Entries in the Category "crime"

Pop can smuggling ring broken up

I grew up in Michigan and have family there, so it's natural that we've discussed returning our Ohio cans to Michigan for 10¢. So I was a bit shocked to read in Taranto that a smuggling ring has been broken up for doing just that. Well, apparently the cans might not have been marked for Michigan redemption at all, and half those arrested were merchants.The charges specifically mention "nonreturnable beverage containers", and when they're crushed, you can't tell if they're returnable or not. Since the ring operated in Ohio, where there is no deposit law, the actors "knew or should have known" that no deposit had been paid.

I see an Interstate Commerce Clause problem here. Cans are commonly sold in Ohio with various state's deposits printed on them. If I bought them in a 5¢ state and redeemed them in Michigan (the Seinfeld scenario), I would be committing the same dollar amount of fraud as if I'd bought them in Ohio and redeemed them in a 5¢ state. Yet I've never heard of another state having problems with can-smuggling rings. Could it be that the real problem here is that Michigan's deposit is too high in relation to other states, just as some states have disproportionate cigarette taxes, and that the disparity encourages organized criminal gangs like Hezbollah? This assumes that it could be a crime to redeem a can marked with a certain value. How can the authorities know the can's provenance? If I live in Toledo and buy my pop in Temperance MI, am I a criminal if I try to get my deposit back?

Drug test the whole town!

In Oregon, that paradise of individuality, they can now do drug tests on an entire community at once via their wastewater. Of course, they incriminate no individual user. But they can let the police know which drugs to look out for, and when.

Cities in the experiment ranged from 17,000 to 600,000 in population, but Field declined to identify them, saying that could harm her relationship with the sewage plant operators.

Duh, I wonder why?
I'm sorry, but even in the aggregate, drug use is nobody's business. But if we're going to aggregate, let's aggregate guilt too. Let each town being tested boycott any business or school with a zero-tolerance drug use policy...since after all, "everyone is guilty."

Ex-stockbroker caught in halfway house!

Oh, the humanity! The Pee Dee has its knickers in a twist because the evil scammer Frank Gruttadauria was sent to a halfway house, and he got a job! Prosecutor Bill Mason said that he was "working a scam on the federal prison system."

Uh, no. This is what often happens with non-violent offenders. They have to make room for more drug dealers. The Feds didn't think he was special, not like James Traficant or anything. How would they know not to let him out?

Now don't get me wrong; I think that Frank should rot in hell. But tell me, how does keeping him in the can help anyone? I'm sure that working for $7 an hour is punishment enough for such a high roller. And he'll be doing it for his next 50 incarnations before he pays back all the people he defrauded. Since we can't sell him into indentured servitude, letting him work is the least we can do for the victims.

I suspect the real outrage is because he's had conjugal visits with his ex. Far better that he fire the surgeon general in some dank cell, with a female guard spying on him and pressing charges, eh?

Jessie Davis

Even those like me who aren't much interested in crime have been wrapped up in this. And now that she's found, let me first say that my heart goes out to the family and friends of all involved.


...investigators continued to question Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, who is the father of Davis' son but is married to another woman.

I'm going to be accused of "blaming the victim", of "being insensitive". And yes, that's exactly true. But it needs to be said: what was this drop-dead gorgeous woman doing sharing a man with somebody? 50 years ago, this was not acceptable. It's accepted now, but it's still not acceptable. And as we've seen from the results, it's not smart.

Cold calling is not an effective sales technique

...especially when you're selling drugs. You never know when you might be talking to a cop.

Arranging to meet by a school so he could tack the extra charge on just wasn't sporting.

Catch a crook, lose your job.

Since loss prevention at Home Depot is not a high priority, they must have oodles of money and don't need any of mine.

Besides, I've always hated being greeted at the door with their employment drug policy. I've wanted to bring in a specimen so they can know if I'm straight enough to be a customer. With Lowe's just as close, why should I put up with that?

Loitering while online: 5 years in MI

...so it could have been, had this gone to trial.

To some extent, one can feel a little sympathy for the barbershop guy. It's not a good thing to have cars sitting in front of your establishment every day without contributing to income. And he had no idea that the Michigan legislature had done a drunken tour through cyberlaw. Neither had the investigating officer:

Milanowski ruled out Peterson as a possible stalker of the attractive local hairdresser, but still felt that a law might have been broken.

