introduction summarizes the major points of the op-ed piece, and then offers a brief response:

I have a few responses to those points. They are 1) Bullshit; 2) bullshit; 3) bullshit, plus of course; 4) bullshit. Lastly, there is 5) Boo-Fucking-Hoo. You dog.

He goes on to rip into the hypocritical claim than nobody but the very top knew what was going on with the house of cards they were building, and basically calls this guy a raging douchebag. It’s a good read over your Monday morning coffee, so go check it out.

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So that’s how they’re figuring out how to fix things!

South ParkWed 10pm / 9c
Bailout!
comedycentral.com


Whaaaaaaaaaa? You arrested who now for the what now?

what-now-mugshot.jpg

(From The Smoking Gun, of course)

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Turkey basters and alcohol don’t mix

turkey-baster.jpgOne recent Tuesday afternoon, Jennifer Lighten was chilling in her apartment when her wife, Stephanie Lighten, came home (they live in Massachusetts, one of those places going to hell for letting the gays marry). Stephanie was apparently three sheets to the wind and threw Jennifer on the couch. She then tried to rip off Jennifer’s clothes — not to have sex with her, but to impregnate her with a turkey baster-type syringe full of Stephanie’s brother’s man juice.

Jennifer wrangled herself out and locked herself in the bathroom and, get this, Stephanie busted the door down. Because, when you wants to impregnate your wife, no god damned door is going to get in the way!

When Stephanie went to retrieve an ice pack from the freezer [for her wrist, which she hurt busting down the door], Jennifer bolted from the apartment and attempted to get away in the couple’s sport utility vehicle, police said.

As Jennifer pulled away from the scene, Stephanie “jumped on the side of their vehicle, swung the door open and made (Jennifer) stop,” Steinman said.

According to Officer John Bassi, a witness at the scene claimed Stephanie “was hanging on the SUV door handle, trying to get into the car.” Amber Hunt told Bassi that Stephanie nearly caused an accident when the vehicle narrowly missed hitting a tree in the front yard of Hunt’s Spring Street home.

Stephanie was arrested and the semen was taken into custody for questioning.

(Hat tip to Elizabeth, who also came up with this entry’s headline)

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Letting someone else do the dirty work — that’s the American way!

heist.jpgTwo guys decided that the way to make some quick cash would be to rob the local jewelry store. And they managed to execute their plan flawlessly, scooping up cash and gems from the Milwaukee store. But then they ran into a problem as they were leaving the area. Because another group of guys decided that the way they’d make some quick cash would be to rob the robbers!

Police Lt. Thomas Welch says a fight broke out in the street Wednesday before the groups got in vehicles and a chase ensued. Welch says officers pulled over both vehicles and arrested four people, including the original two robbers, ages 40 and 31, and two men from the second group, of ages 22 and 27. … But he says police didn’t recover any cash or jewelry and are searching for more suspects.

(Hat tip: Patricia)

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Happy Puppy

beagle-puppy.jpgMichelle Owen, of Indiana, didn’t like or trust her ex-boyfriend. Concerned that he had used her laptop to search for kiddy porn, she asked the cops to take a look at her computer. But she didn’t just come into the precinct station to ask them to check out her laptop. Rather, she asked them while she was sitting in the drunk tank, having been busted for public intoxication (which was, itself, a violation of her prior DUI parole).

Then things got weird because, while the cops did not find any kid porn, they did find two beastiality videos. Videos of Owen, herself, getting it on with Toby, a beagle.

According to a police affidavit … a cop told Owen that he had found videos of her on the laptop and asked if she “knew what those files might be.” Owen, pictured in the below mug shot, replied, “The one with the dog.” … After asking if she was “going to be charged with this,” Owen said that the videos “were just something she did when she was drunk and barely remembers it,” adding that she tried to “delete them the next day when she was sober.”

When asked for comment, Toby said, “yeah, I got the gal drunk and fucked her. Would do it again, too — you know what kinda bragging rights this gets you on the street? I’ve got bitches falling all over themselves to get a piece of the human-fucker.”

(Hat tip: Col. Kickass, via FilmDrunk)

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Smells like Florida’s own Florida had a healthy plate of baked beans for breakfast

school-bus.jpgAccording to The Legal Satyricon, Florida has its own Florida, and its name is Polk County. A resident of this county, 15-year-old Johnathan Locke, Jr. “has been accused of passing gas on the school bus, and for that mere accusation he was barred from riding the bus for three days.”

