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#101 TalonRider

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 11:19 AM

THIS is TRUE: 8 October 2006 Copyright This Is True
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PAPER CHASE: The chief of police in Houston, Texas, announced a new high- speed pursuit policy, which prohibited officers from chasing people who had only committed minor traffic offenses. But the new policy was put on hold while it was reviewed by the city. Richard Javier Ramos, 35, allegedly heard the first part of that, but not the second. That's why he allegedly ran when an officer tried to pull him over after a minor traffic offense. Fleeing at speeds of up to 80 mph, Ramos kept going for 25 minutes before finally giving up, arresting officers say. Ramos has been serving jail time on the weekends -- for evading arrest two months before. He was booked on the same charge in the second case. The capper? The officer he was fleeing from wasn't from the Houston Police Dept., but rather a deputy from the Harris County Sheriff's Dept. "We do not have a no-chase policy," a department spokeswoman said. (Houston Chronicle) ...Since evading arrest isn't a minor traffic offense, the policy would never apply anyway.

BAD ADVICE: John Perry-Warnes of the Norfolk (England) Police Authority told his frustrated constituents there's a way to get the police to respond more quickly to calls for help: exaggerate the problem. Police Authority chairman Stephen Bett decried the advice, noting "a more important incident could be put behind something people were exaggerating over." But Perry-Warnes stood by his advice. "I do not think my view is at all unreasonable," he said. (London Daily Mail) ...Right: certainly there has never been a problem when people "cried wolf" over and over.

THE OBVIOUS RESULT: A school in Kent, England, called for police help when a man burst into the school threatening, "You're dead." No one responded. Over the course of an hour school officials called the 999 emergency number five times without any police response. The man eventually left without hurting anyone. "He was clearly high on drugs," said headteacher Stuart Pywell. "I told him the police had been called but he just kept threatening us." Classes were out, but "at least a dozen children and staff" were still at the school, he said. The incident was shortly after a rash of school killings in the U.S. -- and just a few days after a member of the Police Authority in Norfolk suggested emergency callers exaggerate circumstances to speed up police responses. Kent's Deputy Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle said there would be an investigation into the failure to respond to the emergency calls, but didn't offer any explanations as to what was more important to officers on duty. (London Daily Mail) ...Requests for backup from Norfolk.

DOTCOM 2.0: Social networking site MySpace.com sold out to Rupert Murdoch for $650 million. Competing site Facebook.com may be worth more than $1 billion, analysts say. Microsoft recently brokered a deal with the company to supply a minimum of $200 million of ad revenue over three years. But when Microsoft tried to get an appointment to talk with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to talk about buying the company, it didn't go the way the software giant thought. They wanted to set up an 8:00 a.m. conference call, but Zuckerberg doesn't get up that early. "I'm in the office at 10:30 a.m.," he said. "Sometimes." (Wall Street Journal) ...Success means getting to set your own hours.

NEXT WEEK, THE IRISH WORLD OYSTER EATING CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS: "Irishman Wins World Oyster Opening Championship" -- Reuters headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#102 TalonRider

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 11:41 AM

THIS is TRUE: 15 October 2006 Copyright This Is True
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IDIOT OF THE WEEK #644: Anti-abortion protestor David Robert McMenemy, 45, allegedly scoured the Midwest looking for an abortion clinic when he found a women's clinic in Davenport, Iowa, federal prosecutors say. There, the Michigan resident allegedly drove his car through the front of the clinic, doused it with gasoline and set it on fire. "McMenemy hoped his actions would stop or disrupt the [clinic's] activities and save some [babies'] lives," federal indictment papers note. There was just one problem with his plan: the clinic does not perform abortions, but rather offers pre-natal care to poor women. "We think he intended for it to be a suicide but he found out burning would be too painful," said the county prosecutor. The clinic suffered about $170,000 in damage and was closed for weeks. (Davenport Quad-City Times) ...So pretty much all he accomplished was to stop or disrupt the clinic's activities and risk many babies' lives.

SEPTUAGENARIAN SCANDAL: Sister Silvia Gomes De Sousa, 39, has been charged with threatening to murder and with arson after allegedly setting fire to the house of the village priest in Roccalumera, Sicily, Italy. Why? She stopped by the house where Fr. Carmelo Mantarro, 70, lives and "I just flipped when I came to the house and caught him in bed with another woman who is married," she testified in a court proceeding. "We had been together four years and I had even had two abortions because of him." (London Daily Mail) ...John 8:7.


UNDERESTIMATED: When Susan Kuhnhausen, 51, got home from work, she surprised a man inside her home. She was unarmed -- the man had a hammer -- but Kuhnhausen was able to overpower him. After a struggle, where he hit her with the hammer and bit her, she strangled him and ran to a neighbor's for help. By the time police arrived, Edward Dalton Haffey, 59, was dead. "You didn't need to calm her -- she's an emergency room nurse," said the neighbor. "She's used to dealing with crisis. She was very clear thinking and took care of the problem." Haffey was no burglar, police say, but rather a hit man hired by her husband, Michael, to kill her. He worked with Haffey, and allegedly helped him disarm the burglar alarm at the house. Michael was charged with conspiracy to murder and is being held on $2 million bail. His apparent motive: Susan was divorcing him, and he didn't want the split. (Portland Oregonian) ...At least it's a bit understandable why a weasel like that didn't want to confront her face-to-face.

