Michael Phelps and Kellogg's

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Feb 132009

I can’t quite grasp the whole idea that people seem to have about the evil weed, marijuana. I think it’s pretty much established it’s less destructive than alcohol, and I suspect, truth be told, there are few middle-aged adults today who haven’t partaken.

Now I see you all are supporting this over-reaction by withdrawing your sponsorship of Michael Phelps. The guy may be the greatest athlete ever, and not just in terms of physical accomplishments. He comes across as a gentleman and true sportsman. He certainly made a mistake, but he also represented America brilliantly both in and out of the pool at last year’s Olympics.

So what if he took a draw off a bong. After his performance in these past Olympics, he deserved it.

So let’s see, the current President admits to having smoked it, Bill Clinton admitted to (not inhaling notwithstanding), Al Gore, former VP and Nobel Prize Winner, and for the previous eight years, our country was run by a crack-head.

I’ve written Kellogg’s and expressed my dismay that they have joined the reefer madness hysteria, and I would invite you to do the same.

I’m sorry you all have joined the completely over the top hysteria that is being promulgated by a publicity seeking back country South Carolina Sheriff (and I come from North Carolina, so I know whereof I speak) who bought his department a tank with a 50 caliber belt fed machine gun.

I just threw out my box of Frosted Flakes, and there will be no more Kellogg’s products in my home until you reinstate your sponsorship of Mr. Phelps.

These people need to get over themselves.

Weekly Weirdness for July 4th, 2008

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Jul 052008

Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela Can Now Travel to the U.S. (From the BBC)
I didn’t know this, but apparently our illustrious Department of Homeland Stupidity classes Nelson Mandela as a terrorist. It seems DHS classed everyone ever in the African National Congress (ANC) a terrorist. Fortunately, Congress and the President passed special legislation that will allow him to visit the U.N. Headquarters in New York without a special waiver from the Secretary of State. I’m sure glad we got around to clearing that up.

Pot Grower Puts House on Market
TBO.com is reporting that Evarista Ruiz-Ortiz, 36, of 1741 W. Powhatan had 39 pot plants growing in her house. The article doesn’t say how the police found out, but she’d tapped directly into the overhead line for power, and had the house listed for sale. Maybe not he brightest person on the planet. But then again, times are tough, you gotta get gas money somehow.

Naked Man in Downtown Palmetto
There’s a report from the Sarasota Herald Tribune of a nake man run amok in downtown Palmetto. It appears he disrobed in front of some woman in a store while she was in the restroom (I didn’t quite understand that). The lady ran out and the store manager confronted the guy. Apparently, he calmly walked out of the store to the street, where the spectacle promptly caused a couple of traffice accidents. The most interesting part of the story is that the police drugs and alcohol didn’t appear to be involved.

News for The Week of Nov. 30, 2007

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Dec 012007

There seems to be lots of hijinks going on this week. Maybe it’s because there was a full moon earlier in the week.

Highway PotThe Highway to Adopt – TBO.com
If you ever needed a reason to join the adopt a highway program, we may have found it. About 7:30 Tuesday morning cleanup crews working along Interstate 4 in Tampa came across about 60 pounds of pot in two large plastic bags. The Florida Highway Patrol says anyone having lost two yard waste bags full can call and claim it any time. I wonder if the cleanup crew gets it if no one claims it in 30 days?

Mausoleum Used as Hideout – TBO.com
Demetrius Johnson crashed a stolen Honda Civic into a tree while police were chasing him early Tuesday morning. He got out when police approached, but then jumped in and took off again, subsequently crashing into a utility pole. He jumped from the car and ran. Police later found him hiding out in a cemetery mausoleum.

112607feldmar.jpgMan Gets Tongue Bitten Off
It seems that Mr. Steven Feldmar here got part of his tongue bitten off by his girlfriend when he came in drunk Saturday morning and started choking and kissing her. Ain’t love grand?

Dr. Robert Cade Dies at 80
So who was Robert Cade you ask? Well Dr. Cade, while working at the University of Florida was one of the inventors of Gatorade. He and another researcher came up with the drink after one of the coaches asked Dr. Cade (a Kidney specialist) why football players did urinate after practice. After the Gators beat Georgia Tech 27-12 in the Orange Bowl in 1967, Tech coach Bobby Dodd told reporters his team lost because, “We didn’t have Gatorade … that made the difference.” Gatorade held 81 percent of the $7.5 billion-a-year U.S. sports drink market in 2006, according to John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest.