The official “school bus misbehavior form” states the following:

Johnathon passes gas on the bus to make the other children laugh and it is so stink that you can’t breath after he does it.

I wonder if whoever filled out this form can be barred from filing out other such forms in the future on account of misspelling Locke’s name and using questionable sentence structure (although “it is so stink” may be my new favorite insult).

(Hat tip: Marco)

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New Jersey almost went back to the 70s

jersey-shore.jpgThe New Jersey Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling (aside: do all states have such a board?) recently considered a proposal which would’ve made the Jersey Shore a lot more, uhm, fuzzy this summer, because it would have banned the Brazilian wax and all other genital waxing.

New Jersey statutes allow waxing of the face, neck, arms, legs and abdomen, but officials say that genital waxing has always been illegal, although not spelled out.

Jeff Lamm, a spokesman for New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs, said that the proposal would specifically ban genital waxing, and was prompted by complaints to the board from two women who were injured and hospitalized. One of them sued. Lamm said that the state only investigates infractions if consumers complain.

Most of the salons, spas and other such groomy/waxy places in the state were less than pleased at the prospect of this legislation, as summed up by one salon owner: “This is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard.” After some uproar last week, the director of the state’s Consumer Affiars rejected the proposal, ensuring that, once again, the only errant thing folks will see at the Jersey Shore are some random needles.

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You mean the media sometimes plays fast-and-loose and doesn’t keep things in perspective and context? That can’t be right…

xkcd-aig.jpg

…wait, so is this suggesting that a bottle of gin and a night with your daughter is a bad thing?

(Comic comes, of course, from XKCD)

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Funky Copyright

Some crafty dude scoured YouTube for various music clips and edited them together into a massive funked mash-up. It’s pretty damn cool, and could be a great piece for use in a copyright class to discuss the issues of sampling, copyright infringement and fair use:

(Hat tip: Gizmodo)


Now that’s how you deal with airport security!

airport-security.jpgI love the Brits:

A pilot furious at being searched before flying dropped his pants and exposed himself to security staff, then raged: “Do you want to search this?”
A source said: “The pilot was asked to take off his shoes and belt like everyone — but completely lost the plot.”

I’m sure the thirty-seven people scheduled to fly on Schlongy’s flight weren’t too happy, however, as the flight was canceled and they wound up being delayed for about two hours.

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What a sunuvabitch

josef-fritzl.jpgSeventy-three-year-old Josef Fritzl, an Austrian, is a fucking scumbag. This Vincent Price-looking bastard kept his daughter captive in a dank cellar for 24 years, only speaking to her, for the most part, when he would come down to rape her. He fathered seven children with his poor daughter, and would often rape her in front of their kids.

Wearing a mismatched gray suit and hiding his face behind a folder as the trial began, Josef Fritzl pleaded guilty to incest and false imprisonment, but he denied enslaving his daughter Elisabeth or murdering her newborn son. He pleaded only partially guilty to additional counts of rape and coercion.
The 73-year-old Fritzl faces up to life in prison if convicted of the negligent homicide charge, which stems from the death of the 2-day-old baby boy, who investigators contend might have survived if he had gotten medical care. Incest, by contrast, carries only a one-year sentence.

The AP story has more of the despicible details, if you’re interested. But get this — Fritzl’s shitheel of a lawyer makes the following argument to counter the contention that Fritzl is a monster:

Fritzl’s lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, said his client regretted his actions and insisted he was “not a monster,” even bringing his captives a Christmas tree.
“If you just want to have sex, you don’t have children,” Mayer said. “As a monster, I’d kill all of them downstairs.”

See — he’s not a monster! He’s just a scumbag asshole with an idiot asshole for a lawyer.

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Gotham Streets to Be Safe Once Again

fat-batman.jpgWell, thank goodness:

Judge dismisses charges against Batman

Walsh Ian Nichols, a Tampa-area man, had been arrested last fall for wearing a Batman mask (advantage, Florida). While eating sushi (game, Florida). And he was arrested because a state law forbids wearing a mask on any public right of way (set, match, Florida).