OVERESTIMATED: The town of Palm Beach, Fla., is getting a Starbucks coffee house, despite opposition by some of the more snooty homeowners. The store was approved, but an emergency council moratorium quickly followed to keep out any other "formula" restaurants until they can be permanently outlawed. "Nine thousand people live here in magnificent homes with [servants]," said one resident. "Do you think they're going to send their help down to Starbucks?" (Palm Beach Post) ...Certainly, since none of the servants are paid enough to be able to afford a $5 cup of coffee for themselves.

DOESN'T THAT HAPPEN EVERY YEAR? "Clown is Running for Mayor of Alameda" -- AP headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#103 TalonRider

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 12:23 PM

THIS is TRUE: 22 October 2006 Copyright This Is True
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NO FAVORITISM: Colorado State Sen. Andy McElhany was angry when the state's Department of Motor Vehicles refused to issue his 15-year-old daughter a learner's permit to drive, citing a newly passed anti- illegal-immigrant law. "Our daughter is a legal citizen with a legal passport," complained the politician, who represents Colorado Springs. But the new state law requires two forms of identification to prove citizenship -- a passport is not enough, even though by definition it proves citizenship. "You need to have a policy in place, but you need to tell people what the policy is so they'll know what to expect to get an ID," McElhany complained. "What's going on now is crazy." McElhany, the senate's minority leader, passionately campaigned for the new law the DMV was following. (Denver Rocky Mountain News) ...What's worse than having to answer to voters? Having to answer to his 15-year-old daughter.

REALITY IN POLITICS II: The ballot for next month's election in Ottawa County, Mich., has to be reprinted: a typo was spotted after the 170,000 ballots came off the press. "My first thought was, 'Oh, crap'," said County Clerk Daniel Krueger. "We had about five or six people proofread [the ballot]," he said. But because the question that has the typo is a contentious, statewide issue, the county will spend $40,000 to reprint it, even though only one word is misspelled: the word "public" is missing its L. (Holland Sentinel) ...Which is the first time election officials have really cared about the public.


EIGHT BALL IN THE CORNER POCKET: A group of motorcyclists on a highway in Contra Costa County, Calif., said a man tried crashing into them while waving a pool cue. Two got off the highway to avoid him, but the man in the car followed and, when he got to where they were sitting, jumped out of his car, pool cue in hand, and started after them. They didn't have to do a thing to avoid attack: the man had left his car in gear, and it ran him over. The bikers leapt to his rescue, pulling him out of the way so he wouldn't be hit again. Richard Brooks, 50, was charged with (yep) drunken driving and assault with a deadly weapon. (San Francisco Chronicle) ...The deadly weapon being the pool cue, his car, or his breath?

WALK THIS WAY: A store in Framingham, Mass., called police to report that two men had just shoplifted multiple items. An officer standing behind the police station spotted two men who matched the descriptions. They were walking across the police station's parking lot -- at shift change, when the largest-possible number of officers was present. When he ordered them to stop, one tried to scurry away, saying "I didn't do anything." The cop grabbed Edward Brown, 45, just before he started to run, causing canned hams, frozen foods and other items to fall out of his coat. Eric Hargrett, 19, perhaps noting several officers running up to help, said "I'm not going to run" and raised his hands, causing a similar rain of products. Both men were charged with theft. (Framingham MetroWest Daily News) ...And with having a terrible sense of direction.

WHO WANTS TO KNOW? "Many Egyptians Haven't Heard of Opinion Polls --Poll" -- Reuters headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#104 TalonRider

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 11:37 AM

THIS is TRUE: 29 October Copyright This Is True
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FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Steve Howards, 54, and his wife were walking their son to piano practice in Beaver Creek, Colo., and were surprised to see Vice President Dick Cheney on the street chatting with citizens. "Many of us fantasize what would we do if we had the opportunity to really tell Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney how we feel," Howards said, so as he passed by he told Cheney, "I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible." After dropping off his son, a Secret Service agent approached Howards and asked, "Did you assault the vice president?" Howards said no, and made it clear he didn't even attempt to touch Cheney. "If this had happened, I would think if they were doing their job, I would have been face-down in the concrete five or 10 minutes earlier," he said later. Still, he was handcuffed and jailed, with the Secret Service demanding he be charged with harassment. The Eagle County District Attorney dropped the charge. Howards has filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing Secret Service agent Virgil D. Reichle Jr. with civil rights violations. (Rocky Mountain News) ...Dick Cheney's America: where exercising one's rights has become an act of courage.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH TOO: "Absolutely, they knew what they were getting when they asked Nikki Giovanni," said University of Cincinnati, Ohio, English professor James Cummins. He was speaking of the brouhaha over the remarks that Giovanni, a "poet/activist", made at the dedication of Fountain Square. The poet had been asked to "deliver a positive, uplifting message about the importance of Cincinnatians reconnecting with one another." In her publicly recited poem, she referred to the Republican candidate for Ohio governor, Ken Blackwell, as a "son of a bitch" and alluded to him as a "political whore". The square's developer, who invited Giovanni, said it is "strongly committed to the principle of free speech and the belief that Fountain Square is a center of open public discourse," but decried the "personal attacks and foul language." (Cincinnati Enquirer) ...See, that's how you deal with free speech: you exercise your own in return.

BENEATH THE LAW:
An unnamed 19-year-old prostitute in Boston, Mass., says a local police officer was forcing her to have sex with him. To prove her allegation, she produced some startling evidence: his badge, police I.D., firearms license and Social Security card. "When his pants were down around his ankles, I just took his badge" case and ran, she told an attorney. When Officer Michael LoPriore, 37, called her demanding she return the items, the FBI -- tipped off by the woman's attorney -- recorded the call. LoPriore, a 12-year veteran, has been charged with abusing his authority to deprive the woman of her rights. He has resigned from the department and, his lawyer said, plans to plead guilty. (Boston Globe) ...Showing one can outrun the short arm of the law.

