THE LAST DITCH -- Douglas Olson — FREAK SHOW #26


Freak show #26
Idiots spending your money


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Masses of morons

According to an Associated Press story, at least 100 "emergency" personnel showed up in response to a 911 call about a "mercury spill" after a Putnam County, N.Y., family broke a rectal thermometer on New Year's Eve. Men from the local fire department, dressed in "protective gear," used sponges to clean up the liquid, which was "packaged" and taken to the county health department for "disposal" after the holiday.

Flushed with shame

To accommodate the ludicrous religious demands of Muslim prisoners, British taxpayers are footing an unspecified cost to change the placement of toilets in London's Brixton Prison. According to local imams — who may well just be pulling everyone's leg — Muslims are forbidden from either facing or turning their backs on Mecca when they defecate, leading to complaints of having to sit sideways on the seats to avoid offending their sacred faith. No one has yet explained why such pious, holy people are serving time in prison.

Generous to a fault

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) — who (ha! ha!) thinks he ought to be president — is offering new legislation that would force employers to give their workers "at least" six weeks of paid "family leave" every year. Current law, which Dodd boasts of having authored, extorts up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for such purposes as, in his words, "watch[ing] over a newborn or adopted baby, or help[ing] a parent through an illness, or get[ting] better themselves." Having spent the past 26 years in a Senate seat inherited from his disgraced and censured father, Dodd has certainly become extremely generous with everybody's money except his own.

Political pirates

Legislators in at least two states — Wisconsin and Nevada — are proposing to require businesses that sell prepaid "gift cards" to forfeit any expired or unused portions of those cards to the state Leviathan. Texas reportedly accomplished such a theft under cover of law in 2005, by defining the funds as "abandoned property." Ruben Kihuen (D-Las Vegas) and Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) claim that 15 percent to 18 percent of this $60-billion-a-year business goes unspent because the cards are lost or eventually expire, and both are determined to get their greedy hands on it.

Hallelujah, I'm a bum!

A Daytona Beach, Fla., developer has proposed that the city build a "rural village" for the area's homeless population — which would isolate them from the general public and cost less than jailing them or putting them in mental-health facilities. Michael Arth's "Tiger Bay Village" would serve 5,600 vagrants with bungalows, dining halls, communal gardens, and swimming pools, as well as psychiatric assistance and job training — all at an estimated "bargain" cost to taxpayers of $17,500 per bum. Naturally, professional homeless advocates are denouncing this incredibly generous concept as a "gulag."

It's good to be the president

President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Congo reportedly spent more than $400,000 on hotel bills when he and his entourage came to New York twice on United Nations business last year. On one of the trips, the bill for 44 rooms at the Waldorf Astoria — not including room-service meals and $800-a-bottle champagne — exceeded the entire yearly contribution of the United Kingdom for "humanitarian aid" to that wretched African hellhole. Most Congolese live on less than $2 a day, although the country's oil revenues exceeded $2.6 billion in 2006.

Cig Brother is watching you

New Jersey is seeking to collect sales tax from smokers who purchase their drug of choice over the Internet precisely to avoid such tribute. One resident was sent a bill for $10,426; another is being hounded for more than $4,100 in taxes for cigarettes purchased over a 22-month period. Under federal law, companies that sell over the Internet are required to rat out their customers to the states in which they live. New Jersey boasts of confiscating about $4 million annually in this underhanded way.

Excommunicate me — please!

St. Benedict the Moor Catholic School is an all-black facility, one of four Catholic schools in Pittsburgh where whites pay virtually the entire tab for the hopeless task of educating poor Negro children. In addition to donations from loyal Catholics and often-subsidized tuition fees, local-based businesses have been dragooned into subsidizing this effort to the tune of $44 million. To demonstrate the high-quality education provided, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette carefully notes: "Photographs of famous black leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Frederick Douglass cover the walls of the class room at St. Agnes. A painting of Jesus portrayed as a black man hangs in the front foyer at St. Benedict the Moor."

The greed of Zion

Blaming an inanimate object for one's misfortune — as those do who damn "guns" instead of the people who kill with them — is surely the last refuge of the demented. In the same spirit, more than 200 ancient Jews are now suing the state-owned French railway system for (they allege) transporting them to transit hubs more than six decades ago, from which they eventually reached Auschwitz and other German-run spas and country clubs. Last summer a Toulouse tribunal found the railroad liable for $80,000 for its role in the deportation of one Jewish family, and — naturally — the Gelt rush was on! According to a newspaper report, about 76,000 Jews were transported from France to Germany, of whom only 2,500 survived the war. If 10 percent of those are still alive and suing after more than sixty years, it would hardly seem that a stint in Auschwitz was seriously hazardous to their health or longevity.

March 17, 2007

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