Assorted Stupidity #109

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Wow, take just a few days off for a holiday, and the stupid piles up so remarkably high.

Granted, I already had quite a backlog.

  • On December 17, a 54-year-old Florida attorney was booked on charges arising from his alleged plan to record himself having sex with an inmate, something detectives alleged he has done at a variety of Florida jails. The man was actually setting up “scenes,” not just recording the acts, detectives said, though the report does not say he was posting or selling actual movies in which he could personally be identified. That reduces the stupidity factor only slightly, however, because he did film the “jail surroundings” and each inmate’s I.D. card, as well as depositing payment in their prison commissary accounts. Detectives received a tip about the attorney’s conduct, and made a short film of their own.
  • According to this report, a Texas state trooper claimed there was “nothing funny” about somebody driving 88 mph in a DeLorean modded to look like the one in Back to the Future, but there is.
  • But then Texas police probably deal with lots of vehicular oddities, as further evidenced by this 2007 article in the Gilmer Mirror. Responding to a call about “suspicious activity” in a grocery store parking lot, Sgt. Albert Cabrera found a vehicle with a “suspicious odor” and “what looked to be an animal in the vehicle, wrapped up in blankets with the tail sticking out.” Upon locating the vehicle’s owner, “I asked him what did he have in his vehicle,” Cabrera said, “and he replied, a dead Shetland pony.” Cabrera then “asked him what did he plan to do with the pony, and he said he was trying to find a good place to lay it to rest.” The man reportedly agreed to go ahead and find such a place on his lunch break, which he apparently did. Hopefully irrelevant is the detail that the man “was an employee of the [store’s] meat and produce department.”
  • Completely irrelevant, except that it also happened in northeast Texas, is this utterly ridiculous 2006 case involving a couple of would-be ninjas, one of whom was injured during “ninja training” and, in true ninja fashion, then sued the other ninja and his grandma (who owned the premises). The case report, which I’m happy to see I preserved by uploading it, is a classic of the genre.
  • Back to Florida: on December 5 the Miami Herald reported that a 30-year-old local man was asserting the state’s “stand your ground” law as a defense against assault charges. Not really noteworthy, except that the alleged aggressor was a five-year-old armed with a tennis racquet. In a motion seeking “immunity” based on the controversial law, the man argued that the boy was the “initial aggressor,” had previously been violent, and on the day in question had raised his racquet “and was poised to strike again” when the victim (his instructor) allegedly took the racquet away and hit him with it. But “it is the State’s position,” prosecutors argued in response, that the man “was not acting under the imminent threat of danger to himself or others” when he allegedly whacked the five-year-old.
  • As the report mentions, this is the same law invoked (successfully) by George Zimmerman after he shot Trayvon Martin in 2012, allegedly in self-defense. “Over the years,” the Herald notes, “South Florida judges have tossed out murder charges against defendants who killed people armed only with fists, karate skills, and even a bag full of car radios.” Evidently, your assailant doesn’t have to be armed with a “deadly weapon” under this law, because as I’ve argued before, body parts are not “weapons” unless maybe Chuck Norris is attacking you. (If Chuck Norris is attacking you with a bag full of car radios, or maybe an alligator, then okay, you have a case.)
  • “Outer space is … not the ‘common heritage of all mankind,'” said Scott Pace in a speech last week. Pace is currently the executive director of the U.S. National Space Council. “[O]uter space … shall be the province of all mankind,” said the Outer Space Treaty in 1967, when the U.S. signed it. But “[t]hese concepts are not part of the Outer Space Treaty,” Pace said, so I guess I don’t know what to believe.
  • Kind of similarly, “good old Global Warming” (as he capitalized it) is a hoax totally disproven by the current cold snap in the northeastern U.S., said Donald Trump yesterday. Trump is currently the president of the United States of America. “It could reasonably be expected that the rate of sea level rise might become twice of that presently occurring” because of global warming, said Donald Trump in May 2016, when he was trying to get permission from the Irish government to build a seawall to protect one of his golf courses. But “it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record,” Trump said yesterday, so I guess I don’t know what to believe.
  • Finally, this excellent order “reluctantly” granting a continuance so that counsel can go watch the Georgia Bulldogs play in the Rose Bowl. The court is plainly skeptical of counsel’s purported “Dawg-related” credentials, and (jokingly) suggests contempt sanctions might be in order should counsel “fail[ ] to secure a Bulldog victory through his presence in Pasadena.”

There will probably be a “Best of 2017” list coming before (or shortly after) the end of the year, because why not. In the meantime, hope you all had/are having a good holiday season.