"We came back and we looked up the laws and we figured if we found one and thought, 'Well, let's run it by the prosecutor's office and see what they want to do,'" Milanowski said.

In other words, Peterson "should" have been arrested, because he made a cop work unnecessarily, so Milanowski looked for a law that could apply (regardless of whether any sane normal human would expect there to be such a law), and since it was a cop making the charge, the prosecutor had to run with it.

I hope Milanowski suddenly develops difficulty in getting a good cup of coffee in Kent County.

Oh boy, the Joo-haters just found my blog!

Apparently, sometime during the past 24 hours, a certain group of people have found this post and posted comments. Supposedly the link came from TheBirdman.org, but I didn't find it over there (not that I spent a huge time looking). Ah, what to do? Shall I approve the posts, edit them, or what? Well, I'll take on the substantive one, from appollonian:

This above-noted "Libertarian" is just another moralist-Pharisaist, most probably Jew, not worthy of any serious notation/response

But you're responding, aren't you? Do you always do things unworthy of das Herrenvolk? For the record, even though with my beard and curly hair I have passed for Jewish (particularly among Lubavitchers and anti-Semitic African-Americans), my ancestors for as far back as I am aware have been Gentile. I can't absolutely rule out being Jewish under a "one drop rule", but then, neither can you.

For again, obvious problem for original blog entry/post is all the brainless question-begging and presumption: WHAT IS MORAL?--and there is no basis, hence definition, but as for Immanuel Kant, "hey, we just feel like we want there to be 'morality,' so therefore we declare not only 'morality' to exist, but we think it's so cool be be 'moral' as we feel that 'space-kadet glow' as we pretend to 'moralism.'" It just makes me feel so "good" and "cool," u see, as I pretend to be "moral"--especially in everyone elses' faces--so these people imagine unto themselves. Moralists are just people with inferiority complex--moralism then makes them feel good, see.

OK. You don't believe that morality exists. Then I guess it's OK with you for me to use you for target practice. After all, it's just my desires against yours.

(2) "Rights" are properly matter of social contract and agreement--as so excellently and definitively laid down by Thomas Hobbes in "Leviathan." Jews then never had any "rights" in Germany (or anywhere), being mere recipients of German charity, the poor German volk too unwitting of Jew anti-humanity.
If rights are contractual, they don't exist, except as privileges; they can be renegotiated at the drop of a trigger. And even if they are contractual, then Jews would have had rights in Israel, as they could contract for them there. Fortunately, you realize that you can't cut Jews out of human rights unless you first cut them out of humanity. That exposes your game.
So much for Jews, anti-human filth, scum, and the murderers of Christ, who affirm such Christ murder in their filthy book, Talmud.
So why would they kill one of their own?
CONCLUSION: Thus we see the empty arguments of original poster falling like confetti through the air--as there's no substance whatsover, the argument consisting of nothing more than subjectivistic wishful thinking (as regarding "moralism")

Not at all. Basically, the only hit you scored on my argument is the claim that morality has no objective existence (a claim that 99.9% of humanity soundly rejects). Let's accept that argument for a moment, and rephrase my main point: Would you like it if thugs with guns forced you into a boxcar and took you to another home? Did Hitler have benign intent toward the Jews? If not, how relevant is the actual scale and success of the Endlosung to its moral evaluation?

Food fight!

From Toledo, the laugh capital of Ohio, comes this charming story about a Mother's Day outing at Golden Corral that went badly awry. The tale suggests a few words of advice:

1. To Sylvia Harris: when your child is acting like an animal and somebody says so, it is not a racial slur, no matter what the color of the speaker is. White people say that white kids are acting like animals, when they do. If you don't like it, train your children to not act like animals.

2. To Christine Lewandowski: I want to give you the benefit of the doubt on the knife thing, just because it's not typical behavior for 56 year old women -- though AYCE restaurants don't attract the classiest clientele. But when you're pissed off, put your knife down instead of gesticulating with it, because other people are going to look on it as a threat. Or did you really think you needed a knife to confront a young black woman, because you assumed she'd be armed? Don't talk big shit about your knife, and don't discipline other people's children, no matter how desperately they need it -- and don't scream at them when what they need is a calm potch on the heinie. Modeling irrational behavior is not the way to elicit rational behavior.

3. To Golden Corral: When a customer can't control her children, you move the offending party rather than those complaining. If they get pissed off and leave, they weren't the kind of customers you need.

