Before I start off with this week’s WTF I just want to give myself props. Props? Why for Props?
I don’t know if anyone saw it but on 10/29 James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, said that trying to determine the intentions of foreign leaders, by getting close to them, or, by getting their communications, is a “fundamental given” among intelligence services. And, when a senate committee asked him if he believes our allies, France, Germany, et al, conduct espionage activities against the U.S., Clapper said, “Absolutely.”
Then, support for Clapper, an Obama appointee, and his opinions came from an unlikely source… a Republican. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, and, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said, “Every nation collects foreign intelligence. That is not unique to the United States… What is unique to the United States is our level of oversight, our commitment to privacy protections, and our checks and balances on intelligence collection.”
And, Clapper added that he wasn’t buying our European friendlies’ reactions when he said, “It reminds me of Casablanca.”
Now, any of this sound familiar? Well, if not, then let me direct your attention to the WTF of October 23 wherein I wrote: “Poor babies… ain’t this de rigueur tactics amongst all of these various governments? Or did someone rewrite the rules of espionage while we were all sleeping? You think Russia, China, Britain and even France and Germany don’t do surveillance of their own? ’Cause, if you don’t think they do it, then I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell ya.”
“These pretentions are nothing more than like what happens in the movie Casablanca when Renault, the Vichy police captain, is in Rick Blaine’s casino and announces that he is closing the place up for the night and Rick asks on what grounds? Renault then says ‘I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.’ A croupier then comes up to Renault; hands him some money and says ‘Your winnings.’ Whereupon, Renault says very softly, ‘Oh, thank you very much.’ And, then continues to announce very loudly, ‘Everybody out at once!’ ”
“But, hey, if every other government promises not to surveil, then I’m sure the NSA will too. Right?”
Sooooo… (With apologies to Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder) Thaats right, I’m bad…
1) On October 29, 2013 the NYDN asked the question: “What do you say to someone you just declared an “absolute asshole?” Seems, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) will have to come up with something because he used the word to describe how he felt about Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who happens to be the Senate Majority Leader when he said, “There’s no comity with Harry Reid. I think he’s an absolute asshole.”
Now, calling a fellow senatorial colleague, whether he is on the other side of the aisle or not, and, whether you like him or not, an asshole is not something someone should declare publically. Or, at least not within the earshot of someone who writes for a daily newspaper like the Daily News because they damn well will report it. I mean, nothing makes headlines, and sells papers, then some dude acting like …well, a jerk… or an asshole, as the case may be.
Coburn, when asked about what he planned to do about his now very public comment, told the Daily News that he was not looking forward to having to face Reid and eat some crow.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson, who probably said for Reid what Reid was thinking but would not speak because Reid knows how the game is played, told reporters that, “Nothing says ‘comity’ like childish playground name-calling, especially from a senator who has not sponsored a single piece of successful bipartisan legislation during his entire Senate career.”
Jentleson added that no meeting between the senators was scheduled, but that Coburn could approach Reid on the Senate floor at any time. And, that he should know where Reid sits since this is the second time in a tad over a year that the Oklahoma pol has had to swallow his pride and apologize to Reid for inappropriate/inopportune remarks.
I would simply tell Coburn that in the future to make sure no one, except people he explicitly trusts, are within earshot when he decides to ridicule someone of so-called political clout with certain so-called obscene anatomical references… and… even then to always refer to the Thumperian Principle before opening mouth and potentially inserting foot.
“What the hell is the Thumperian Principle”, you ask? Well many moons ago, probably before most readers were even a glimmer in their daddy’s eye, there was a movie about a doe that gave birth to a fawn named Bambi, who will one day, according to the storyline, take over the position of Great Prince of the Forest and be the guardian of all the forest creatures from the two legged creatures called hunters. After word of Bambi’s birth gets around, all the forest creatures come to view the young prince as he is about to take his first steps and one very young, precocious, rabbit says “kinda wobbly”. His mom looks upon him with a sigh of disapproval and asks what his father had just told him that morning. Thumper sighs and says resignedly “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
That my friends is Thumperian Principle.
Now then, in the interest of fair play, as a person who tends to consider himself a humanist progressive, I tend to disapprove of the so-called fiscal conservatives such as Mr. Coburn, yet, I gotta say the dude has righteously wrote and passed legislation that included laws to expand seniors’ health care options, to protect access to home health care in rural areas and to allow Americans to access cheaper medications from Canada and other nations. He also wrote a law to renew and reform federal AIDS care programs and wrote a law to protect the spread of AIDS to infants. Interestingly, I think, considering some of his proposed legislation, it should be pointed out that he is an MD, one of three in the Senate. (There are a total of 20 physician members of the 112th Congress including three senators, 16 representatives and a delegate.)
So… Tom, please, come back from the dark side… don’t listen to Vader…. and don’t drink the tea.