Georgia Man Attempts to Deposit $1m Bill – AP
Alexander Smith apparently thought he was a rich man. He came into a bank in Clearwater and attempted to deposit a $1m bill. Given that there is no such thing, the teller was a bit suspicious. Smith was later arrested. Turns out he also passed a forged check in South Carolina to buy cigarettes.

Two Palm Beach Deputies Killed by Patrol Car – AP
I’m thoughtful enough to be saddened by the death of police officers killed in the line of duty, but what were they thinking? The deputies had put out spike strips to attempt to stop a stolen vehicle that was being pursued by other officers. After the stolen car ran over the strips, the officers apparently made a split second decision to run back out into the street to take up the strips. They were hit by one of the pursuing patrol cars.

News of the week ending Nov. 9, 2007

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Nov 092007

Another Grow House in Polk CountyTBO.com
It seems this was attacked by three people when he stepped outside of his garage. The three men went the man’s house and attempted to steal some plants he had growing inside. Vigilant neighbors had called police about a disturbance. The cops arrived and arrested the three burglars, and of course the homeowner for his little home-based business.

Man Shoots Himself-Blames GangTBO.com
A 19 year old Palmetto showed up at the hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. When the police showed up, he first stated he’d been shot by a Latino street gang. Antwon Stuckey later changed his story admitting he accidentally shot himself. Seems he was on probation, so being in possession of a gun was the best thing for him to be doing.

Rapper Hides in Ladies Room – Tampa Bay Times
A local rapper, Black Rain, who does a song called “Gun Shine State” ran to the ladies restroom in a club in which he was performing last week when someone fired a shot. After determining he couldn’t fit through the bathroom window, he waited a while, then slipped out after everyone had left.

It’s Me, It’s Me, It’s Ernest TTBO.com
Like the character Ernest T. Bass on the old Andy Griffith show, Joseph David Steele of Tampa violated a restraining order obtained by a neighbor, threw bricks through her windows, kicked in her door, and shoved her. He was arrested on a violation of the order, but I’m sure will be back on the streets in no time. Unfortunately, Ernest T. was pretty harmless, this guy probably isn’t.

News for the Week Ending September 9, 2007

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Sep 102007

Duke Lacrosse Case
There are several items to report related to the Duke Lacrosse rape case. Mike Nifong, the prosecutor in the case, spent 24 hours in jail for lying to the court. It seems like a small penalty, but at least he got something. Also, the New York Times is reporting that the players and their families are in negotiations with the City seeking $30 million, but more important, some obviously needed changes:

The changes requested by the students and their lawyers include oversight of the police department by an independent commission, stricter procedures and videotaping of witness identifications conducted by the police, and the passage of a City Council resolution calling on the state to establish ombudsmen for district attorney’s offices and require the transcription of grand jury proceedings.

They deserve every dime of the money, but I especially like it when people are about more than the money, and force needed changes on agencies and institutions like this.

St. Pete Council Chairman Commits Suicide
According to a story in St. Petersburg Times, City Council Chairman John Bryan walked into City Hall just after 1 p.m. Friday and handed in his resignation letter. Less than five hours later, he was slumped over in a golf cart in the garage of his Floral City house, dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. He was 56.

Apparently he’d been to court the day before for the start of proceedings related to an accusation that he’d sexual abused his adopted daughters.

A Portion of the Patriot Act is Struck Down
Shining Celebi writes

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ruled in favor of the ACLU and struck down a portion of the revised USA PATRIOT Act this morning, forcing investigators to go through the courts to obtain approval before ordering ISPs to give up information on customers, instead of just sending them a National Security Letter. In the words of Judge Marrero, this use of National Security Letters ‘offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers.’

That can only be a good thing, and let’s hope this disgraceful attack on the Constitution is further taken apart.

Man Tracked with Cell phone Loses Job
By Charlie Sorrel, Wired Blogs

John Halpin, who had been working as a carpentry supervisor in New York for 21 years, was tracked by the GPS unit in the work provided phone he was given in 2005, and it turned out he was heading home early. His defense rested on the “I didn’t know I could be tracked” and “Sometimes I came to work early, too” arguments, but they didn’t wash.

That was certainly dumb enough, but according to Sorrel, the scariest thing to come out of the NY post story is that an employee can be tracked without his or her knowledge in every state except Connecticut and Delaware, where employers need to warn you before stalking you.

Shelby County Ohio Deputies Find 570 Pounds of Pot
Ben Sutherly, Dayton Daily News
Apparently during an accident investigation on I-75, a truck driver was arrested on “suspicion of drug trafficking,” when police found 570 pounds of pot in his truck.