AND THE BAND PLAYED ON: Raj Peter Bhakta, 30, a Pennsylvania Republican campaigning for Congress, flew to Texas to film a campaign commercial. Why film in Texas, rather than his home state? Bhakta, who had never been in Texas before, wanted to make a point about the security of the Mexican border. "Border security is a major issue in my district and I wanted to see firsthand the situation," he explained. He did that by hiring three elephants from a circus and having them walk back and forth across the Rio Grande river with him, accompanied by a mariachi band. "People may think I am making a joke of border security and the political system that we have," Bhakta said. "And the truth is that it is a joke." Bhakta is previously known as a contestant on Donald Trump's reality TV show, "The Apprentice". (San Antonio Express-News) ...Where, at least, he gained experience at being rejected in popularity contests.

ONLY IN MOTOWN: "Living in a Car Now Touted as a Plus" -- Detroit News headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
http://home.comcast.net/~talonrider/wsb/index.html

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#105 TalonRider

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 11:33 AM

THIS is TRUE: 5 November 2006 Copyright This Is True
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BURNING MAD: When Alton Verm of Conroe, Texas, saw the book his 15-year- old daughter brought home from Caney Creek High School, he was outraged. "It's just all kinds of filth," Verm said. It includes such inflammatory words as "damn" and "hell", and Verm has filed a "Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials" with the Conroe Independent School District. He happened to file it during the American Library Association's Banned Book Week. "I want to get the book taken out of the class," he said. The book: Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451", a 1953 novel about a dystopian society where books are banned and burned, freedom of speech is restricted, and critical thought is suppressed. But Verm wouldn't know: he admits he hasn't read the book. (Conroe Courier) ...So let me guess: Verm is a fireman.

BURNING IRONY II: Harrisonburg (Va.) High School had a display of banned or "challenged" books to provoke thought about the American Library Association's annual Banned Books Week. "Had" is the key word here: Harrisonburg Schools Superintendent Donald Ford ordered the display removed, since it might encourage students to read them. Books in the display included Twain's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451", "The Diary of Ann Frank" -- and the Bible. (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record) ...And no wonder about the Bible: it includes such words as "damn" and "hell".


RETIRED STRIFE II: Felix Cocco, 80, was destitute and lonely after his wife of 50 years died, says his lawyer, Martha Bailor. The Broomfield, Penn., man was working as a driver, where he met some unsavory people: he "was selling crack cocaine to make ends meet," Bailor admits. "He knows it was wrong, but he was desperate." What about the "lonely" part? Cocco was also trading crack for the services of a prostitute. "I'd like to say I'm sorry," Cocco told the judge. "I know I have to pay something for it." The judge sentenced Cocco to 6-18 months in jail, but granted him immediate parole. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) ...He wasn't so much selling drugs to make ends meet, but rather more to make fronts meet.

THE BOOMERANG EFFECT: Kimberly A. Baker, 22, of Warrensburg, N.Y., went to court to ask the judge to order the father of her 2-year-old daughter to help support the girl. She identified the father as a 16- year-old boy she knows. The judge did some quick math: Baker was 19 when she was impregnated by the 13-year-old, and Baker was arrested on charges of second-degree rape of a minor. She faces up to 7 years in prison. (Glenn Falls Post Star) ...While the boy gets up to 7 years of "high fives" from his buddies.

DON'T PHONE HOME, PHONE YOUR LAWYER: "Abducted by Aliens? Call Now for Compensation" -- Reuters headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
http://home.comcast.net/~talonrider/wsb/index.html

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#106 TalonRider

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 11:40 AM

THIS is TRUE: 12 November 2006 Copyright This Is True
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YOU'RE IT: The headlines flashed around the world: Willett Elementary School in Attleboro, Mass., had "banned" kids from playing tag at school. The story was a parable for common sense gone mad, of runaway lawsuits, of overprotective school officials. But "it's not anything new," claimed school Superintendent Pia Durkin. She noted the ban "to ensure the most safety" has been in effect for perhaps 10 years; it just wasn't enforced until recently. "It's a matter of judgment, and adult judgment is always paramount." Student Leigh-Anne Heins, 9, decried the newly enforced rule. She knows kids fall down, but "they get back up." (Attleboro Sun Chronicle) ...Not if Ms. Durkin can hold you down long enough, dear.

THE PREDICTABLE RESULT OF AMERICAN EDUCATIONS:
A high school principal in Brooklyn, N.Y., sent a memo to parents explaining the new grading system she had devised. The memo, written by Lafayette High School Principal Jolanta Rohloff, a graduate of the mayor's "elite" Leadership Academy for school principals, noted that Regents exams would count 25 percent toward final grades, homework would count for 10-20 percent, exams would count for 60-75 percent, and class work would count for 10- 20 percent. That totals 105-140 percent. When notified of the error, Rohloff defended the memo, saying it "was meant to be flexible for the teachers to allow them a range to make a decision on grades," but Education Department officials overruled her and stopped the memo's distribution. (New York Daily News) ...Wait, someone in authority had -- and exercised -- common sense? Maybe there's just a little bit of hope left.


LOOKIN' FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES: Ronald A. Dotson, 39, has been arrested for allegedly stealing a store window mannequin. Again. The Detroit, Mich., man has at least six convictions on his record for stealing mannequins over the past 13 years to satisfy a sexual fetish. In the latest case, in nearby Ferndale, Dotson is accused of grabbing a figure dressed in a French maid's outfit. "He told his parole officer he was going to buy a mannequin so he didn't have to do these break-ins anymore," said a police detective. "Apparently that didn't work out." (Royal Oak Daily Tribune) ...He should move to Los Angeles, where there's a plastic woman on every foot of sidewalk.