Oh, but hang on there, Florida — you don’t get to win this one. Because a county judge has dismissed the misdemeanor charge against Nichols and ordered that his custom mask be returned, because the law in question only applies when the mask-wearer is committing a crime or violating someone’s civil rights.

Fight on Batman, fight on!

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Irish Pride!

This should’ve gone up yesterday, in honor of St. Paddy’s day, but thanks to South by Southwest, I’m running a bit behind on everything, so you’ll just have to forgive the lateness:

irish-pride-mugshots.jpg

(From The Smoking Gun, of course)

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Uhm … ewwwwwwww

smelly-feet.jpgOk, so that last story about lizard shit? That was the vanilla cake. Here’s your chocolate icing:

A student barred from lectures because of his smelly feet has won a ten-year legal fight to return.

Professors and fellow students at Erasmus Uni in Rotterdam, Holland, said Teunis Tenbrook’s pong made it impossible to concentrate in class.

But a judge ruled they would “just have to hold their noses and bear it” in future.

The uni says it will now fine students who have the same problem.

Stank feet. Lizard shit. School in Europe ain’t what it used to be.


Uhm … ew?

geico-lizard.jpgA British student, Daniel Bennett, is involved in a legal battle with the university where he’s a grad student, Leeds University. Over 77 pounds of lizard shit.

He had collected the samples from remote areas of the Philippines as part of an investigation into the rare Butaan lizard.
The animal - a close relative of the Komodo dragon - was assumed extinct for more than 100 years and little is known about it.
Mr Bennett spent five years investigating their diet, population size and behaviour by sifting through excrement found on the jungle floor.
He then won a scholarship at Leeds where he was paid to analyse more samples at the university’s faculty of biological sciences.
But two years into his PhD he returned from fieldwork to find his collection had been “accidentally” thrown away by technicians clearing space in a laboratory.

Eighteen months after finding that he was missing his ginormeous bag of lizard shit, the University issued a formal apology and offered Bennett £500. He declined the cash, and now that he’s completed his thesis, he’s suing the school.

Over lizard shit.

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Can Superman fix the Recession?

I love Jon Hamm, I love bailout humor, and I love intentionally poorly-done bald caps, so this video pretty much has everything:

(Hat tip: What’s Alan Watching?)


Georgia - the new Florida?

HomeToiletImage2-thumb.jpgFirst, there was the guy who broke back into jail. Now, there’s Snellville City Councilman Robert Jenkins. Seems that the local mayor is trying to clean up the area, so he urged code enforcers to tell the Councilman that he had to clean up his property. Because Councilman Jenkins had, among other things, a broken-down car, trash, and an old toilet sitting around on his property.

A month later, Councilman Jenkins got the last laugh:

He couldn’t part with the toilet, which he said was in good shape. Instead he turned it into a planter, spreading rocks around the porcelain base and planting a tulip bulb, two bunches of daffodils and two iris plants.
Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer chuckled when he heard about it, saying he’s glad Jenkins cleaned up his act.
Jenkins says his proud of his potted potty. He says it’s his contribution to folk art, adding and that he loves to see things grow.

He couldn’t part with the toilet? If it was in such good shape, why the hell was it on his lawn? I’m so confused.

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*whisper* you’re going the wrong way

ribisi-ralph.jpgDown in Georgia, Harry Jackson was recently busted trying to sneak into jail:

Camden County Sheriff Tommy Gregory says Harry Jackson had broken out of the jail, strolled to a nearby convenience store where he broke in and stole 14 packs of cigarettes!
Gregory said authorities at first thought they had separate incidents - a jailbreak and a burglary.
The jailbreak was discovered when a door that had been secure earlier was found unlocked.

I love that this took place in Camden County, because this immediately brings to mind “My Name is Earl” (“hey Crabman”), which results in me picturing Harry Jackson as Giovanni Ribisi’s Ralph.

I also love the article’s last line:

The jail is supposed to be a smoke-free environment.

So does that mean that Jackson is also going to get hit with some new charge for breaking the jail’s no-smoking rules. That’s some bullshit.