4. To Stephen Robinson: a man does not countenence 90 year old ladies getting punched.

Resolution for Ron and Donna

In a truly heroic effort, Donna called every pawn shop in Cleveland, and the miracle we've all hoped for has actually happened: all four of our stolen instruments were in a pawn shop on East 152nd Street. We made a 750-mile mad dash of a road trip from New York back to Cleveland, where we spent an entire day shuttling to and fro in Collinwood, filling out paperwork and handing over large sums of cash to bureaucrats, which ultimately bought us the right to BUY our instruments back from the pawnbroker. They fairly leapt into Ron's arms. Two of the lutes are in fine - if indignant - condition but Ron's beloved Lundberg 8-course lute in G seems to have suffered some hard knocks and we'll have to go about finding a luthier who can repair it while we wring our hands in angst at the very thought.... Our car was also recovered, in much worse condition than the lutes, alas. It was discovered by the East Cleveland police, abandoned at East 131st and Eddy Road, with a burned out clutch and a completely trashed interior full of drug paraphernalia. We won't know the full extent of the mechanical damage for a few days yet, but it looks pretty bad. There were a few items of clothing and even a little music left inside, but mostly garbage and a few possessions belonging to other people who'd evidently been robbed by the same character. Everything else has been lost.

...Your kind words have restored our faith in humanity, and your financial contributions literally bought the instruments back for us, since neither the underworld, the impound lots, the towing companies, nor the East Cleveland police department will accept credit cards or out-of-state checks.

A relatively happy ending, which could have been happier had government done what government was established to do.

Crime and race

I woke up early this morning, with some comments on the Mignarda story annoying me. A little history: When I came to Cleveland in autumn of 1986, I wanted to live near University Circle, and I discovered that, in that area, it would cost me $50 a month for the privilege of living with white people, and I didn't think it was worth it. So I integrated an apartment building on Lamont Ave. at the end of E. 97th. It was owned by a lawyer in the Statler office building, and the building manager was named Floy Roach. I figured that any landlord who would hire a guy named Roach to manage his building had to be cool; I was wrong. To be fair, I wasn't a model tenant either as I didn't always have the rent on time, and after 8 months I decamped for cheaper digs in Tremont. (Savor that phrase, "cheaper digs in Tremont", a $135/mo. upstairs 1BR. It was a different real estate market then.) The building had seen better days then, and hasn't existed for 5 years or so.

I didn't have any problems in that neighborhood. I was wary, but didn't let it decrease my mobility. Maybe it wasn't such a bad neighborhood; Andre, who lived across the street, wouldn't go 5-6 blocks closer to downtown because, "theyse too many n-----s down there". And, driving a beater car and doing industrial work, I fit in. The only incident, if you could call it that, happened after I got a job for Sears peddling Discover cards. I came home one night in jacket and tie, and these two voluble and volatile men tried to get me to buy this huge mirror they had strapped to the top of their car. I calmly made it clear that I wasn't interested, and they went on their way. And after I had decided to move, I woke one morning to snoring heard from my kitchen...somebody had fallen asleep in the stairwell.

Now, for whatever reason, people left me alone...which is what I expect of my fellow citizens. Nobody bolted to reality can deny that some neighborhoods are riskier, that even for a black man there can be "too many n-----s". But in this case, we're talking about a block housing some professionals, just a couple blocks off the Circle. There's a fine line between recognizing realities about crime in America, and the "soft bigotry of low expectations". I have a right to walk my streets without fear of crime...and if the police can't create safety, then citizens have to. And if citizens have to create safety, then why have police to begin with? In any case, no criminal should getd a pass because of race, and no victim should get blame for doing something perfectly normal.

Values...and a carjacking in Cleveland

Awhile back, we were talking about values, and Billy Beck's guitars, and certain people who think that insurance companies can replace real values, so they aren't worth going to the mat over.

I saw this issue played out, in painful detail, with some friends of mine this past weekend.

The Mignarda lute song duo (Ron Andrico and Donna Stewart) had been touring out West, headed back to Ithaca-ish, and had pulled into their home-away-from-home in Cleveland, the residence of Fred Lautzenheiser on Wade Park, when a man-like creature with a gun indicated that he would shoot Ron if they didn't give up wallets and car keys. Which they did, even though the car contained three lutes, a bass guitar, their proceeds from the tour, boxes of CDs, music, rare borrowed microfilms, etc. In other words, they lost their whole means of doing what they do professionally.

