spring 2012 disgust with politics, part II: in which i accidentally just talked about the same thing i talked about six months ago, kind of

so here we go with part two of “janklow being COMPLETELY fed up with politics in May.” here’s the weird part: i came up with the topics for this update based just on “things i saw on the news that enraged me”… only to realize that my 12.20.2011 update essentially covered the EXACT SAME PEOPLE (except for the Amuish guys, who i don’t have anything new to say regarding at this time). either this means i don’t really have anything approaching fresh, funny material (guilty as charged) or there’s something fundamentally wrong with our society, given how it allows these guys to run completely wild to such an extent that i have to keep getting worked up over them.

maybe it’s both?

Mayor Bloomberg and ALL OF HIS GARBAGE
whenever i see him, i am reminded that Bloomberg does have a face that seems to demand punches. he’s still no Sean Penn, however

NYC Mayor Bloomberg seeks ban on super-size soft drinks

at this point, i am starting to suspect that Bloomberg has some kind of weird sexual fetish where he can only achieve a release by pulling some kind of major asshole move, because every other day when i read the news, he’s doing something that screams “massive douchebag,” such as any number of his anti-gun things, or that time he got the law changed to get himself ANOTHER term as mayor of NYC and then followed it up by declaring, essentially, that the law could be changed back when he was done being mayor, because no one ELSE would ever need that kind of leeway. he’s gotten so good at this that if i didn’t want him to die painfully in a fire, i’d have to begrudgingly respect it… although, to be honest, i kind of want him to die in a fire.

so it’s a new day and Bloomberg is once again “doing his asshole thing”:

“New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg intends to restrict sales of sugary soft drinks to no more than 16 ounces a cup in city restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas, administration officials said. The Health Department plans to propose the ban as an amendment to the Health Code at a June 12 meeting of the Board of Health, according to Samantha Levine, a mayoral spokeswoman.”

isn’t it enough already? look, someone who’s from New York needs to tell me what the hell this guy has ever done to make them like him enough to keep voting him into office, because i SINCERELY do not understand it. from the jump, this seems like a half-assed nanny state manuever, but, okay, let’s see if the article can make some kind of case for it.

“The move to ban super-sized sugared soft drinks, first reported in the New York Times yesterday, is the latest of several anti-obesity and nutrition initiatives undertaken by the administration. It is among strategies to combat what the administration has described as an epidemic of obesity and related illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. “People will come to see this very much in the interest of public health,” Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said today at a press conference. “This is going to start a nationwide movement toward this, a nationwide trend. I think it will prove to be very popular.””

so it turns out that New York has a very stupid Deputy Mayor. look, even if i grant that there’s some kind of health issue being served here –and at this point, that’s a VERY big if– why would you think a law that restricts what people ARE VOLUNTARILY DOING OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL would immediately become very popular? and look, don’t get fooled by the fact that we’ve all come to turns with smoking bans and the like: society has been treating smokers like second-class members of society from whom we’ll suck taxes as we sit fit and we’ve all decided to just say “fuck it” and let it happen. it’s always the exception that proves the rule, however.

“The city’s health department has posted anti-sugary drink ads inside subway trains for three years. In 2008, the city required restaurant chains to post calorie-counts on menus. In 2006 and 2007, the Board of Health and City Council banned artery-clogging trans-fats from restaurants and prepared foods. In 2003, Bloomberg blocked the beverages from vending machines in schools and city-owned buildings.”

and this is what it’s really all about. Bloomberg knows better than you what’s best for you: that’s why he’s rich and the mayor and you’re poor and worthless, you stupid prole. but when he used advertisements and mandatory menu information and mild bans, you FOR SOME REASON ignored all the wisdom he was dropping on you… and so now you’ve forced him to do more stupid bullshit for no reason! success, American New Yorkers!

anyway, leave it to the foul merchants of SODA DEATH to bring all the logic into this:

“The people of New York City are much smarter than the New York City Health Department believes,” Kirsten Witt Webb, a Coca-Cola Co. spokeswoman … “They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase. We hope New Yorkers loudly voice their disapproval about this arbitrary mandate.” Jeff Dahncke, a spokesman for PepsiCo Inc., referred questions to the New York City Beverage Association.”

well, maybe just Coca-Cola. PepsiCo apparently seems content to eat Bloomberg’s shit and ask for seconds. but okay, let’s say we agree this is an unfair, stupid idea; Bloomberg’s at least taken the time to think up a logically consistent way to enforce this in a city as large as NYC, right?

“The law would allow patrons to buy as many of the smaller drinks as they wanted and get refills. The ban would not apply to convenience stores and groceries, which will blunt any financial toll on soft drink makers, according to Thomas Mullarkey, an analyst for Morningstar Inc. in Chicago. “The proposal probably won’t have too big an impact on the likes of Coke and Pepsi,” Mullarkey said in a telephone interview. “Most of their volume sales goes through convenience and grocery stores.” He rates both companies as three stars out of five, meaning they are fairly valued.”