BLACK SHEEP: After more than a year of investigation costing 10,000 pounds (US$18,825), the town council of Havering in Romford, Essex, England, thinks it has uncovered the identity of the man who kept saying "Baa" during a council debate on a farm initiative last year. According to the 300ish-page final report, the prime suspect is -- no longer a councilor, so there is no way to punish him anymore. (London Telegraph) ...Hee-Haw!

USE HEAVY MACHINERY, GO TO JAIL -- IT'S THE LAW: "Man Held on Charges after Using Backhoe" -- Portland (Maine) Press Herald headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
http://home.comcast.net/~talonrider/wsb/index.html

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#107 TalonRider

TalonRider

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 11:34 AM

THIS is TRUE: 19 November 2006 Copyright This Is True
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IGNORANCE IS BLISS: When a recent issue of the "Red & Black", the student newspaper at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Fla., was distributed, there was a hole in one page. A note stapled to every copy said a story was pulled because it was "inappropriate". Uh oh, students talking about sex again? Nope: it was a report that the state's Education Department had rated the school deficient in meeting the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act -- based on data obtained online. "If it's something that has a potential to hurt students' self esteem," explained Principal William Orr, "then I have an obligation not to let that happen." (St Petersburg Times) ...The students' self esteem, or the staff's self esteem?

WHY I NEVER! Circus magnate P.T. Barnum never said "There's a sucker born every minute," says Fred R. Shapiro, a librarian at Yale University and the editor of the new "Yale Book of Quotations". Civil War Admiral David Farragut never said "Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead" either. During his famous ride Paul Revere likely didn't say "The British are coming" but rather "The Redcoats are coming." Yet all of those sayings are part of the American lexicon and cultural heritage. Shapiro just wants to set the record straight, correcting generations of historical wordsmithing. "War is hell," he says, was not coined by U.S. Civil war Gen. William T. Sherman, but rather Napoleon. Sherman adapted it to "There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but boys it is all hell," which is why no one can remember it. And by the way, Freud never said "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," Shapiro says. (Reuters) ...Close, but no cigar.

I DON'T LIKE THOSE ODDS: The Canadian Broadcasting Company looked into who has won the Ontario lottery. The biggest winners: ticket sellers and others who work for the lottery. Since 1999, 214 "insiders" have won C$50,000 or more. The odds of that? One in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, said Jeffrey Rosenthal, a University of Toronto professor who studied the lottery results. The Ontario Lottery Corporation rejects the conclusions of the analysis. "Ontario is a leader in lottery security," a spokeswoman insists. (Toronto Globe and Mail) ...Which, if true, says plenty about other lotteries.

THE NAME OF THE GAME: The City of Chesapeake, Va., "The City that Cares", has been trying for 10 years to get the domain name chesapeake.com, but couldn't because someone else had beat them to it. "I didn't really ever think we would get it," said city Public Communications Coordinator Lizz Gunnufsen of the more natural domain for its web site, now at cityofchesapeake.net, but she kept trying. Finally, Aspen Technology, which owned the domain, got tired of the pestering and gave it to the city for free. Once ownership was transferred, the city council sold the domain to Oklahoma-based natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $120,000. (Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot) ...Their new slogan: "The City's that's Crass".

THANKSGIVING WEEK SPECIAL: "Man Denies Intent in Turkey's Death" -- Rutland (Vt.) Herald headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
http://home.comcast.net/~talonrider/wsb/index.html

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#108 TalonRider

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 11:37 AM

THIS is TRUE: 26 November 2006 Copyright This Is True
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SO MUCH FOR THE HIGH GROUND: After "Seinfeld" regular Michael Richards screamed racial epithets at two hecklers at a comedy club in West Hollywood, Calif., he "went to look for them, [but] they had gone," he said. "I've tried to meet them, to talk to them, to get some healing." So where did Frank McBride and Kyle Doss go? To Gloria Allred, a civil rights lawyer. She complains Richards "has not apologized to his victims directly, face to face, man to man." But then again, she said, "Our clients were vulnerable.... He singled them out and he taunted them, and he did it in a closed room where they were captive." Therefore, she says, "It's not enough to say 'I'm sorry'." She thus suggests Richards should meet with McBride and Doss before a retired judge, who would suggest monetary compensation as a way to avoid a lawsuit. (AP) ...Available for a reasonable price: McBride and Doss's dignity. Already sold for less: Allred's dignity.

TRUTH IN LABELING: The Black Mountains Smokery at Crickhowell, in Powys, Wales, has received notice that it must change the name of one of its smoked meat products to comply with labeling laws. "Welsh Dragon" is not an appropriate name, the company was told, because the meat in the sausage is pork, not dragon. "I don't think any of our customers believe that we use dragon meat in our sausages," complained proprietor Jon Carthew. "We use the word because the dragon is synonymous with Wales," and pork is clearly listed in the ingredients. No matter, says the Powys County Council. "The product [name] was not sufficiently precise to inform a purchaser of the true nature of the food," a spokesman said. (London Times) ...The name "Powys County Council" is not sufficiently precise to inform the public of the true nature of its function. From here on, it will have to be "Powys Nanny Council".