Well, unfortunately for our friends at majikthise, they weren't insured. That's a decision that could be Monday-morning quarterbacked, but insurance is expensive (else why would people constantly be begging government to provide it?) and the metaphysics of it suck; you are basically betting that you personally will have more Federal Reserve Notes worth of horror happen to you than you're paying out, while "the house" has the game rigged so they'll always be taking in more than they pay. And even if they had been insured, it would have done them no good. You can't just go down to Guitar Center and buy a lute. They are made one-at-a-time, and the best makers have waiting lists years long. One favorite instrument could not be replicated, because the maker is dead. And because they are specialized instruments, they're hard to fence, and easy to trace; a thief-of-convenience finding such instruments might find them more useful as mailbox bats than as moneymakers.

Now, the problem with Lindsay's snideness is that values are individual. That's the part she can't accept...because she'd rather let the thief live and file the insurance claim in the morning, she assumes that's the "right" way to handle this. Ron and Donna are pretty laid-back, granola-oid people, and even if they didn't live in Hillarystan, they probably wouldn't fight back...not to mention that, tactically, they were doubtless in a position where they couldn't, even if they wanted to. But the point is that it was their crisis, and they had to handle it how they had to handle it.

If this had been me, I think I would have done nothing. I have a personal problem about being an accomplice to a crime, about giving the sanction of the victim. If pushed for an answer, I would have said, quietly, "No. Now go away." Yes, I could have gotten shot that way. But I'm past 50, living on borrowed time. It would have been a shock to him. And in that shock, he might have realized that killing me to get my stuff would just get him killed by the State. If I were going to lose that much of my life, for me it would be worth taking the chance.

Thieves count on people's fear of getting hurt. People go along to stay safe, just as the first 9/11 passengers went along, and often it doesn't work anyway. Just a day or two later:

A female student was walking near the Turning Point statue when a male approached her and asked for her wallet. She complied and handed him her wallet. The suspect then punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground. After looking through the wallet, the suspect threw it to the ground after finding no money in it.
There are a number of holdups that happen around campus. Sometimes they succeed with a hand in a pocket, pretending to be a gun. Suzy Creamcheese says, "He's got a gun!" and gives up her purse. OTOH, I know an Israeli woman whose response when mugged was "You've got a gun? SHOW it to me!" He did, and it was persuasive...but I guess it takes growing up in a country under attack to be that desirous to face the unpleasant reality of armed force.

The problem with going along, from a rule-utilitarian viewpoint, is that it makes armed robbery an almost risk-free crime, particularly if you're working a campus where the victims are disarmed. The perp fades into the crowd. You've read the physical descriptions, and they're all pretty much the same. But the act-utilitarian take would be that resistance increases the danger for you personally. What to do?

What if we ask not what is safe, but what is good? And what are the real costs associated with our personal worldviews? We consider ourselves a Christian country, since many of our citizens are Christian. When faced with the demand, "Co-operate in my evil by giving me your money, or I will send you to be with Jesus." you would think that the choice would be a no-brainer. Of course, in the real world, "You'll spend the rest of your days as a quadriplegic" might be the second option. Yet whole bunches of self-described Christians have a problem in standing up to evil. My neo-pagan brothers have the same problem, and belief in reincarnation doesn't seem to help them (maybe because they don't really believe it). But then, faced with "Co-operate in my evil by giving me your money, or I will make you go thrugh adolescence again," I might actually join the perp's gang.

I've gone rather far afield here...and it may be somewhat unfair to use my friends' tragedy as a focus for larger issues. What Ron and Donna do is very special; they manage to bring a crossover sensibility into early music, without actually doing crossover (with the tastelessness and ahistoricity that implies). I hope they manage to recover some of what they lost, and get back on their feet quickly.

Ed Rendell comes clean on speed

I'm inclined to go easy on the governor of Pennsylvania. He does wear his seat belt (or so he says; he is a politician after all), and he pushes the speed limit rather than flouting it with lights blazing. And he's right: the people set their own speed limits, and sometimes you have to go with the will of the people.

Maybe they should all come out. Ted, do you drive like an old preacher? Jenny, I know you speed; everyone speeds in Michigan. What about Ahnold; do you wear your belt like a girly man?