…oh. so let me see if i understand this: if i want to purchase a 16oz soda, Bloomberg will look scornfully down on me and allow it, but if i want to purchase a 20oz soda, he’ll flip out and try to throw me off his plane like he’s Harrison Ford in that movie where Harrison Ford was simply OUTRAGED by all the international terrorism taking place on his airliner? also, i can buy the 20oz sodas in tons of places in the city anyway? what the hell?

honestly, i don’t know if it’s good that Bloomberg comes up with these illogical garbage laws, as they seem to be at best stupid nonsense that will not REALLY stop anyone from doing the things they want to do, or bad, because the man’s a billionaire and the mayor of NYC, both of which being things that i would THINK you could not achieve without some minor command of logic.

“Coca-Cola has added smaller packages, including 12-ounce and 16-ounce bottles, that will make it easier to respond to proposals such as New York’s, said Caroline Levy, a New York- based analyst for Credit Agricole Securities USA Inc. While PepsiCo has been slower to respond, it’s catching up, she said. The risk is low that other cities will follow with similar bans, said Levy, adding, “People will see it as an infringement on their personal liberties.””

you know what’s REALLY sad here, aside from the fact that this article insists on only talking to people who constantly discuss the value of these cola companies’ stock? that the implication is “well, people in cities that aren’t New York give a shit about their civil liberties, so they’ll want no part of this, but in New York, they’ll just shut up and take it.” there’s some kind of Bill Hicks-style remark about New Yorkers being told they can have only 16oz of soda, but all of Bloomberg’s demonic corporate phallus they can swallow to be made here.

but ultimately, this is what Bloomberg does: wake up, climb out of the giant pile of money he sleeps in, and ask himself how he can fuck with people that day. we should not be surprised. and speaking of New Yorkers who hold reprehensible positions…

Donald Fucking Trump
unrelated note: is it just me, or does Trump look like he smells bad? this is not even a shot at the guy, it’s just the impression i get

Donald Trump rages in CNN meltdown over Obama ‘birther’ issue

yes, it’s my other friend from New York, Donald Trump. you may remember the major differences between him and Bloomberg: Bloomberg actually has hair, Bloomberg actually is a billionaire, Bloomberg actually runs for office. they’re both awful people who say and do stupid things; in this case, Trump is pretty much saying the same damn things:

“Donald Trump is seething over the President Obama “birther” issue — and the latest target of his wrath is CNN. In an interview Tuesday, the real estate magnate and “Celebrity Apprentice” overseer got into a war of words with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, castigating the network for what he dubbed “inaccurate” reporting and ridiculing its low ratings. At one point, Blitzer said that Trump was beginning to sound ridiculous. “I think you sound ridiculous,” Trump shot back via telephone.”

okay, kids, let me settle this: you BOTH sound ridiculous. Trump because he’s, well, Donald Trump, a fake billionaire who won’t shut the fuck up about this goddamn birther issue. i actually think he’s a Democrat plant, since the only things he talks about make Republicans look bad (the discredited birther garbage; the whole “tell others to tell China to fuck off while having Trump-brand stuff made there”; the list goes on), although there’s the point where Republicans kind of deserve it by taking this idiot seriously. Blitzer because … well, how does the saying go? “a wise man told me don’t argue with fools, ’cause people from a distance can’t tell who is who?” it’s Donald Trump, Blitzer: you shouldn’t have to point out to us that he’s ridiculous. it’s immediately apparent to all of us currently able to dress ourselves in the morning.

“Trump is keeping the issue alive even as he brandishes his support for the presumed Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. “A lot of people do not believe that birth certificate,” Trump told Blitzer.”

unmentioned in this piece is that Trump steadfastly refuses to a) make any kind of substantive remarks about what his “investigators” found in Hawaii, while continuing to imply they discovered THE SECRETS OF OBAMA, as if the key to proving Obama wasn’t born in America is like a golden idol Trump had to wrest away from some kind of dart-shooting death trap; and b) name ANYONE who doesn’t believe that birth certificate. in fact, if i can recall what he says, it goes:


well, you’re right, you don’t HAVE to name names. you don’t HAVE to wear what Jon Stewart would call “antique doll hair” on your head and pretend it’s your actual hair. you don’t HAVE to do a lot of things. but if you want people to give you the SLIGHTEST amount of credit regarding your birth certificate claims? yes, you have to name some fucking names.

“Trump said that if CNN would report the issue accurately, the network would draw “better ratings than you’re getting, which are pretty small.” Last week, CNN sank to its lowest prime-time audience levels in more than 20 years.”

but let’s ignore the fact that whatever claims Trump is making about “reporting the issue accurately” –he of the evidence and support that he refuses to provide– and focus on this: the fact is, i don’t feel at all bad for Blitzer and/or CNN because they, like all the news channels, keep letting this idiot ramble on television in an attempt to get ratings because he makes people like me FLIP THE FUCK OUT COMPLETELY.