MAKING AN ASS OF THEMSELVES: The Rev. Jason Armstrong of the First Free Methodist Church in Anchorage, Alaska, was mighty confused by the e- mailed complaint he received from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA's memo complained about the church's "live nativity" and lectured him about the "cruel treatment and danger" animals receive when being forced to perform in displays. But the church's use of the term "live nativity" refers to the volunteer church members who are standing in the cold; no animals are used in the display. "A lot of folks will think we're plastic statues till one of us moves," Armstrong said. "We've never had live animals. We have some puppet camel things we put out. We have a cow hood thing that a person will wear that actually just looks spooky." (Anchorage Daily News) ...Hey, wait: is this a Christmas nativity or a Halloween "hell house"?

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Accountant Doug Milliken ran for Arapahoe County (Colo.) Treasurer on a platform of "empower[ing] families to save their home when faced with foreclosure," and bragged that he has master's degrees in both accounting and financial management. But the day before winning the election, Milliken's mortgage company foreclosed on his house for "failure to make timely payments" and is selling the house at auction the day before he is sworn in. Doesn't the foreclosure disqualify him? On the contrary: "It's just amazing that I have some personal experience," Milliken said. (Rocky Mountain News) ...By that logic, voters might want to consider a drunk driving bank robber for sheriff.

FILL 'ER UP! "Drunk Man Tried to Get Gas at Nuke Plant: Police" -- Tinley Park (Ill.) Daily Southtown headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#109 TalonRider

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 12:19 PM

THIS is TRUE: 3 December 2006 Copyright This Is True
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PEACE ON EARTH: Lisa Jensen hung a Christmas wreath on the outside wall of her home in Pagosa Springs, Colo. The pine boughs were arranged into a peace sign because she "wanted to put a message of peace out there," Jensen said. But Bob Kearns, the president of her homeowner's association, ordered her to remove the wreath on the grounds that "signs, billboards or advertising structures of any kind" are banned, and subject to a $25-per-day fine. The HOA's entire architectural control committee resigned in protest, and Jensen refused to remove the wreath. "The peace sign has a lot of negativity associated with it," Kearns claimed. "It's also an anti-Christ sign. That's how it started," he said, calling the peace sign "Satanic". After a local -- and national -- outcry, Kearns backed off. He apologized and said the wreath could stay. (Durango Herald) ...Chalking up another win for that darned peace-loving Satan.

GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN: Just in time for the holidays, Philadelphia, Pa., based Urban Outfitters rolled out a new ornament. "Bust a cap in your tree with this superglittery ornament in the shape of a handgun," the company's catalog enthused. The company said the $6 black revolver ornament is one of several "dark humor items" meant to impart an "ironic twist" on the holidays. Asked to comment, a Philly police spokesman said news reports on the ornament just played into Urban Outfitters' hands, with the "potential to raise their profile." Sure enough, once the story broke the company quickly sold out of the ornament. (Philadelphia Inquirer) ...Next year they'll get really offensive with a superglittery peace sign.

LIVE BY THE SWORD: An armed man forced his way into an apartment in Durham, N.C., and held the occupants at gunpoint, including a 5-year- old girl and a baby, while ordering the adults to give him money. That's when the girl's younger brother, Stevie Long, 4, came to the family's rescue. Stevie heard the commotion and quickly got dressed -- in a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger outfit -- and grabbed his plastic Mighty Morphin sword. "Get away from my family," the boy yelled as he burst into the room, swinging the sword with punctuations of "yah,
yah!" The robber, and an accomplice who stayed outside, ran. "I scared the bad guys away," Stevie said. A counselor says Steve needs to work on improving his distinction between fantasy and reality. "He fully believed he morphed," his aunt said. (Raleigh News & Observer) ...With several years of intense therapy, he can be cured so he's frozen in fear just like everyone else.

DIE BY THE SWORD: Residents of a house in Memphis, Tenn., were awakened by a home-invasion robbery. Two men burst in and started shooting. During the robbery one of the victims grabbed a sword and swung it at one robber's gun just as he was about to fire. The blow severed the robber's trigger finger, and the gunmen ran. Police recovered the finger and were able to lift a clean fingerprint, which matched Terence Stewart, 28, who was recently released from prison after serving time for violent home-invasion robberies. (Memphis Commercial Appeal) ...The pen may be mightier than the sword, but sometimes the sword is the perfect tool for the job.

MOOOOOOOVE! "Cow versus Car; Cow Wins" -- Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#110 TalonRider

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 12:55 PM

THIS is TRUE: 10 December 2006 Copyright This Is True
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MAYDAY! WE'RE GOING DOWN! American Airlines Flight 1053, heading from Reagan National airport in Washington, D.C., toward Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, made an emergency landing in Nashville, Tenn., after passengers reported smelling an unusual odor. The FBI responded and agents questioned passengers: the odor was traced to a passenger who lit matches to cover up the stink of her flatulence. She was not allowed to reboard the plane. "American has banned her for a long time," an airport spokeswoman said. The woman was not charged with a crime, even though it is illegal to strike a match on an airliner. (Nashville Tennessean) ...But remember, kids: being a federal agent isn't always as glamorous as this.

COMPENSATION CULTURE: Britain feels very sorry for its prison inmates. A total of 198 inmates who were imprisoned and had to go through "cold turkey" withdrawal from heroin and other drugs sued the government, claiming the withdrawal was "assault". They also argued "trespass" since they did not consent to not being allowed to use drugs in prison. Because government lawyers predicted the government would lose the cases, the Home Office awarded each of the inmates up to 5,000 pounds (US$9,800) to settle the suits. (London Times) ...It's not likely to happen again: with that kind of windfall, surely most of them will overdose within hours of cashing the cheques.

