THE LAST DITCH -- Douglas Olson — FREAK SHOW #34


Freak show #34
Catering to the deluded,
the demented, and the insane



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"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."

— Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

Inescapable logic

Two men arrested in Canada on charges of having more than one wife are using that nation's 2005 sanction of homosexual marriage as a defense. "If [homosexuals] can marry, what is the reason that public policy says one person can't marry more than one person?" asked an attorney for Winston Blackmore and James Oler. The specter of religious persecution was also raised, since each man is the leader of a rival Mormon sect that practices polygamy.

Prison follies

A British court has ruled that the "human rights" of prison inmates were violated when they were denied heroin and other addictive drugs while locked up. As a result, three esteemed guests of Winchester Prison split about £11,400 — roughly $16,500 at last check.

One prisoner received a payment of about $9,600 for a "slip, trip, or fall," another got $7,250 for a "sports injury," and a "miscellaneous injury" brought one $13,050.

While $20,650 went to a prisoner for being assaulted by another inmate, one poor bastard roughed up by a jailer saw only $6,525 in compensation.

Moron on the air

MSNBC'S currently popular talk-show maven Rachel Maddow — I've never caught her show and certainly don't intend to after learning this — reportedly asked Jim Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy: "Why can't you operate at a loss to make up for all the pollution your company has caused?"

Vintage whine

The eBay online auction site has revised its system of rating sellers after a French Jew complained that the lowest rank — a yellow star — reminded him of the badge Jews were forced to wear three generations ago in German-occupied France. Francoise Bellamy said her husband, Dominique, "refused to be given a yellow star, even a virtual one," because "it brought back bad memories of the occupation" of France during World War II.

On the French eBay site, the symbol is now known as "etoile premiere," or "first star"; on other eBay sites it's still a yellow star — but just wait until some other Chosenite decides that he wants a little media attention and sympathy.

Oh, the horror!

A "British" motorist with the unlikely name of Z-Un Noon was awarded £20,000 for "emotional distress" after being visited by bailiffs trying to collect on four £50 parking tickets that he refused to pay. A default judgment was entered in Noon's favor when no representative of the Newham Council of East London appeared in court to contest the lawsuit, and he was eventually paid £27,666, including service charges and costs — after sending his own bailiffs to collect. Claiming that it never received proper notice of the suit, the council has since had the verdict reversed, but there was no word on whether it was successful in getting the money back.

Flight follies

A Canadian court ruled last year that grossly overweight people are entitled to have two airplane seats for the price of one.

An Australian airline told an overweight woman that she would have to pay for a second seat "for other people's comfort, because of [her] size" — and then issued her two seats that were in different parts of the plane.

Feel safer now?

The Nebraska Court of Appeals has reversed the firing of an officer by the Bellevue Police Department for failure to maintain a "high level of physical, mental, and emotional conditioning." During his 25-year career, Christopher Parent, 52, had ballooned to at least 300 pounds on a five-foot, nine-inch frame, making him manifestly unable to apprehend any suspect more resistant to arrest than a doughnut.

An advertisement for air traffic controllers for the St. Mary's Airport, operated in the United Kingdom by the Council of the Isles of Scilly, specifies: "If you require this document in an alternative language, in larger text, Braille [!!!], easy read or in an audio format, please contact the Community Relations Officer."

Failing a sobriety test after being apprehended by South Charleston, W.Va., police, Jose Cruz was also charged with battery on a police officer — for breaking wind while he was being fingerprinted.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has won a court case in which it was sued because it prohibited meatpackers from testing all their cattle for mad-cow disease. (Under USDA regulations, only about 1 percent of cattle are tested for the incurable, fatal malady.) The government was backed by the larger meatpackers, which feared they would have to spend money to test all their cows just to remain competitive. A federal appeals court came to the rescue, agreeing by a 2-1 vote that no packer should be allowed to test all its cattle — because that might make people doubt the safety of America's food supply!

Fantasy pays off

A Swedish court threw out drunk-driving charges against a 21-year-old man after he argued that the car was actually being driven by Alfons Åberg, a fictional character in a series of children's books. The ballsy guy is now pursuing a $15,000 lawsuit against the state for loss of income during the six months that his license was confiscated while he awaited trial.

Florida 911

Reginald Peterson, of Jacksonville, Fla. (race unspecified, but we have our suspicions), called 911 twice to complain that a Subway sandwich shop left the sauce off his order. Workers said he became belligerent while they were making his sandwich, and they eventually had to lock him out of the store. Officers tried to calm Peterson and explain the proper use of the emergency service, but "those efforts failed," according to a press report, and he was arrested.

Jean Fortune, 66, called a South Florida 911 number because a Burger King had run out of lemonade. He was also arrested.

Another Florida man, Carlos Guiterrez, called 911 to complain that a slot machine at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino had "stolen" his money. He went to the slammer for making a false 911 report.

Latreasa Goodman, of Fort Pierce, Fla., called 911 three times because a McDonald's ran out of McNuggets after she placed her order. A cashier offered her a larger portion of a different menu item for the same price, but she preferred to cause trouble. Latreasa (not much question about racial identification here) was arrested for misuse of the emergency number.

In March, a woman called 911 in Kissimmee, Fla., to whine: "My car will not start. I'm locked inside my car.... Nothing electrical works. And it's getting very hot in here, and I'm not feeling well." The emergency operator told her to pull up on the manual door lock. "Yes, I got the door open," responded the likely Obama voter.

Local loons

The Brighton, Mich., city council passed an ordinance in December that makes it illegal to be "annoying" in public "by word of mouth, sign, or motion."

Clearwater, Fla., is fining the owner of a bait and tackle shop $500 a day for displaying the First Amendment on a mural of marine life painted on the side of his building. Claiming it is a violation of the city's sign ordinance, an official was forced to admit in court that the business would not have been cited if the offending item had been an American flag. City Manager Bill Horne, an obvious idiot, complained about numerous "abusive, profane, insulting e-mails" he has received in protest of the action. "People are passionate about the First Amendment, and rightfully so," he said, adding: "I happen to believe we did the right thing."

West Virginia is accommodating the delusions of a handful of fanatical Christians by permitting their photos to be excluded from the state's drivers-license database. The dissenters claim to believe that digital storage that can be accessed online is the biblical "Mark of the Beast." A hard copy of their photos is printed out and kept in a special file for reference.

Breeding crime

The European Union has ruled that its guarantee of the right to "a private and family life" means long-term prisoners must be allowed to have children. The case was instigated by Kirk Dickson, 34, serving a minimum 15-year sentence for kicking a man to death in Britain. After being incarcerated, he met and later married his pen pal, Lorraine, 48 — while she was serving time for welfare fraud.

May 22, 2009

© 2009 Douglas Olson. All rights reserved.
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