Johnston murderers plead guilty

Officer J.R. Smith ... pleaded guilty to manslaughter, violation of oath, criminal solicitation, making false statements and perjury, which was based on untrue claims in a warrant. Former Officer Gregg Junnier, 40, who retired from the Atlanta police force in January, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, violation of oath, criminal solicitation and making false statements. Both men are expected to face more than 10 years in prison.

This is a disappointment though:

Fulton County prosecutor Peter Johnson disclosed Thursday that the officers involved in Johnston's death fired 39 shots, striking her five or six times, including a fatal blow to the chest.

He said Johnston only fired once through her door and didn't hit any of the officers. That means the officers who were wounded likely were hit by their own colleagues, he said.

Hey, I beat Balko on this!

UPDATE: Patterico eats crow over this.

One of these things is not like the others

Joe Milicia of AP does a piece comparing the VT and U-TX at Austin shootings to Kent State. He doesn't come out and say that the National Guard was crazy. Or that they should have been disarmed. Or...much of anything, really.

More on the Traffic Safety Poster Child

Add to trooper Robert Rasinski's violations of law in the service of Governor Corzine (failure to make passenger buckle seat belt, failure to cite passenger for not wearing seat belt) this one: 91 in a 65 zone...with emergency lights flashing. Why does this man still have a job, after endangering the public and his boss the way he did? Yes, I know why he did it...but that defence didn't work for Adolf Eichmann either.

I've really tried to keep a lid on the Schadenfreud. But this is it. I really don't care if Corzine is ever well enough again to take on the duties of governor, because he has shown through his arrogance that he is unfit for the office of governor. Maybe he can limp into a TV studio and do "buckle up" commercials, or even "obey traffic laws" commercials. He probably doesn't realize how lucky he is that Cho Seung-Hui took him out of the spotlight. But we're going to remember here, and give you progress reports.

Roundup of Case bloggery re Virginia Tech

James Chang has a pretty level-headed roundup himself. Read the Bradford Wiles letter and his analysis of "Ismail AX". The claim that Cho was a jihadi is spun out of air; I cannot believe that a Muslim devout enough to wage violent jihad could have written Cho's play. Chang's earlier post is a timeline.

Nicole Sharp's personal note seems to have drawn a plethora of inane comments, most of which reduce to "Why don't they protect us? And why don't they ban guns?" Hey Ben, have you ever fired a "semi automatic weapon"? Or a revolver? What's the difference in rate of fire? Or do you think only muzzleloaders should be legal? Part of being an adult is being responsible for protecting yourself. And if that remark sounds a tad parental, consider that it's the government or campus security that you're asking to be your parents.

And to close, let me add this non-Case link:

In response to student Bradford Wiles's campus newspaper op-ed piece in support of concealed carry on campus, Virginia Tech Associate Vice President Larry Hincker scoffed:
"[I]t is absolutely mind-boggling to see the opinions of Bradford Wiles. . . . The editors of this page must have printed this commentary if for no other reason than malicious compliance. Surely, they scratched their heads saying, 'I can't believe he really wants to say that.' Wiles tells us that he didn't feel safe with the hundreds of highly trained officers armed with high powered rifles encircling the building and protecting him. He even implies that he needed his sidearm to protect himself . . ."

The nerve!

Hincker continued: "The writer would have us believe that a university campus, with tens of thousands of young people, is safer with everyone packing heat. Imagine the continual fear of students in that scenario. We've seen that fear here, and we don't want to see it again. . . . Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same."

Who's scratching his head now, Mr. Hincker?

Cite Jon Corzine for no seatbelt!

Beck explores at length and volume how it is that a citizen can ride a foot or so away from a state trooper and not be made to wear his seat belt, just because that citizen's job title is "governor". NJ citizens should pray for Corzine's soul, because if his body makes it, there will be no end to enforcement.

There's an odd factoid in the Guardian article Billy linked to:

The accident marks the third straight time a New Jersey governor has broken a leg while in office. McGreevey broke his leg in 2002 during a nighttime walk on the beach, and Christie Whitman broke her leg while skiing in the Swiss Alps in 1999.

Given the popular association of Joisey wit da Mob, you have to wonder."If you sign that bill, you might break a leg."

Stay safe: get old, pale, and honest.

The PD publicizes a politically incorrect truth: that the best way to not be murdered in Cleveland is not to be a Black hoodlum:

Most of the victims of homicide in Cleveland look a lot like their killers.