And, continung with this idea of fair play stuff… in light of them there laws that Coburn wrote and got passed is the fact that Reid’s spokesperson actually, maybe kinda, sorta, misspoke hisself when he made his crack about Coburn not even submitting any “successful bipartisan legislation during his entire Senate career.”
Guess someone else didn’t get to see Bambi and learn one of life’s great lessons: Thumperian Principle.
2) This past weekend, I read about an incredible story from 1996 where a black woman took upon herself to protect a supposed Ku Klux Klan member from an angry mob.
The scene in June 1996 was that 17 KKK members held a rally in mostly liberal Ann Arbor (Michigan) and hundreds of locals had come to protest their presence. Police with riot gear and tear gas formed a line to more or less keep the two groups apart and essentially prevent any harm befalling the Klansmen. Among the protesters was a then eighteen year-old Keshia Thomas who was with the National Women’s Rights Organizations Coalition. And,as might be expected, the situation in Akron was becoming ever more volatile by the minute.
Then someone in the crowd saw a white man with a Confederate flag T-shirt and a SS tattoo among the protesters. In hind sight not a very bright thing to be doing but then we are talking Klansmen here. A woman with a megaphone blared out, “There’s a Klansman in the crowd.” Sort of understandable given the situation, but, also not a very bright thing to do, especially considering what happened next.
The object of the crowds disdain then decided it was time to move along with haste and started to skedaddle but the incensed crowd followed, and, Thomas was among the followers. Suddenly, a cry of “Kill the Nazi” rang out, and it soon became the crowd’s mantra. The man tried to run but he fell to the ground. Protestors began to kick and strike the man with their protest signs and it was then that a horrified Thomas threw herself on top of the man to shield him from serious injury if not death.
Just a thought: But what the fuck were the police with riot gear and tear gas doing as this entire scene played out? Just thought I’d throw that out there…
Now 17 years later, Thomas was being asked by the BBC to recall that day and she said “When people are in a crowd they are more likely to do things they would never do as an individual. Someone had to step out of the pack and say, ‘this isn’t right.’”
Mark Brunner, a photographer who took the associated pictures posted here said he was amazed at Thomas’ selflessness. He said, “She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her… Who does that in this world?”
Mr. Brunner, I present one Keshia Thomas. She is one that did.
Thomas, who herself had experienced violence in her young life, simply said, “Nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”
Unbelievably, the oaf who she protected never had the simple thought to take it upon himself to say “thank you” to Thomas and she has never seen the jackass since that fateful day when she took upon herself to put herself in harm’s way to prevent a crowd from becoming a mob who would commit a heinous criminal act.
But as fate would have it, many months after her selfless act, a young man approached her in a coffee shop and said thank you. She curiously looked at the man and asked why he was thanking her. He said: “That was my dad.”
Somehow, some way, out of whatever life that man was raised within, someone got through to him enough to teach him that when someone gives you a gift, when you are lucky enough to experience the miracle of grace, that it behooves you to become humble enough to recognize it and say “Thanks.”
3) Ann Carrizales, an officer with the Stafford (Texas) Police Department, was in the process of making what she considered a routine traffic stop when all hell broke loose. As Carrizales stepped up to the driver’s side window, a man on the passenger side of the vehicle pulled out a handgun and fired the weapon twice.
One round hit Carrizales in her cheek and the other went into her bullet-resistant vest. She instinctively pulled her service weapon and returned fire but her assailants began to speed away from the scene.
The wounded, and bleeding, officer ran back to her cruiser; called backup; then placed her cruiser into gear and went into hot pursuit mode. All the while she kept in constant contact with dispatch who by now had called for all available units to come to the wounded officer’s aid and assist her in pursuit of the suspects. After a 20-mile chase officers finally stopped the car and arrested the suspected gunman who was later charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer. Two other men, including the driver, ran away from the car and were still at large as of Thursday (10/31).
Carrizales was rushed to a hospital, where she was treated for her injuries. Carrizales, a former marine and a one-time boxer, who was named top cop by her colleagues last year, said “You can’t shoot me and drive away… it’s not allowed.” She also added that, “I had to stay in that fight because I am a mom and they shot me. And they were absolutely not going to get away with that, because I will do everything I can to come home to my children every day.”
If, I didn’t have a wonderful mom who has been so freaking great and loving to me, I would run to Ms. Carrizales and ask her if she would, please, please, please, adopt me.
Frankly, she is one person I never wanna piss off and I definitely want her on my side when push does come to shove. I hope them kids of hers know how damn lucky they are to have her as their mom.
WTF… “Not allowed”, indeed. You go girl!
And, take that all you dirtballs. Ya best not mess with this mom if ya’ll know what’s good for your asses.