Are you having a laugh?

are-you-having-a-laugh.jpgBritish traffic officers have no sense of humor (or “humour,” if you will:

Gary Saunders, a company director, was using a hands-free phone when he burst out laughing at a joke told by his brother-in-law, who he was talking to.
A few moments later he noticed a traffic officer flashing his lights at him and gesticulating at him to stop his Renault.
When Mr Saunders got out of his car, the policeman told him: “Laughing while driving a car can be an offence.”
The officer spent half an hour questioning his suspect before reluctantly allowing him to carry on his way.

Even better, despite the fact that Saunders did nothing wrong, the cop made him go to the station, where he was forced to waste another hour-and-a-half going over his license and other documents.

Saunders found the whole ordeal somewhat less funny than the joke his brother-in-law initially told him:

“I definitely wasn’t speeding so I asked what the problem was and he told me I was laughing too much.”
He went on: “The officer accused me of throwing my head back in a dangerous way, which I denied since it is definitely not something I do.
“It became a bit ridiculous when he wanted to know the colour of my hair as I have alopecia and there isn’t a hair on my head.
“When I pointed this out he asked: ‘What colour was your hair when you had some?’”

Pulling a dude over for laughing? Ridiculous. Asking a bald dude about the days when he used to have hair? That’s just mean.

(Hat tip to Elizabeth)

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Clyde Tombough can’t roll all the way back over in his grave, but he can nudge onto his side a little

pluto2.jpgSometimes, states stand up and thumb their nose at modern science. When fucking Kansas does it by allowing their teachers to teach intelligent design as scientific fact, I cry a little. When Illinois does it by saying “fuck all y’all, we still consider Pluto a planet,” I giggle a little:

RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE NINETY-SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that as Pluto passes overhead through Illinois’ night skies, that it be reestablished with full planetary status, and that March 13, 2009 be declared “Pluto Day” in the State of Illinois in honor of the date its discovery was announced in 1930.

(Hat tip: IO9)

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The Influence — Or Lack Thereof — of Rush Limbaugh

PH2009012701302.jpgI take an inordinate amount of potshots at conservatives. We have a particularly liberal streak here and over on Pajiba, where I often let my anger at the far right get the best of me and stoop to childish bullshit to get a rise out of our readers. But what I’m angry at is the face of the Republican party, and not the more moderate ideals beneath the evangelical, war-mongering, poor-people hating facade.

They are harder and harder to find these days, but the true conservatives — who are more like Ron Paul without the crazy — are probably the most reasonable people in either party. They don’t let their political platforms and the cable-news soundbites taint their opinion, one way or another. And, without a true political leader out there anymore to voice their opinions publicly, these real conservatives have, in a way, become the real independents. But the media loves contention, so the extremes of both parties ultimately become their voices — Eric Cantor vs. Nancy Pelosi. Tom Coburn vs. Harry Reid. Nobody listens to the middle, even when great Senators like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (from my own home state!) try to bridge the gap.

It’s a shame, too, because often the people with the most reasoned opinions fall somewhere in the silent middle. There’s a guy named Eep who visits here a lot — he’s one of the few who don’t let their party’s ideology control his opinion. Our friend John Williams is, likewise, more sane than many of us for his ability to not be blinded by party talking points (he was not only an early Obama supporter, but one of the first people I knew who recognized Hillary for what she was — a Democratic fear-mongerer, using Rovian tactics during the campaign). Whenever I let my political affiliation and my loyalty to my own party’s talking heads get the best of me, I like to read JMW’s ultra-rational stuff, and Eep’s comments to keep me grounded.

But there’s another guy, too, a conservative who writes for a conservative magazine, even, who also happens to be one of the smartest writers I read. He had a great piece up on his blog today about the influence of Rush Limbaugh on the Republican party, or rather, the lack thereof. Here’s a taste:

I’m open to the argument that Limbaugh is influential; but I don’t think there’s a prima facie case for it. On the contrary, I’d argue that the evidence suggests Limbaugh is an expert entertainer in a medium with a small cultural, intellectual, and political footprint. He has very little influence in the world of ideas. And when it comes to actually energizing the masses toward action, his record is, at best, mixed.

It’s a great overall piece, and a quiet reminder that, though we do like to demonize Republicans around here, real conservatives and centrists are quietly more reasonable than the rest of us.

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Do NOT Eff with Jon Stewart

See what happens when you cancel an appearance on “The Daily Show”? Stewart will light a fire under your ass and burn down your network. He will mock you ceaselessly, and while doing it, cut you down to the little nubbin of hypocrisy you are.