Now I’m no legal expert, but that doesn’t sound much like “suspicion” to me.

News Roundup for Week March 3, 2007

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Mar 112007

8 Year Old Caught Selling Pot
SAGINAW, Mich. – Police said they caught an 8-year-old trying to sell marijuana to other children at a counseling center. Police were called to the Westlund Child Guidance Clinic after another boy told a teacher the 8-year-old had tried to sell pot to him. Investigators found the marijuana in a box of Lego toys belonging to the boy, television station WNEM reported.

The boy is enrolled in a program for students with disabilities, WNEM said. He was turned over to his parents. It wasn’t known if charges will be filed.

Mayan Priests to Purify Site After Bush Visit
GUATEMALA CITY – Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate “bad spirits” after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.

“That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture,” Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday.

Tiney said the “spirit guides of the Mayan community” decided it would be necessary to cleanse the sacred site of “bad spirits” after Bush’s visit so that their ancestors could rest in peace.

BASE Jumper Lands in Trouble
TAMPA – William “Wild Bill” Stroup peered over the top of the future SkyPoint condominiums in downtown as wind whipped against a video camera’s microphone.

It was about 3:45 a.m. Tuesday atop the high-rise construction site, under a nearly full moon. Thirty-two stories separated Stroup from his target: a fenced-in plot on North Franklin Street where the Maas Bros. building once stood.

As Stroup floated to the ground, a man in a truck southbound on Tampa Street looked up.

“I noticed something come over my head,” Kenneth Glumm, 37, said on a taped 911 call to Tampa police. “It’s a guy with a kind of parachute kind of thing.”

“You didn’t see me. Don’t tell anybody you saw me,” Stroup said, according to Glumm. “That set off alarms,” Glumm said, recalling the fires on North Franklin Street he had heard about earlier that evening. He dialed 911. “With everything going on in the world, you never know. I thought some fool could’ve jumped out of a plane.” (So the fear mongering by the Bush Administration worked…Poor Mr. Glumm is just a scared little rabbit.)

Jailed Man Exonorated After Ski Mask Tested for DNA
West Palm Beach — A man who spent four months in prison on robbery charges was exonerated on DNA evidence, authorities said.

Cody Davis, 22, who was convicted in October of robbery and sentenced to three years in prison, spent more than four months incarcerated, but on Friday he walked out of Charlotte Correctional Institution a free man, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

Two witnesses to the robbery identified Davis, and a jury convicted him. DNA testing on a ski mask found at the scene was not done immediately because it was not worn by the burglar during the crime, Chief Assistant State Attorney Al Johnson said. Test results came back with DNA matching another man in the DNA database, and a Palm Beach County sheriff’s detective noticed Davis and the other man had similar characteristics.

Feb 242007

I have the greatest respect for educators in general, and believe they are generally under-valued in our society.

BUT, apparently, as in every other field, a few idiots manage to gain entry.

In Murray, KY, a middle school teacher trying to buy pot was arrested after she sent text messages to state trooper instead of a dealer, police said. Trooper Trevor Pervine was at dinner with his wife and parents celebrating a birthday when his phone started buzzing with messages about a marijuana purchase.

At first, Pervine thought the messages were from friends playing a joke, but a couple of phone calls put that idea to rest, and Pervine responded to set up a meeting. Authorities say Ann Greenfield, 34, arrived at the meeting point and found Pervine and other law enforcement officers waiting for her.

Closer to home, a popular Principal at Van Bueren Middle School here in Tampa, was arrested at school Friday after he got an undercover officer, posing as a drug dealer, to delivery crack to his office at school. He was arrested as he escorted the officer to the lobby of the school.

He taught emotionally handicapped children in 1991 at Young Middle School and continued working with special education students at Jefferson High in 1997. Two years later, he was appointed as a coordinator at James Exceptional Center and five years later became site administrator at Dorothy Thomas, where his work earned praise from Hillsborough County Children’s Services.

Giancola also had glowing reviews in his personnel file, saying he is “dedicated … and willing to go the extra mile.” Students affectionately call him Mr. G; students he occasionally fed pizzas, paid for out of his own pocket; the needy students he bought yearbooks for. Of course, there were plenty of children around.

Good as he was it appears, the word is the drug use began when his marriage went bad. And while I would normally more sympathetic, to have it delivered to school, apparently with the intent to smoke it at school (he allegedly told the undercover officer he wanted “to hit it right there”), removes any degree of sympathy I could muster.

The cops couldn’t do it after school, or make the arrest in his office and whisk him out quietly. They have to make a big deal out of it.