CONTEMPT OF COURT: Devin K. Hoerauf, 19, was in court in Rockville, Md., to answer to multiple robbery charges. When he stood up from the defense table, something fell out of his pocket: a bag full of marijuana. His lawyer quickly jumped to his defense: "He is brain-damaged, your honor," she said. "I don't mean he's just a defendant who does dumb stuff. This is a boy with an IQ in triple digits. His brain is glued together with Silly Putty. He can't think his way out of a paper bag, but he can do physics." The lawyer, Gwyn Hoerauf, apparently knows: she's the defendant's mother. The jury, who did not witness the drug incident, convicted the teen on four robbery counts. (Washington Post) ...A high IQ, but can't think his way out of a paper bag? Classic symptoms of long-term drug use.

BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE: Derrick Leigh Hardy, 21, said he didn't know what else to do: The Alberton, P.E.I., Canada, man was watching his girlfriend's 10-month-old daughter, and the girl had a fever. Admitting he has "no real parenting skills," he decided to put the baby in the freezer. He claimed the baby was only in the freezer for 40 seconds when his girlfriend came home, but a doctor said he found "transient" frostbite on the girl. Hardy has been found guilty of assault and "unlawfully confining" the infant, but was cleared of causing bodily harm because there were no permanent injuries. He will be sentenced next month. (Charlottetown Guardian) ...Until then, of course, he'll be sitting in the cooler.

ARE YOU KIDDING? THAT'S THE SOURCE OF THE FLAVOR: "E. Coli Could Hurt Taco Bell Sales" -- AP headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#111 TalonRider

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 10:14 AM

THIS is TRUE: 17 December 2006 Copyright This Is True
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ANOTHER ILL-CONCEIVED WAR WE CAN'T GET OUT OF: The neighborhood around 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston's Atlanta, Ga., home went downhill around her: it's a well-known "drug zone". She was afraid even to open the door to friends. So when three men burst into her home without warning, she feared the worst. The men took a few extra seconds to get through the "burglar bar", giving her time to grab her old revolver; she started shooting as they entered -- and hit all three of the men. But more men were behind them, and they started shooting back, killing Johnston. The men were police officers serving a "no-knock" search warrant: an informant reported having bought cocaine from a man in the house. The shot officers all survived. "It was a very tragic and unfortunate incident," said Assistant Police Chief Alan Dreher, adding his department didn't think Johnston had anything to do with selling drugs. The informant later said he had lied about buying drugs at the house, and a search there found no cocaine. (Atlanta Journal- Constitution) ...Whether the informant was lying then or is lying now, this is the sort of intelligence source we rely on in the "moral" crusade called the "War on Drugs".

TO PROTECT AND TO SERVE II: Marget Lieder of North Vancouver, B.C., Canada, said she was trying to dial 411, but dialed 911 by accident. The police called back to ask if everything was OK. She said she was. "I don't want my privacy to be invaded just because I misdial a number," she said, but officers arrived anyway. She went outside and assured them everything was fine. "They didn't have a search warrant and they didn't have anything to do in my house," she said, but they broke down the door and came in anyway. She and her partner, Larry Pierce, were arrested for "obstruction of justice." Pierce said the officers "stuck a Taser in my face, threatening me with 50,000 volts. They threw me on the floor, twisted my left arm. A police officer stuck his knee into my ribs and jumped on me," cracking two ribs. Police found no problem in the house. (Vancouver Sun) ...Other than their own presence, of course.

CHRISTMAS PAST: The movie "The Nativity Story" -- "Hollywood finally putting Christ back into Christmas," says Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission -- is the first feature film to premiere at the Vatican. But shortly before its showing there, Vatican officials were embarrassed to learn that Keisha Castle-Hughes, 16, who plays Mary, is "thrilled to be pregnant" by her 19-year-old boyfriend from high school. A Vatican spokesman said the girl is "not expected to be a saint herself, only to do her work as an actress properly," and that there were "no major theological errors" in the film. Castle-Hughes was reportedly banned from the premiere, but the Vatican spokesman dismissed that as "rumor". Still, she didn't attend. (London Times) ...Sadly, there was just no room at the inn for her or her beau.

CHRISTMAS PRESENT: Gardenia Zakrzewski Johansson, 39, a school teacher, allegedly dropped off her car with a valet parking attendant at the Neiman Marcus store in Scottsdale, Ariz., and asked him to watch her baby, sitting in the back seat. A baby?! the shocked valet asked. "Yes. Do you think it's wrong?" she said. "Yeah, I think it's wrong," Tyler Gocken replied. But she walked away anyway -- leaving her 2-year-old son behind, but taking her dog. Gocken called police. When she returned a half-hour later, officers asked Johansson if she even knew who the valet was. The one with "brown hair," she replied. She was arrested. (Mesa East Valley Tribune) ...Imagine what they would have done if he were blond.

CHRISTMAS FUTURE: A store owner in Oberlin, Ohio, has pulled a Christmas display out of his store window after the designer went a bit too far. "A few of his other displays were on the edge," said store owner Charlie Palmer, "but never that crazy." The display featured gingerbread men dressed as Nazi storm troopers. In another window, a snowman sits under a hair dryer in a suicide attempt. "I want people to say 'Oh, my gosh'," said window artist Keith McGuckin. "And once they look at it, say, 'It is kind of pretty'." As for the Nazi theme, "I can differentiate between real Nazis and the atrocities they performed compared to these little gingerbread men, but I guess some people can't." McGuckin's display at the store last year included a little boy making crystal meth using his new chemistry set. (Elyria Chronicle-Telegram) ...Which, he explains, is what led Scrooge to have his hallucinations.