Holy Lord, this is good, folks.

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The Eve of Justice is (To)Nigh(t)

spermbanks.jpgYou live in California and are looking for something to do tonight? Well the state Supremes are going to hear argument on the Proposition 8 case tomorrow, so maybe you want to go join a rally and participate in the Eve of Justice. In theory, these rallies will have no impact on the outcome of the case because judges don’t decide things based on the people’s opinion. Nevertheless, there are plenty of worse ways for you to spend a Wednesday night.

(Hat tip to reader Deanna G)

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Here’s Your Wednesday Dose of Morbid

spermbanks.jpgI understand a parent’s desire to want to salvage some part of a dead child, so while I don’t necessarily disagree with the court’s ruling here, it is kind of unfairly harsh:

The parents of a 23-year-old killed by cancer are not entitled to use their dead son’s preserved sperm so they can have a grandchild, an appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The New York state appeals panel issued a unanimous and unprecedented ruling in the case of Mark Speranza, 23, who left semen samples at the Repro Lab Inc. in July 1997 and signed a form directing that they be destroyed if he died. He wanted to be able to father a child if he survived his battle with cancer.
Following their son’s death in January 1998, Mary and Antonio Speranza of Edison, N.J., told Repro’s operator that they wanted a grandchild and wanted to save the sperm so a surrogate mother could be artificially inseminated.
The lab operator, Awilda Grillo, told the Speranzas their son deposited the specimens for his use only and the specimens had not been screened for donation to a member of the public, as required by state law.
The Speranzas paid Grillo storage fees and asked her to preserve the sperm specimens until a court could decide on custody.
State Supreme Court Justice Jane Solomon ruled that the law barred use of the sperm. She noted that the required screening, specifically a blood test of the donor, was now impossible since Mark Speranza was dead.

I suppose the law is the law — but you’d think they could make an exception here. Why, even, would the lab fight against custody for 10 years? What’s to gain? And what’s to lose by letting the parents have their kid’s sperm? Is this some sort of principled case? Cause I don’t see what the principle is except to screw over the parents in honor of a dead person’s wishes.

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No More McNuggets? Get the Fuzz on the Phone!

mcnuggets.jpgIn these desperate economic times, a 10-piece McNugget meal is a lot more valuable than it once was. Clearly.

Authorities say a Florida woman called 911 three times after McDonald’s employees told her they were out of McNuggets. A police report said 27-year-old Fort Pierce resident Latreasa L. Goodman told authorities she paid for a 10-piece last week but was later informed the restaurant had run out.
She says she was refused a refund and told all sales were final. A cashier told police she offered Goodman a larger portion of different food for the same price, but Goodman became irate.
Police say Goodman was cited on a misuse of 911 charge. A current phone listing for Goodman couldn’t be found.
A McDonald’s spokesman says Goodman should have been given a refund, and she’s being sent a gift card for a free meal.

What kind of two-bit McD’s operation runs out of McNuggets? Don’t they ship those in 2-ton boxes? I’m sure that gift card for a free meal will make up for it, though. Woo-hoo! Free value meal!

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And oh, my love, my love, we both go down together

crane-wife.jpgSo I think we all know that, for the time being, we’re royally f’ed with this bozo economy we got going on. We all feel it. But we may not all understand it. If you’re like me, you’re not that economically-minded, and only half-get the state of affairs. If so, you should check out the most recent “This American Life” which lays out in an easy to understand manner the financial/banking debacle we’re in, and what the various proposed fixes are and mean. Very insightful, albeit a little scary and sobering (especially the Twin Peaks moment around the 38-minute mark).