They are criminals being killed by other criminals. The incidents almost always involve black men killing a man of the same race.

It's amazing that they'd come out and say that, but they have the research to back it up. I guess that the need to reassure white suburbanites so that they'll come to Cleveland trumps any offense the Black community might take. Not that one could blame them for being offended, given the tendency of some yutzes-of-pallor to blame genetics rather than underclass status and a dysfunctional subculture.

There's also some silly hand-wringing about how to get African-American youths not to become hoodlums: more cops, more rec centers. Uh-huh. Why not legalize drugs so that the black market and the crime it engenders disappears? Or quit subsidizing production of Daddy-less babies, who are more prone to becoming criminals? I guess maybe because those solutions involve less government.

Trolls beneath the bridge

You're a Miami councilperson, and you want to seem tough on crime, and especially on those perverts who are preying on our children. So you decree that convicted sex offenders can't live within 2,500 feet of schools, parks and other places where children might gather.

So where can they live? Under a bridge. They have to "occupy a residence" from 10PM to 6AM, and under the bridge is where the parole officer finds them. The county can't find them anywhere else to live.

I'm not sticking up for pervs or anything, but...this is inhuman. If they've "paid their debt to society", then let them live as free men. If they can't be trusted within a half-mile of a child, then lock them up. But not this.

An Asian gets Californicated

By the name, I suspect he grew up in a civilized country, as opposed to Kalifornistan, so it never occured to him that pointing guns at guys who were trying to steal your car is Just Not Allowed. So now he's pleading "accident", as if an accident could happen if he wasn't pointing the gun and had his hand near the trigger. The victim perp should thank God it was only a .22.

I'll bet the majikthise are really creaming over this one. I wonder if Beck will have anything to say?

"That's one small step for a man..."

...and one giant step backwards for womankind. NASA has bounced Lisa Nowak back to the Navy, not quite knowing what to do about hormone-crazed astronauts with criminal charges pending. I'm really unimpressed with those criminal charges myself, but they seem to be NASA's chief basis for booting her. At least I hope so; otherwise the spectre of unequal treatment arises. I grew up on Mercury and Gemini, watching all those "right stuff" guys. And in the early years of NASA, Nowak, Oefelein and Shipman would all have gotten the boot, for presenting the wrong image. And you can bet those steamy emails would never have surfaced. Anyway, this whole affair has been the biggest slam on the idea of female astronauts since Christa McAuliffe jokes. Maybe it's time now to recruit some lesbians and Test The Rec Room.

TSA official seeks civilian job

I guess when your job involves violating people's privacy, you develop fuzzy notions about just what should be kept private, including, uh, "privates."

MI: cheat on your wife, get life

The randy crowd in the Michigan Legislature may have screwed themselves, by passing a law describing it as first-degree sexual misconduct when "sexual penetration occurs under circumstances involving the commission of any other felony." The case at issue involved some poor shlub giving a waitress Oxycontin in exchange for sex. But the judges of the Court of Appeals pointed out that since adultery is a felony in Michigan (even though there hasn't been a conviction since 1971), any adulterous intercourse is equivalent to rape, something which doubtless delights the University of Michigan's legal genius Catharine MacKinnon, but which criminalizes all kinds of relatively decent people, like the Michigan Attorney General.

Personally, I think the Court of Appeals is full of it. Section 29 of the Michigan Penal Code defines adultery as "the sexual intercourse of 2 persons, either of whom is married to a third person." I suppose, in a counter-Clintonian sense, that one could have sexual intercourse that did not involve sexual penetration. But that's certainly not how the average person understands the language. So, if penetration is one of the defining elements of adultery, then adultery could not be construed as "any other felony", because it would be the same act.

While I love it when a legislature gets caught writing bad law, locking up cheating spouses and throwing away the key is a bit excessive. Amazingly, the fundy-heavy readership of World Net Daily agrees with me.

Feeding the meters with poison

The mild-mannered British are blowing up parking meters in Thomas Paine's home town.

If they ever catch the culprits, I think the US should offer them political asylum.

Hey students, hire a hacker to improve your grades

I guess you don't need to be really bright to be the Congressional press aide from Montana, and you don't need to have good grades from some obscure Christian college in Texas. But Todd Shriber thought he could have a hacker boost his grades (like, they don't back up transcripts?). He's out of a job now. And his grades still suck.