here’s the bottom line: anyone who really seeks to broadcast real news needs to stop putting this guy on the air. i don’t care if you’re a Republican trying to throw your base some red meat or a Democrat who wants to show off the stupidest Republican he could find or a broadcaster who either sympathizes with one of those sides or, more cynically, just wants to throw Trump’s stupid blather on the air to grab for ratings: if you purport to engage in legitimate, intelligent political discourse, STOP PUTTING DONALD TRUMP AND WHATEVER THAT ALIEN BEING CLINGING TO HIS SCALP IS ON THE GODDAMN AIRWAVES RIGHT NOW. otherwise, i shall presume you are yet another vapid cunt like Trump himself. he at least KNOWS he’s playing you all for suckers.

okay, that’ll do it for this week. i’m going to go throw up now.

spring 2012 disgust with politics, part I: in which Newt Gingrich does not fully realize that he is a patsy

i have been avoiding talking about politics because i find them pointless and depressing and blah blah blah. ever since Cory Booker walked back from a middle-of-the-road call for civility in debate so that he could get back to a partisan position, i’ve been thinking that MAYBE my regular annoyance with politics would result in my bursting out with a sincerely aggrieved post on the matter, but i have been able to resist until now. UNTIL NOW. let’s get this over with so that i can lapse back into not giving a damn about politics as hard as i can.

Kevin Spacey, i think
i don’t often listen to convicted felons for advice, but when i do… wait, when i do, i realize that’s fucking stupid and i stop

pro-transparency liberal group United Republic won’t disclose donors

the problem with commenting/complaining about hypocrisy in politics is that your righteous indignation can be easily punctured with remarks along the lines of, “well, what else did you expect?” which, honestly, is a fair point: what else DO i expect from politicians than a high-level, expensive version of “do as we say, not as we do,” right? that being said, i think i might be able to round up a slight amount of outrage for this one:

“The progressive non-profit advocacy group United Republic, which is dedicated to rooting out “big money in politics,” has failed to disclose its big-money donors despite numerous promises to do so. The Center for Competitive Politics (CCP), which opposes restrictions on political speech, said United Republic should be more open if it wants to fulfill its stated purpose. “It’s a bit ironic,” said CCP president David Keating in an interview with the Free Beacon. “If they’re doing that, then they should be willing to disclose their donors.””

well, to start, let’s get this out of the way: i am SURE there’s an element of partisan politics at work here, what with one side being progressive and bearing the name “United Republic” and the other being the self-unaware “CCP,” which i suppose espouses a conservative brand of “may the best man win” regarding funding political speech. here’s the thing: i don’t give a shit about all that. what i care about is a basic concept: if your advocacy group stands for primarily one thing –transparency in politics, in this case– then i think you should stand for that, that’s all.

“United Republic launched in November. The organization comprises a coalition of groups, such as Dylan Ratigan’s “Get Money Out,” that share the “goal of ending the domination of Big Money over the political process.” Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff joined the organization in February and now writes for its blog, Republic Report.”

two things:

–is this just another example of a group bitching about funding and “big money” and meaning “the money of those we don’t agree with” when to the average man, said group is funded by the same kind of elitist wealth? ultimately, we’re probably not going to resolve this, since the article seems to be implying United Republic will not tell us, but i think you see where i am going with this;

–ah, we’ve brought in disgraced lobbyist Kevin Spacey (wait, is it Jack Abramoff? i get them confused) to show us the error of our ways. you know, since he’s a notorious criminal who helped corrupt politics to the best of his ability and for his own personal gain, and… oh yeah. well, anyway, he clearly paid an incredibly high price for that, what with him being quickly out of prison and touted on the internet and… oh yeah. anyway, here’s the thing: much like Victor Conte, why do people think these kinds of guys, even granting their intimate knowledge of the topic(s) they cover, don’t just attach an easily-attacked figure to their cause?

“United Republic claims it “is funded by hundreds of individual donors and foundations, big and small, who understand that nearly every issue Americans care about is held hostage by well-financed special interests.” United Republic’s first-year budget is somewhere between $5 million and $10 million, according to National Journal. The identities of the special interests bankrolling United Republic are unknown.”

now, call me nuts, but 5-10 million dollars in a yearly budget from sources admitted to include big as well as small sounds to me like yet another well-financed special interest kicking in 9.9 of the 10 million. i suppose this COULD be resolved by identifying the donors, of course.

“Many non-profit advocacy groups that engage in political activity do not disclose their donors. United Republic is different, however, because it regularly promises to disclose. The Fund for the Republic, United Republic’s 501(c)(3) arm, states on its website: “Because we advocate for transparency in political spending, we ask that our own donors be transparent as well. While we don’t post donors’ names publicly, we like to provide them upon request.” United Republic did not return numerous requests by the Free Beacon for information about its donors, however.”

frankly, this IS almost a dazzling level of hypocrisy. look, i am sure there are donors who legitimately only want to hide their personal information and there might be some shred of a justification for it… but maybe, MAYBE if you’re not prepared to do the thing that you not only want others to do, but also explicitly promise to do on your website, you MIGHT want to dial back your rhetoric a little.

the article goes on to provide some specific examples of United Republic operating in this line:
–United Republic staffers confronting a Media Research Center staffer over their donors being connected to ALEC while refusing to tell MRC who funds United Republic;
–United Republic again going out of their way to post on Twitter that they were posting their donors, and then not doing so, furthering this ridiculous self-inflicted wound concept;
–United Republic’s co-founder/CEO Josh Silver failing to disclose meetings pre-United Republic (but presumably similar in concept) and currently, while possibly meeting with the Democracy Alliance.

so again, yeah, a lot of this is undoubtedly partisan politics between the groups in question, but unfortunately for at least me, it’s also yet another reason why people don’t believe in all these politics.

