Assorted Stupidity #117

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  • There has been a lot going on lately, and also it has “quiet” in the name, so maybe you haven’t heard about “Quiet Skies,” the government program that spies on travelers who “are not under investigation by any agency and are not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base” (emphasis added). The same TSA bulletin from which that eye-opener is taken says the program’s goal is to avoid potential threats to aircraft “posed by unknown or partially known terrorists” (emphasis added). It does this by using air marshals to follow certain unknown or partially known persons around. Among those quoted in the article as being very concerned about whether this is legal: air marshals (emphasis added).
  • You act like an animal, you’re going to take care of animals,” said Ohio Municipal Court Judge Michael Cicconetti in July. He said this to an 18-year-old who had pleaded guilty to “criminal mischief” after spending “a night with friends knocking over objects” in a park, as one does. Because one or more of the objects were portable toilets, Cicconetti sentenced the man to clean up animal waste at the county fair, in lieu of jail time.
  • Cicconetti is known for dispensing this sort of “creative justice,” as he calls it, though he apparently makes it an option for defendants, not a requirement. According to Wikipedia and the articles linked therein, he has sentenced people to wear chicken suits, clean up parks, spend a night in the woods, go to a morgue to see corpses, work at landfills, and to lead a donkey through the streets bearing appropriate signs.
  • Pretty good headline here, crafted by the Associated Press in August: “Man who jumped out of freezer and died was cold-case suspect.” Ironically, just days before, a judge had dropped two murder charges against the man, and released him, after finding certain statements he made regarding the 1998 killings were inadmissible. The article doesn’t say why he was in the freezer, but it does say he yelled “Away from me, Satan!” after he jumped out, so maybe that had something to do with it.
  • I assume it’s relatively common for shoe stores to put only one of each pair of shoes on display, if only because you don’t need both to know what they look like. But if they do it to deter thieves, just like in Dr. Strangelove, it can’t deter someone if you don’t tell them about it. Which is why thieves in Virginia ended up with a haul that was almost entirely limited to right shoes. They did get one complete pair, the owner said.