And, one last thought: Woman, ya’ll got lots more balls (I know that’s anatomically incorrect but I think ya’ll catch my drift) than me because if I had been shot I would be laying on the ground crying “You mutherfucking bastards!” But not you; you went after the pukes who shot ya and then actually collared one of them…
Once again: “Not allowed.” Wow!
4) On October 28, in Florida, a hooded man was captured on CCTV walking up to a gas station cashier, grabbing a handful of cash from the register, then turning to leave the store, when he suddenly stops, turns and fires point blank at the cashier.
The tape, which aired on WESH-TV, then shows the worker suddenly freeze after he was hit and then frantically searching his body with his hands for blood.
A co-worker called 911 and told an operator, “My partner … he was hit… he was hit, injured… he standing up. The bullet didn’t go through, but it hit him.”
EMTs were at the scene within moments and found the obvious shaken employee with one much destroyed cell phone. His smart phone had stopped the bullet from piercing through and into his chest. In fact, the bullet was still lodged in the phone.
A Winter Garden Police Department spokesperson told WESH-TV, “He’s very lucky to be alive. I think if you look at the video, you even see where the guy is checking himself for injuries.” Cops were still hunting for the shooter, who they called “a person with very little heart and very little concern for public safety. So, obviously, we want to get him off the street.”
What the fuck is going on in this world when it is bad enough for some asshole to think he can simply just take what is not his, but, then, that same asshole has to try and play at being some sort of macabre god and attempt to take someone’s life away before it is their time to go.
I suppose all hell would be raised if the police even hinted they would allow it but sometimes I think justice would be best served if they gave the assaulted victim a baseball bat and a few moments alone, in a room, with the chickenshit punk. But, ya know what? I would bet most people would turn the chance down because they are simply better than the punks who hurt them in the first place.
But, just once I would like to know that someone done gone and went up top some douchebag’s head ala the Inglourious Basterds’ Bear Jew.
Ok, ok… maybe a good shot to the ribs or a kneecap will do.
5) Got milk? Check out these photos:
Photographer Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz took more than 200 frames to capture each shot while milk was poured onto different areas of a model’s body. The results make each model appear as if they were 50’s style pinup glamour models. These photos will be included with other similar photos in a series that will soon become a limited edition Milk Calendar 2014.
6) On October 31, news sources reported that Houston police said hundreds of people walked past a pantless vagrant lying on a street. Many of the people took photos of the homeless person. One person even stopped to put a sweater over him.
However, the police said these folks shouldn’t have used their phones take photos; they should have used them to call for help. The vagrant was ultimately discovered as being dead.
Amazingly, it was revealed that the vagrant, known as “Big Guy,” was left unattended on the sidewalk for more than 20 hours as hundreds of people going to and from work just walked on by. And, while police said that passersby believed the man was just sleeping the situation still led Houston Police Department Sgt. Brian Harris to slam all those who failed to help someone who was clearly in need. Harris told media sources that, “If they just had used their cellphone to make a call instead of a picture, perhaps this man could still be alive today. I would like to say our city is better than that, as a matter of fact, I know our city is better than that.”
Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t, but for those 20 hours those hundreds of folk were not.
7) NYDN news headline tucked away in the middle pages that maybe me and nobody else saw or even cared about: “Fender bender at a Manhattan premium: $300K Ferrari FF gets crushed by delivery truck.”
Guy double parks his brand new $300,000 Ferrari FF on NYC’s Upper West Side … happens all the time in NYC but it is, also, very illegal… more on that later…
According to news sources, the driver told witnesses to the smash-up, “I didn’t see nothing.”
Now about that illegal double parking stuff: File this under “Things can’t get any worse, right?”
When the NYPD came to investigate the incident they ultimately decided that the banged up Ferrari was in violation of NYC DOT law under code 46 and wrote the owner a ticket for double parking.
But what about the truck you say?
Code 46 of the NYC DOT traffic rules states that a private vehicle in most of NYC, cannot double park; is not allowed to double park at a stop sign; cannot double park to load or unload stuff from your vehicle to the curb. You cannot double park while your passenger is busy doing their business around the immediate area. And, any private vehicle in violation of code 46 can be ticketed and then must pay a fine of $115.
However… a commercial vehicle, as defined in Section 4-13(a) may stand or park for the purpose of expeditiously making pickups, deliveries or service calls. And, be very aware if you are ever in NYC driving what you believe to be a so-called commercial vehicle that the rules are very specific about what is considered a commercial vehicle and NYPD don’t give a good damn if you think your vehicle is a commercial vehicle, because to them it isn’t, if it doesn’t meet the definition of commercial as specifically outlined by NYC code.
And, file that under Arlo’s Blind Justice Rules… that’s Arlo as in Arlo Guthrie of Alice’s Restaurant fame.
And, some other fact that I probably only care about: During my research on NYC DOT law I found out that “facetiously” is only one of three words in the English language to not only use every vowel once, but in their proper order, (a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y). What I am curious about (but have no intention of taking the time to find out) is what the hell the other two words are?