O'Malley versus Gingrich: THE CONFLICT CONTINUES
O’Malley watches Gingrich intently, knowing that at any moment, the former Speaker might try to eat him

O’Malley talks 2012 presidential race, gets advice for 2016

okay, this one will do (although i must apologize for linking to the Baltimore Sun, in that it has one of those annoying halfway pay-wall things going on these days). let’s just fire it up:

“For close observers of MD Gov. Martin O’Malley, the most interesting part of his 17 minute segment this morning on Meet the Press came at the end. Host David Gregory revealed there was “a reason” that he asked both O’Malley and Newt Gingrich, a failed presidential candidate, to be guests on the show.”

let’s be clear: the REAL reason is that Newt Gingrich has devolved into this ugly political whore. he’s willing to spar with O’Malley because whether or not he can best O’Malley in any kind of televised debate –and personally, i think his debate prowess is overrated on the grounds that his major success seemed to be attacking the moderators, which gets an audience response, but is not REALLY debate skill– he gets attention either way. he CRAVES attention. also, a serious Republican political figure with any hope of a future in a Romney administration or the post-election Republican mass of sadness would not be caught on television serving as a punching bag for a Democrat golden boy right now.

there’s other things too. put a pin in that for right now, we may come back to them.

“Given the “buzz” that O’Malley has his eye on the White House, what advice, Gregory asked, could Gingrich provide Maryland’s governor about running for president in 2016?”

the buzz? i suppose if by “buzz” you mean “the fact that the Democrats have been prepping him for national elections for YEARS now.”

“Gingrich had a snappy reply: “Raise a lot of money.” The former House Speaker has $4.8 million in debt from his campaign, according to the Washington Post. Gingrich also said to expect “two or three years on the road” for a serious presidential run. “This has been a brutal, tough process,” Gingrich said. “If you are not tough enough to get to the presidency, you are not tough enough to be president.””

several points:

01. note that Gingrich does not comment on the facts that he’s left his campaign with that massive amount of debt; that large portions of it were racked up well after there was any point in him continuing to campaign; that it’s likely to be unpaid for years to come; and that it might –and i say might because i don’t know– include the debt from when that he sold his own campaign mailing lists. so it’s not JUST about raising a lot of money, you see.

02. this whole “two or three years on the road” thing is a big part of the problem. we should NOT be spending two or three years running for fucking President. look, if the election is in 2016, and you spend three years running for it, then you’re basically kicking off your campaign RIGHT after the previous election, which means that even if it’s just you pressing the flesh and getting the word out and the actual President ignores you to run the country for some time, i’m STILL going to have to hear about it, and that’s what i truly mind the most. all this running for President should be done the year of the election. period.

also, it’s funny that Gingrich, a man who did not take the time to build lasting post-Speaker connections with Republicans across America the way someone like Nixon after the loss to JFK did, would seem to give this “spend years on it” advice considering how half-assed his OWN supposedly serious run was. but maybe Gingrich just loves contradiction?

03. it’s obvious that someone not tough enough to get the nomination and win the election isn’t tough enough to be President, Newt, because we JUST acknowledged with that build-up that said someone was not tough enough to get the nomination, let alone win the election. i know you think that’s a cute soundbite, but it just sounds lame and redundant to me.

“When the camera turned to O’Malley, the governor demurred. “I haven’t even thought that far.” O’Malley, who is also chair of the Democratic Governors Association, said he’s “focused” on his current national role. “Doing everything in my power to elect Democratic governors.” Since taking on the top post at the DGA at the end of 2010, O’Malley has become increasingly engaged in national politics. He’s crisscrossed the country speaking at state-level Democratic party events (next weekend includes stops in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine) and he’s become a regular guest on cable and Sunday political talk shows.”

LIES LIES LIES. look, i actually DO believe that right now his primary goal is the whole Democratic governors thing… in as much as this is his political stepping stone toward the presidency. it’s that whole “building support in the party” thing that Gingrich seems to have forgotten about. however, i definitely subscribe to a Wire-based view of O’Malley in which he’s only focused on attaining and serving in his current role as long as it takes him to realize he COULD aspire to a higher one. in fairness, the incredibly entrenched Democrat machine in Maryland has ensured nothing has happened that would dissuade him from this view.