Defining the People's Will

The Ohio Dept. of Health is figuring out how to implement the Dictatorship of the Proletariat's will concerning smoking:

Filing complaints out of retaliation would be prohibited....Penalties for retaliation would be: first offense, warning letter; second, $1,000 fine; third, $2,500 fine.

Yeah, right. Retaliatory complaints WILL happen, and after all, isn't it in the public interest that criminatls be prosecuted? I guess they meant baseless retaliatory complaints. Waitresses, photograph those ashtrays before they fire you.

The ban would not be in effect in private residences, which might provide intermittent workplaces for some individuals, such as baby sitters, plumbers, electricians, emergency medical technicians, home health care workers and housekeepers.

How big of them. It's nice to know that some private property is still private, for now.

Let the games begin!

Woman booted from jury for numerology

This woman is a moonbat. And apparently, numerology was the least of her moonbattiness. But in this insane nation, doesn't a trial by a jury of your peers include wackos?

Poster child for condom use

I'm waiting for the pro-lifers to start blogging about the differences between a father putting a hit on his unborn child, and a mother doing so. They aren't quite parellel, as one also involves injuring the mother. But a $1m bail is a bit excessive for "soliciting an abortion from an unlicensed professional".

The Justice Department, on the other hand...

Agency Director Eli M. Rosenbaum said that despite her bid to remain anonymous, her past will no longer be hidden. Though he agreed that she appeared pleasant and kind, old and tired, he said, "her presence in the United States nevertheless was an affront to surviving Holocaust victims who have made new homes in this country."

Including her deceased husband? (who never knew about her stint at Ravensbruck?) Or the Jewish charities she gave to?

Yes, she "broke the law"; she omitted information on her immigration application. And Gods only know what Germany will put her through. But I'm really not convinced that justice has been served here.

Peer-to-peer DNA interfacing

Police in Milwaukee have discovered a new threat to America's vulnerable youth: 14 to 16 year olds downloading sexual images of girls their own age. They're understandably curious about such things, and it doesn't even occur to them that it's a felony.

Fortunately, the justice system has some clue that maybe these kids aren't perverts...well, at least not any more pervy than any other 16 year old. But they're still getting sucked into the justice system because, after all, it's a felony and the law is the law, and they're still "causing" the exploitation of young girls.

Really, this should be treated like statutory rape. We don't sweat it when 16 boinks 14. When 19 boinks 14, his picture gets passed around the neighborhood as a notorious sex offender. 14 is "exploited" either way (and my wife and I exploit each other regularly; so what?), but the law assumes that adults should know better. It seems like the same logic should apply to pornography. If 16 looks at 14 and gets sucked up in a kiddie porn sting, you talk to the kid and his parents, explain the situation, and let it go. There is no point in trying these kids, unless they are producing kiddie porn commercially.

Living without papers: it can be done.

Thomas Ball stabbed a girl in 1963. He did a dozen years in the Michigan pen, then got sent to the funny farm...where he escaped. Wednesday he was arrested.

He hooked up with a woman named Dollie Martin in Tennessee, who didn't ask many questions about his past, and helped him get jobs. She died last year, so he applied for federal assistance. That was his undoing.

I don't condone stabbing girls, and think 20-40 is a little light for that. I don't condone women being patsies. But going to prison for filing for federal benefits dulce et decorum est. And I have to honor his resourcefulness in evading the police for so long. The moral of the story? Your relationships will carry you farther than anything else in life.

Ban SUVs!

No, I haven't gone Green on you. But when some nutter uses a gun to do what Omeed Aziz Popal allegedly did, that's what every weeping hormone-case demands, so why not be consistent?

And look at that name. Is this private jihad?

Doubting your own sanity

...is probably evidence that you're sane. Representing yourself in a child-molestation case, on the other hand...

I can hardly wait for the "sacred rituals" with Big Bubba.

I'm sick about this...

I'm not much of a visual arts guy, so I can't fully appreciate the loss of Masumi Hayashi and John Jackson. But damnit, that could so easily have been me. And that punk Cifelli...did he ever, in his 29 years on the planet, create anything that didn't exist before? Even something as trivial as a bookshelf? And that neighborhood doesn't need this kind of stuff happening in it.

God rest them all.

Yes the deed was disgusting...

...but FOUR YEARS?

when "justice" has become a virtual wankfest anyway?

Look at the face on that stolen licence...

...before you present it as ID to the person whose name is on it.