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I’m in Hot Pursuit (Guh Guh Guh)

rosco.jpgOut in Florida, a man in a golf cart tried to do the Duke boys proud:

Out on a golf course Thursday afternoon, a man stole a golf cart —- with two bags of clubs inside — and took off, leading witnesses and deputies in a chase that ended with the cart in a swamp and the suspect in handcuffs.
Authorities say Jonathan C. Pierce, a 29-year-old self-employed graphic designer from Port Richey, sneaked onto Magnolia Valley Golf Course in New Port Richey and fled in the white cart. Witnesses trailed him until a deputy with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrived. According to a report, the deputy found Pierce and the cart at a Walgreens parking lot on Massachusetts Avenue. The deputy told the suspect to stop, but he rammed the patrol car with the golf cart and sped off, the report said.
The deputy ran after the golf cart, shouting for the suspect to stop, but the cart was too fast. So the deputy circled back and got his patrol car. He followed the cart in his car, now using the loudspeaker to tell the driver to stop. The cart, according to the report, cut through back yards — forcing the deputy to stop and follow again on foot. Backup arrived.
The chase ended when Pierce drove the golf cart into a swamp, the report states. He ran, but was caught.

You know what makes this story better? If you picture the deputy as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane, and an image of the golf cart leaping over the swamp to safety. Yeeee-Haw!

(H/T braned)

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Twitter, Like Rock n Roll, is Here to Stay


Also, like Rock n Roll, it’s sure to be homogenized, corporatized, and rendered completely irrelevant in a matter of months. Jon Stewart is here to help the cause.

Elsewhere, Bill Maher, too, takes a swipe at Twitter, iPhone apps, and Snuggies.


The backlash has begun in earnest, folks. But then again, without Twitter, we’d have never been blessed with Felicia Day’s wonderful Twitter incident.


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If this thing doesn’t work out, they can always rent some kids from the Clown Car Octo-Mom

adoption.jpgThis is ridiculously f’ed up. In 2003, Nicky Webster took her middle son to the hospital because he had a swollen leg. The doctors found several small fractures which they said could only be the result of physical abuse. This started a chain of events which, a year later, led to Nicky and her husband Mark having all three of their children permanently removed and put up for adoption. Later, it was determined that the kid’s injuries were actually a symptom of his scurvey (arrrrrrgh!). So the Websters went to court to get their kids back.

And two British courts have now said “not so much.”

The Appeal Court ruled on Wednesday that even though the Websters ‘may well’ have been victims of a miscarriage of justice the adoption order on their eldest three children could not be revoked because the youngsters are now settled with their adoptive parents.

Can you believe that shit? The Websters are planning to appeal to the House of Lords and/or the European Court of Justice but a British adoption law specialist says they have a tough battle because adoption reversals almost never happen. Again, can you believe that shit?

(Hat tip to Annie)

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“Then there’s me. The joker. The goofball. The magician.”

come-ON.jpgRecently, a lawyer filed a motion in limine (a brief and narrow pre-trial motion) seeking to preclude the defense attorney, who is also a professional magician, from performing magic tricks in front of the jury. The plaintiffs’ attorneys claimed that such hijinx would be highly prejudicial and confusing to the jury. The magic attorney, Steven G. Leventhal, argued that this was bunk:

Although Leventhal conceded in his brief that he does perform magic tricks regularly in trials, during his opening and closing speeches, he insisted that there’s nothing wrong with doing so.
Every trial judge, Leventhal noted, has a standard jury instruction that makes that point.
And innovative lawyers, Leventhal argued, know that they must “hammer their trial themes home” by using tactics that illustrate and entertain such as anecdotal stories or references to pop culture icons.
“That the undersigned counsel opted to travel the globe to learn a special set of performance skills rather than wasting his brain cells drinking his summers away at the Jersey Shore should not be held against him,” Leventhal wrote.
“No degree of showmanship can change the facts,” Leventhal argued, and juries are “smart enough to understand that the facts make or break a case.”

What kind of tricks does Leventhal do, you ask?

In one trick, Leventhal, who works exclusively for defendants, said he slowly folds a $1 bill while explaining to the jury that the parts of the plaintiff’s case just don’t tie together. When he unfolds the bill, he said, the astonished jury sees a bizarre bill that appears to have been cut apart and pasted together the wrong way, with the corners in the middle.
In another trick, Leventhal said, the slowly folded $1 bill is revealed to be a $100 bill and then, to the jury’s collective amazement, changes back to a $1 bill.

Sounds kind of silly to me. And if I were the attorney on the other side, I’d probably let him put on his little show, and I’d just talk to the jury about how their case is just an illusion and that when you look behind the curtain it all falls apart, etc. And I’d also note that the magician attorney is an asshole — what the hell’s wrong with spending your summers boozing it up at the Jersey Shore?

Not a damn thing, that’s what.

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