“As during other national TV appearances, O’Malley was meticulously prepared. He showed a firm grasp of Mitt Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts — but also had a handle on the lines of attack Gingrich had used against Romney. Gregory asked if Obama will come across as “anti-business” by attacking Romney’s time at the helm of Bain Capital, a private equity firm. “No, I don’t believe that,” O’Malley said. “I agree with Speaker Gingrich.” O’Malley reminded viewers that Romney had initially taken credit for creating “hundreds of thousands of jobs” while at Bain. “A claim that he eventually backed off of under the Speaker’s questioning,” O’Malley said.”

back to that pin. see, Gingrich, the OTHER reason is that you appearing on Meet The Press in this manner allows O’Malley to attack Romney on behalf of Obama (earning O’Malley points and helping Obama dodge the mud-slinging that drags down favorable ratings) AND rehash the attacks Gingrich made on Romney. well-played, O’Malley, well-played. i don’t think Gingrich even realizes any of this.

see, Gingrich is still in the throes of sadness over his ego being denied, so he’s not fully aware that it’s obvious to everyone that a) he doesn’t really like Romney, as he’ll always be someone who denied Gingrich what was “rightfully his”; b) he doesn’t really care if his attacks drag Romney down because he’s mainly focused on after an election where Romney loses to Obama so that Gingrich can strut around telling everyone how they should have listened to him. however, it DOES remind me of how disappointed i am in politics.

…given that i still have a little rage left, i think i’ll continue this next time. until then, picturing me burning with my unending rage.

a quick one, while [my ability to wrap these things up in a timely fashion is] away

i actually feel bad for some of these updates i am trying to move through, because at some point i took the time to get the topics together, vaguely think of what i was going to say about them (often along the lines of “Americans and non-Americans alike continue to disappoint me just by being themselves) … and then i just lost track of getting them done. true, this is not as sad as when i have some UNIQUE RANTING TOPIC that’s not a listicle, but clearly i have embraced the fact that since spending more energy on the former nets me no more gain than the latter, i might as well save that energy for… uh… writing introductions that are themed around me feeling sorry for myself?

but we’re getting caught up here! on with the updates!

7-year-old girl's Hot Wheels toy car
these dog leashes are actually somehow LESS safe than i pictured them when i was reading the article. good lord

grandparents of the year! couple tied 7-year-old girl’s Hot Wheels toy car to SUV-

let’s just pause right there before this headline gets COMPLETELY excessive, because it could go one of two ways: a) a little darker, if they’re not related to the 7-year-old (unlikely, since they’re identified as “grandparents”) or b) even more insane. really, could it get even more insane? it could get even more insane:

“Two Florida grandparents have been arrested after police say they hooked their granddaughter’s plastic toy Hot Wheels car to their SUV and gave her a ride. A Sarasota County deputy said he spotted the seven-year-old wearing a bathing suit and no helmet as she was towed behind the SUV on Sunday.”

so that’s pretty bizarre. and while pointing out her lack of a helmet is a nice touch –please take a moment to consider how outrageously DANGEROUS this scenario is– i have to wonder exactly how much good a helmet would do when you’re seven years old and riding in a plastic car that’s being towed by an SUV for some reason.

“Her toy car was tied to a trailer hitch with dog leashes. She was not harmed.”

correction: towed by an SUV WITH DOG LEASHES for some reason. however, i do dispute the fact that this child was not harmed: sure, the officer saved her and her helmet-free head from severe injury (and possibly the kind of severe injury that gets filmed by people’s phones and distributed on the internet), but at what cost? did he not ALSO save her from a childhood filled with the kind of awesome memories that are crafted by your grandparents dragging your fragile child’s car behind their much more powerful automobile? that sounds like ‘harmed’ to me.

“Paul Berloni, 49, was charged with driving under the influence, child endangerment and driving with a suspended license. Belinda Berloni, 47, faces a child endangerment charge. Both admitted they had been drinking. Belinda said they were just having fun and had been towing the child all day.”

additional correction: your DRUNKEN grandparents dragging your fragile child’s car behind their much more powerful automobile. i mean, okay, perhaps they were not drunk, but they were at least under the influence of alcohol, which does help make some sense out of why they would think this was a good idea … but which doesn’t explain why this drunken middle-aged set of grandparents (really, 49 and 47 with a 7-year-old granddaughter? sounds like drunken grandparents didn’t do a great job with their children, either) were able to tow her like this ALL DAY without anyone getting involved before a police officer RANDOMLY spotted them.

look, i’m no snitch or anything, but if i was driving around and saw this going on, i think i would at LEAST call the police before trying to free the child by shooting the dog leashes loose.

“The deputy estimated that the Hot Wheels car was traveling between five and ten miles per hour when it was stopped.”

this is either a) some fine police work or b) a bullshit claim of knowledge, albeit one that undermines the hazards supposedly involved here. i mean, five miles per hour is like a brisk walk or a slow jog, so somehow i doubt you’d be KILLED INSTANTLY if you were to fall out of your plastic Hot Wheels car going that speed. then again, i am a rugged man and not a 7-year-old girl, so it’s possible i am understating the risk her. POSSIBLY.

“Paul Berloni, who was driving the SUV, reeked of booze, had watery and bloodshot eyes, and his speech was ‘slowed and slurred’, according to the arrest report. When asked for his driver’s license, Berloni said that it was ‘revoked for 10 years for a DUI’, according to the Smoking Gun. Belinda Berloni was riding in the vehicle’s cargo area ‘with the rear hatch open cheering the child on as she was being pulled behind the vehicle’.”