8) And while checking out other stuff on the NYDN website, I spied this little ditty: “Ex-House Speaker denied voter card because of controversial Texas ID law.”
Former Texas State Democratic Congressman Jim Wright was refused a voter identification card because he didn’t have proper ID. Wright told media sources that “Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn’t give me an ID.”
Wright, who is 90, brought an expired driver’s license and faculty identification card from Texas Christian University (where he lectures) to the Texas Department of Public Safety, so he could get his ID card and then be eligible to vote in the upcoming state and local elections.
But, according to rules set by 2011 Texas legislation (and later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court) the documents weren’t sufficient. Texas law says voters have to show a valid photo identification to obtain a card that allows that person to cast a vote and if a person is unable to bring a valid photo ID, the person must prove citizenship with a birth certificate or a passport plus two additional forms of identification.
Now wait a minute and … STOP RIGHT THERE… I gotta know right now (apologies to Ellen Foley and Michael Lee Aday aka Meatloaf) since when is a US passport not equivalent to a valid photo ID and, in fact, is it not an ID that trumps all other photo IDs? It distinctly has a photo and is a federally issued document that is an internationally accepted document for ID purposes. But, in Texas that is unacceptable unless you present said passport with two other Forms of ID?
Either that, or, some damn fool reporter, as well as his editor, needs to read up on what is acceptable photo ID in Texas.
9) Yesterday (11/5), there was a news item that workers found an alligator living beneath an escalator at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and that police managed to trap the gator, which was between 12 and 18 inches long, with a trash can. Those in charge are thinking that some idiot took the reptilian creature to the airport by train but then dumped it after realizing it wouldn’t pass through security. Like the jerk thought the poor gator was gonna be able to fend for itself by feeding on free range French fries or old, wounded and lame hamburgers. Besides, I thought alligators needed to be near a water source because they are cold-blooded and need the water to help them maintain a constant body temperature.
One of the workers who found the gator told CBS news that “They probably realized they couldn’t take it through check point, and just let him go, but oh my God.”
And, the curious, among ya’ll, just might ask why would authorities surmise that some schmuck brought the alligator to the airport by train? Because, as of this article appearing in the NYDN, police were checking pictures that were uploaded to Twitter that show someone with a small-sized alligator on board a train headed to O’Hare.
The animal, which has stunted growth, is now being treated by the Chicago Herpetological Society and a spokesperson for the Society said, “It was in pretty bad shape… We’re trying to get it healthy and find a place for it.”
If they ever catch the dumb ass who fucked this poor gator every which way he could … Drive him out to the most remote wilderness area you can find… preferably a place with hungry assed creatures like bears and wolves running wild and free… strip the boob naked and let him have a knife… which would be more of a chance than he gave that gator when he just abandoned it under that escalator… and, then, see if he makes out in one piece.
My bet is that the final score will be, Nature: 1, and, Human Dumbass: 0
10) Yesterday’s (11/5) NYDN also had a story that told of a family from London that was forced to flee their home after discovering dozens of spiders crawling over some bananas they were snacking upon.
Hmmm… had to flee over some spiders? Patience, grasshoppers; all in due time.
A mom of two tykes, Consi Taylor, said she “… got halfway through (a) banana when I saw something white on the skin. I thought it was mold, but when I had a closer look I saw some funny looking spots. I had a closer look and was horrified to see they were spiders. They were hatching out on the table, scurrying around my carpet. I was so scared I cried.”
Taylor said she and her husband returned the $1.60 South America fruit back to the store where they purchased it and were offered coupons for $16.
Right… $16 and all the free spiders your home can hold… I don’t think so.
They also sent a photo of the spiders to a pest control firm just in case something sinister could be a foot… and guess what? The firm, after identifying what specific type of spider was on the bananas, immediately told the Taylors to get their Brit asses the hell out of their home because it could now be infested with some very lethal arachnids…Brazilian Wandering spiders.
The family moved immediately into a hotel as chemical-suited teams came out to fumigate their home. The tab was $1,600. Yes, the store did pick up the cost. And, yes, the family is now back in their home sweet home assumedly free of spiders as well as any other undiscovered critters who might have been hiding behind the walls, in the floors or within/upon the furnishings, of the Taylor abode. There was no word if they still got the $16 in coupons. Or, any free bananas.
A store spokesperson said that management was sorry for the incident and they added, “We do have rigorous controls on imported products at all stages, from harvesting to transportation, which is why this is so rare.”
Well, guess what bunky, somewhere along the line someone dropped the ball and one of them damn rigorous controls was obviously missed.
Just for the record, Guinness World Records states that the Brazilian Wandering spider has the most toxic spider venom on Earth and can cause loss of muscle control, breathing problems and possible death.
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