NAUGHTY, NOT NICE: Jimmy Wright is tired of the "orgy of consumption" -- especially when it comes to the Christmas gift-buying frenzy. Wright, 69, an artist from Metchosin, on Vancouver Island in B.C., Canada, made that known by crucifying an effigy of Santa Claus in his front yard. The piece is captioned "Sumptum Fac Donec Consumptus Sis" which, Wright says, translates to "Shop Till You Drop." Santa, he says, "represents frivolous consumption. He shot Jesus right out of the saddle." Pro- Santa protestors stole the red-suited man from the cross, but "I don't care. I did what I wanted to do," Wright says. "We have to stop the orgy of consumption." Wright noted that when he was "sitting in my hot tub, looking out this way" toward the effigy in front of his 6,400- square-foot house, he felt good that he made a "statement to everybody to slow down on what they can consume." (Victoria Times Colonist) ...Artist, crucify thyself.

IDIOT OF THE WEEK #653: Joshua E. Reed, 26, was out on bail on a theft charge. As a condition of his bail, he was ordered to report daily to the sheriff's office in Rutland, Vt. But his car broke down in Woodstock, and "as ridiculous as it sounds, he was concerned about [his] reporting" requirement, says his public defender, Katie Smith, so Reed allegedly stole a car and drove it to his appointment with the sheriff. He now faces an additional 12 years in prison on car theft and related charges. "He says he wasn't thinking," Smith explained. (Rutland Herald) ...What, again?

BOTTLED FOR EVENTUAL USE BY CONGRESS: "Think Tank Will Promote Thinking" -- Washington (D.C.) Post headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#112 TalonRider

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 11:21 PM

THIS is TRUE: 24 December 2006 Copyright This Is True
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NICE GUY OF THE YEAR: Larry Severson, 52, of Mountain Home, Idaho, is fighting for the proceeds from his wife's $200,000 life insurance policy. There are two catches in his fight, which he is taking to the state's Supreme Court: First, his wife named her mother the beneficiary, not him. Second, state law prohibits Severson from collecting it because he poisoned his wife with sleeping pills and drain cleaner. His lawyer, Jay Clark, claims Severson should get half of the policy's face value, since it was paid for with jointly held money. Clark admits he's helping Severson in the case in hopes that the money will pay at least some of the legal fees he charged Severson in his unsuccessful first-degree murder defense. (Idaho Statesman) ...So he can buy a lifetime supply of tranquilizers, since that's the only way he'll be able to sleep at night.

ETHICS CHECK: The Texas Ethics Commission has voted 5-3 that when state officials get cash as a "gift", they can comply with state law by simply stating "currency" was received without even saying how much they got. "What the Ethics Commission has done is legalize bribery," sputtered the head of Texas Citizen, a political reform organization. The decision makes it "perfectly legal to report the gift of 'a wheelbarrow' without reporting that the wheelbarrow was filled with cash," said an astonished district attorney in the state. In a previous ruling, the Commission held that two checks for $100,000 could be simply described as "checks". (San Antonio Express-News) ...While voters may accurately describe the commissioners as "idiots".

FEDERAL ETHICS: The U.S. Federal Election Commission is "encouraging" politicians to turn themselves in when they breach campaign finance laws. In return, they'll levy reduced fines, as long as politicians are not simply "three steps in front of the guy who's got the complaint in his hand," says FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub. The FEC expects some will be dubious of the new policy. "Some people don't seem like they're going to be satisfied until we're given the power of the Red Queen in 'Alice in Wonderland', so as soon as a complaint is filed we can say, 'Off with their political heads'," said Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky. (AP) ...He says that like it's a bad thing.

HOLIDAY GREETINGS: Susette Kelo fought the city of New London, Conn., when they forced her from her home under "eminent domain" -- they wanted her property, and 114 others, for a new development of condos, shops and hotels to generate more tax revenue than houses do. She was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. She lost, 5-4, but meanwhile the city raised the buyout price on her home from $123,000 to $442,155, and started eviction procedures in June. For Christmas, she's sending greeting cards to many of the politicians involved in the taking of her property. It reads, in part, "Your houses, your homes / Your family, your friends / May they live in misery / That never ends. / I curse you all / May you rot in hell / To each of you / I send this spell." One recipient called the card "immensely childish," while Gail Schwenker-Mayer, who publicly supported the project and also got a card, said she found it "amazing anyone could be so vindictive when they've made so much money." (New London Day) ...While thoughtful people find it amazing there can be anyone left who thinks money solves every problem.

OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, INTO THE FIRE: "Blind Man Takes over Wheel from Drunk Driver" -- Waikato [New Zealand] Times headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#113 TalonRider

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 11:47 AM

THIS is TRUE: 31 December 2006 Copyright This Is True
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NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE: Pat Dori, 49, of Hackensack, N.J., was mad as "Dell Hell". He sent his malfunctioning laptop computer to Dell Inc. for repair, but they lost it, he said, and would only agree to replace it with a refurbished model with an inferior warranty. Every time he called, he'd have to explain the problem again from the start. "If you try to speak to a human being on the phone, you're stuck on hold forever," he fumed. "I am sick of it! If they have kiosks, you can sue them." That was the key to his plan: a local mall had a Dell kiosk, so he sued the company, and had the legal papers served at the local kiosk, rather than to the Dell corporate offices in Texas. No one from Dell showed up in court to answer his lawsuit, so the judge awarded Dori $3,000. Only then did Dell take action -- they appealed, hiring a law firm to fight back since Dori now had the legal right to seize assets from the kiosk. But once news of the fight hit the newspaper, Dell quickly settled with Dori. "God only knows how much their legal team cost them," he said, finally satisfied. (Newark Star-Ledger) ...Good point, except Michael Dell's title is "Chairman", not "God".