…and the classiness of the grandparents continues to increase, although i do give the grandmother points for not only cheering on the child, but continuing to do so even while being pulled over. a lot of drunken endangering grandparents would just be content to drink their cheap beer and/or fortified wines while dragging their child to her certain death (or at least injury), but not Belinda Berloni!

“The arrest report said she told the deputy they knew it was dangerous but it was also fun and they had been doing it all day.”

ultimately, though, this is a reasonable lesson to learn: all kinds of things that are fun (and that you can presumably do all day) are at least a LITTLE dangerous.

and speaking of hazardous things you can do involving children and a car…

Indiana police, on the case
wait, they were strapped down with one of those ratchet tie downs you use to restraint furniture? really, though, i don’t know what else i expected

man arrested with four kids strapped to car hood

yet another story that could go a little darker, or even more insane … or maybe both?

“Two people are in police custody after they allegedly strapped four kids to the hood of a car after leaving a Fort Wayne liquor store Monday evening. Police said around 5:30 p.m., someone called 911 to report that a man and a woman had strapped the kids to the hood and left the Belmont Beverage parking lot at 2116 Fairfield Ave.”

wait, child endangerment near a liquor store and we’re NOT in Kentucky? something is going on here… anyway, as always, whenever children are attached in unsafe manners to driving cars, it’s a safe bet that alcohol is involved SOMEHOW. we really don’t need a police investigation. that said, three questions:

–FOUR children on the hood? this simply cannot be conducive to being able to clearly see where one is going;
–why exactly were they strapped to the hood? i suppose the article might get into this;
–ALLEGEDLY strapped? is this not something we can report as undisputed?

“A couple area residents saw the kids strapped to the car just before police arrived. “I couldn’t believe it! They had this strap across their legs. They were squirming to get out. They didn’t know what to do. And I told the people in the car, ‘Don’t do that!’,” said Bonita Gorsuch. “They were all drunk. They were all all high, or whatever. They’ve got babies on a car! That’s not nice,” said Tom Nowak. Shortly after Gorsuch confronted the couple, a U.S. Marshal saw the children near the intersection of Fairfield Avenue and Poplar Street and stopped the vehicle for police.”

for one thing, “a couple OF area residents.” (deep sigh) for another, squirming to get out? get out of what? aren’t they strapped to a hood? really, though, Gorsuch gets a pass for this one because misspeaking when excited is no big deal, and she did something NO ONE did in the first story: confronted the people who were driving around drunk risking the health of a child or children. also, way to have an out-and-out US Marshal appear out of nowhere like he was stopping a cattle rustler in the 1800s.

“Police said the driver, Aaron S. Stefanski, 29, of Fort Wayne, had a blood alcohol content of .17% and was charged with three counts of operating while intoxicated and one count of neglect of a dependent. His passenger, Jessica A. Clark, 29, also of Fort Wayne, was charged with one count of neglect of a dependent. Police said none of the children – ages four, five, six and seven – appeared to be hurt. Three of the children were Stefanski’s, one belonged to Clark.”

the absolutely best thing about this, in my opinion, is that i expected this to be one of those scenarios where we had some drunken white trash couple and their litter of children… but then it turns out it’s two random trashy people who have combined their forces to strap a legion of sad children to the hood one of their cars. EXCELLENT. one thing shall remain unanswered, however: WHY did we do this? i can see the reasoning behind drunken grandparents trying to entertain a child… and i imagine some equally ridiculous drunk logic is at work here… and i respect the fact that accused criminals PROBABLY can’t comment on why they’ve done the things they’ve done… but come on, where’s the speculating police spokesman when i need him?

“”I didn’t particularly think they would like to be an ornament the car. They were scared being strapped up there. It was very dangerous. It was really a sad thing because they could have been killed,” said Gorsuch.”

also, i do need to ask Gorsuch this: would it have been okay for them to risk being killed if they DID want to be an ornament for the car?

“the thought of this Octomom masturbation fiasco is making me vomit out every organ i can in the hope of reaching the sweet embrace of death”

this is the part where i realize that my update is way, way overdue and rush to post it up. the worst part, actually, is when i know i’ve compiled some material for the update, and i have everything in a partial state of completion… and then just take forever to do it. this is probably mostly disappointing to myself (since it’s not like anyone’s pitched any “where the hell is the update” feedback at me in some time), but what are you going to do? clearly the introduction phase to these things have become some random, lazy, stream-of-consciousness rambling. anyway, this week, our theme shall be “weird sex-related crimes.” do pretend to care!

1993 BMW motorcycle
1993 BMW motorcycles: apparently, this was a good year for motorcycles that cause incredibly, never-ending erections

man sues BMW, alleging motorcycle seat gave him two-year erection

the sad fact is that before i got into the ridiculousness of the story, my initial reaction was “is this really something BMW should be sued for, or is the truly deserving defendant the subcontractor that manufactured the seat specifically?” but let’s move past my incredibly BORING reaction for a moment.

“Commercials for erectile dysfunction medications like Cialis end with a warning that individuals should contact their doctor if they have an erection that lasts for more than four hours. After 20 months, Henry Wolf decided to contact a lawyer instead, claiming that the seat on his BMW motorcycle gave him an erection lasting nearly two years.”

the problem with this saucy intro, beyond the fact that i fervently believe this “Eric Pfeiffer” has taken some payment from Cialis to start his piece this way, is that my immediate question is “so did this guy go to the doctor or not?” because whatever the cause of his erection problem, it’s not like the way this will get debated is him whipping it out on the stand in court and saying, “do whatever you like to it, it won’t go away.” you’d HAVE to have some kind of medical professional, even if it’s some shady back-alley doctor with a questionable certification, wouldn’t you? granted, this is California, and television tells me they have all sorts of Wacky Courtroom Drama out there… but still!

“The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Wolf filed a lawsuit against BMW North American and Corbin-Pacific claiming that the “ridged seat” on his 1993 motorcycle left him with mental and emotional anguish after allegedly causing an extreme case of priapism, also known as a long-lasting erection.”

i also get the impression that Pfeiffer wrote the phrase “long-lasting erection” dozens of times throughout this article before some depressed-looking, chain-smoking editor glared at him and remarked, “invest some of your time in learning what the word priapism means. also, the less you use the phrase ‘long-lasting erection,’ the better.

“Wolf “has been experiencing continuing problems since his motorcycle ride,” attorney Vernon Bradley of Sausalito wrote in the lawsuit, which was filed in California Superior Court in San Francisco last Thursday. “He is now unable to engage in sexual activity, which is causing him substantial emotional and mental anguish.””

now, i’m no medical expert, but while i can totally see how a 20-month-long erection would certainly cause “continuing problems,” wouldn’t an inability to engage in sexual activity NOT be one of them? and even if it was, presumably because his 20-month-long erection is incredibly sore… does this mean he was out there cruising around on his erection-causing motorcycle banging loose biker-loving women for 19+ months UNTIL it became a problem and THEN decided to sue BMW? because this seems like an ineffective was to address the situation.

“Bradley said the alleged case of priapism began after Wolf took a four-hour ride on his motorcycle. As those erectile dysfunction commercials so regularly note-“

Pfeiffer, you are what Tom Nuttall would call “a bought-out son of a bitch.” STOP IT.

“-priapism can technically be onset after just four hours and is generally considered an emergency medical condition. The condition is named after the Greek fertility god Priapus, who is commonly depicted as having an unusually large erection.”

see, again, the lack of immediate medical treatment is confusing, because you’d have to figure that one, the average guy doesn’t normally have such long-lasting erections that he wouldn’t notice one that was exceeding four hours, and two, even if Wolf WAS prone to erections that just would not quit, wouldn’t there be SOME point prior to 20 months where you’d think, “boy, i really DO need to consult a medical professional about this erection lasting more than four hours.”

“According to USA Today, Wolf is seeking monetary damages for lost wages, medical expenses, emotional distress and “general damage.””

USA Today has let me down on this front, because i really want to know what some of this means. medical expenses? despite the lack of a doctor being mentioned, that seems pretty clear. emotional distress? i always find this idea a little bogus, but okay. lost wages? let’s just take it as a given that he couldn’t work because his MASSIVE THREE-INCH ERECTION was distracting all the ladies at the office, although some clarity would be nice. but general damages? what else could he need to be compensated for that we haven’t covered?

“The All About Bikes blog notes that there have been several instances alleging erectile dysfunction as a result of narrow motorcycle seats but that this appears to be the first case where a medical condition with the exact opposite effect has been alleged. Florida radio station WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with Michigan Institute of Urology’s Dr. Michael Luts who said there is “no medical data” to support Wolf’s claim, again citing the evidence that riding a motorcycle for an extended period of time typically works against the body’s ability to achieve sexual arousal. “It’s been long-known that compression of the neurovascular supply to the penis—if it’s compressed for a period of time, whether it be on a bicycle seat or some other device—it can actually cause prolonged numbness of the genitalia,” Lutz told the station.”

you didn’t need to speak to a doctor from MICHIGAN for someone to point out that there’s no medical data to support this; we covered that at the part where it’s apparently not a pressing thing to address or to mention your supposed doctor regarding (although definitely pressing enough to sue for that cash). but we could have asked the doctor this? motorcycle-seat pressure causing prolonged genital numbness has been “long-known?” what exactly are you dudes studying up there in Michigan?

blind, 1916
a bleak photograph made even bleaker by the fact that the subject is not fully aware a skinny 45-year-old man is exposing his sub-par genitals to her

man exposes himself at Association for the Blind

yeah, that’s definitely a headline. to cut right to the chase:

“A man exposed himself to a woman inside the Bucks County Association for the Blind. Newtown Township police said the incident occurred about 2 p.m. Friday inside the bookstore at the offices at 400 Freedom Drive. The woman told police the suspect is a skinny, black male, between 35 and 45 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and was wearing a black track suit. Officers checked the area along with Newtown Borough police and could not find the suspect.”

now, this isn’t a very long article, but i have found it raised some key questions:

01. was this man AWARE that it was the Association for the Blind that he was exposing himself in? because this either means that a) there’s something about exposing himself with the prospect of people NOT BEING AWARE of it (except, perhaps, for their detection of his heavy breathing and giggling at the like) that really works for this guy; b) that he was so desperate to expose himself to SOMEONE that when his original plans fell through (like the ladies’ yoga class ended early, or there was a random police officer near the Orange Julius stand with the cute server that this guy was really going to show something to) that he HAD to expose himself to someone in the first place he could; or c) this guy’s just fucking stupid. i ALWAYS vote for stupid in these scenarios.

02. how did someone in the Association for the Blind describe what the subject looked like? because i am starting to get the impression that SOMEONE is getting over on us, the average taxpayer, with a fictional disability.

now, speaking of situations that involve appalling, grotesque approximations of sexual reproduction…

that octomom
i sort of consider her visage to be the opposite of pornography, but hey, what do i know?

‘Octomom’ files for bankruptcy; Nadya Suleman turns to adult film industry

yes, she’s disgusting and giving her the slightest amount of attention isn’t doing anything but encouraging an attention whore, but we’re trying for a “weird sex-related crime” theme here, and since i consider her mere existence a crime… anyway, a minor quibble to start: what’s the point of using the nickname AND the actual name in the overly-long title there?

“Octomom” Nadya Suleman filed for bankruptcy Monday, saying in a court filing that she has as much as $1 million in debt. “I have had to make some very difficult decisions this year, and filing Chapter 7 was one of them,” Suleman said.”

so for one thing, i’m disappointed it took this long to make such difficult decisions, considering her apparent to crank out as many unsupported children as possible for another, does it seem to anyone else like our society’s failure to seize her children and sterilize her has simply allowed her to run up that $1 million in debt? really, who keeps loaning her money? personally, i’m choosing to believe that she’s the cause of our recent recession.

“The La Habra mother of 14 reports up to $50,000 in assets in federal court filings, which means she owes more than 20 times her net worth. Suleman is filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means a court-appointed trustee would liquidate her assets to pay off creditors before she is discharged from most of her debts. Among others, Suleman owes money to her father, the city’s water department, DirecTV and Whittier Christian School, where at least some of her children are students.”

well, at least her debts are for necessities like water and… DirecTV. look, i like my DirecTV and all, but when you’ve got 14 children, $1 million in debt and no job, it MIGHT be time to cut out the premium package, to say the least. somehow, though, i doubt she even has much in the way of assets for the trustee to liquidate (there’s no home-ownership, for example)… so what’s the point?

“Suleman also owes more than $30,000 in rent payments on her four-bedroom house. The home’s owner, Amer Haddadin, says his own credit has suffered as he allowed the home to go into foreclosure proceedings by not making the mortgage payments. A foreclosure auction that was scheduled for Monday has been postponed for a week. Suleman was in financial dire straits before the January 2009 birth of her octuplets brought her notoriety.”

so while i am sure Haddadin is thinking “i don’t really want to put 14 children out on the street,” i’m just going to say this: when someone’s $30000 behind on the rent, they’re not about to suddenly make it right before it destroys your credit, and that’s why we call our local sheriff to gentle escort that said someone out of the house with her soiled collection of household goods.

oh, and we learn (or reconfirm, anyway) that in 2009, prior to the eight births, she already was in dire financial straits and had six children, making it clear what a great decision it was for her to bloat her womb to an insane side to pump out more children. seriously, my presidential campaign will feature two planks in the platform: “guns guns guns” and “packing your body full of in vitro fertility treatments when you owe big money and have more than five children will result in you going directly to jail.”

but anyway, this is where we’re going with all this:

“In 2009, Suleman declined a million-dollar offer to appear in pornography — but now she’s changed her mind. TMZ reported that Suleman signed up to make a solo masturbation video for an adult entertainment company. Suleman reportedly “doesn’t consider a masturbation video porn, because it’s a solo mission.” She has vowed in the past never to get into pornography, but she has made $10,000 for posing topless.”

so basically:
–she made a big fuss over never doing pornography, but has posed semi-naked and now is about to make out-and-out pornography;
–she’s choosing to do this now AFTER racking up an insane amount of debt and running at least one other person’s credit in the process (i say at least one because somehow i suspect family members have long since ruined their credit for her benefit);
–she doesn’t actually seem smart enough to understand what the word “pornography” means.

Octomom, look, the thing to do was make some $1000000 porn video back in 2009 and tell everyone you were only doing it to feed your children. that would have been something approaching an adult decision to do whatever you needed to do to support all your unnecessary kids. but now you’ve got this weird “i guess i have to do porn” thing going on that’s evoking a combination of “well, it’s sad this is her solely remaining career option” and “the thought of this Octomom masturbation fiasco is making me vomit out every organ i can in the hope of reaching the sweet embrace of death.”

so there you have it: after the things we’ve covered this week, death cannot possibly be the worst possible outcome for us all. we could end up with a 20-month erection watching Octomom porn surrounded by blind people. make sure you give thanks for avoiding all that.