HOT PURSUIT: Police officer Gary Oliva, on patrol in Calumet City, Ill., was immediately suspicious of a man he saw on the street. He pulled over to ask the man what he was doing, but the man tried to walk away without answering. Oliva's suspicions were over the furnace the man was rolling down the street on a dolly. Investigation found it was stolen from a nearby construction job; its vent hood was in the man's backpack. Louis Finnie, 41, was arrested and charged with burglary. (Northwest Indiana Times) ...Plus a charge of "packing heat" during the commission of a felony.

JUST A FLESH WOUND: Police in Livonia, Ga., say Olivia Hutcherson, 21, wanted to light a cigarette, and assumed a pistol she found in a night stand was a lighter. It was an actual .22 caliber pistol and, when she pulled the trigger, it fired, rather than shoot out a flame. "The bullet traveled through her hand and embedded itself in the wall," the police report says. Meanwhile, Anna Herrera-Gomez, 23, was practicing shooting a 9mm pistol at a range in Oklahoma City, Okla., when the pistol ejected a shell into her blouse. When the hot shell hit her chest, she jumped -- and shot herself in the leg. Another nearby shooter, a paramedic, came to her aid; her injury was described as minor. (Anderson (S.C.) Independent Mail, Oklahoman) ...Her embarrassment, however, was nearly fatal.

HUNGRY FOR BAD PUBLICITY: When Derrydown Public School in North York, Ont., Canada, announced its annual food drive for needy people, third-grader Stephanie Templeton, 8, paid attention. "I want to help people who are suffering without food," she said. "We have lots of food and it makes me feel good to give it to people." But she was told she brought in too much food. "The teacher said she was showing up the other kids," said Stephanie's father, Frank, and sent the girl home with cans of food in her backpack. The teacher, confirms Principal Yvonne Castello, "didn't want any of the other kids to feel pressured," but Castello overrode the teacher's decision and accepted the food, noting that this year's food drive was the most successful the school has held. (Toronto Sun) ...What's a little more starvation when kids' self esteem is at risk?

IT'S OFFICIAL -- AMERICA IS 100% BIPOLAR: "AP Poll: Americans Optimistic for 2007" -- AP headline, December 30; "Poll: Americans See Gloom, Doom in 2007" -- AP headline, December 31
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#114 TalonRider

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 11:52 AM

THIS is TRUE: 7 January 2007 Copyright This Is True
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DOG GONE IT: John Cave, 14, is deaf, but it doesn't keep him from going to public school. He even has a new specially trained assistance dog to help him. But that's the trouble: the W. Tresper Clarke High School in Westbury, Long Island, N.Y., says the boy "doesn't need the dog" at school and, when the boy brought the dog anyway, school officials called the police. Responding officers refused to arrest the boy after confirming state law says public facilities cannot bar disabled people from having service dogs. Still, principal Timothy Voels refuses to let Cave bring the dog on school grounds if he has the dog with him, closing the door when he arrives. "All I wanted to do was give my son one more step toward independence," says John's mother, Nancy. (New York Newsday) ...There's your mistake, Nancy: Zero Tolerance- subscribing school officials don't want kids to be independent, since that would give them an advantage.

ZT TOO: Ryan Morgan, 13, heard a rumor that there was a gun in the boys' restroom at Troy Middle School in Joliet, Ill. He looked and found a pellet gun in the trash can; he pulled it out and took it to the vice principal. The school's reaction to his heroic act? It suspended him. When his parents complained, the school board cut the boy a deal -- instead of expelling him, they ordering that he be home schooled. "I think the decision wasn't the best decision," Ryan said, adding he thought he did "the right thing." (Joliet Herald News) ...Zero tolerance isn't about the right thing, it's about not having to think.

ZT III: The La Vega Independent School District in Bellmead, Texas, suspended a student for "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment." Sounds serious, but what did the student do? He hugged a teacher's aide, and during the hug his face was pressed into her breasts. The student was 4 years old at the time. The boy's father, DaMarcus Blackwell, went to the media, getting worldwide press coverage. In response, the school dropped the sexual contact references from the unnamed boy's file, amending the complaint to "inappropriate physical contact." The pre-kindergarten boy, now 5, has been moved to a different classroom at his parents' request, and the parents have filed a "level 2" complaint with the district to clear the boy's record completely. (Waco Tribune-Herald) ..."Zero" tolerance plus enough media attention equals "some" tolerance.

ZT FOR PEE PEE: After a confrontation with a 12-year-old at Danville (Penn.) Middle School, teachers summoned the principal. The principal "frightened" the girl, her parents said -- and she wet her pants. The unnamed girl is a retarded special education student. Her parents say she has never become violent, and has wet herself before when confronted by the principal. Still, this time principal Kevin Duckworth called the police and insisted they charge her with disorderly conduct. Embarrassed officers told her parents they could "probably" avoid a fine by having the girl perform community service. (AP) ...Her parents have already performed a community service -- by taking the story to newspapers.

OBVIOUSLY IT'S ALREADY TOO LATE:
"Utah Risks Loosing its Best Teachers" -- Salt Lake Tribune headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#115 TalonRider

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 01:04 PM

THIS is TRUE: 14 January 2007 Copyright http://www.thisistrue.com
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IS ANYONE ELSE DISTURBED THAT EVERYONE INSTANTLY RECOGNIZED HIM? Stephen Murmer went to "great lengths" to ensure his off-hours passion as an artist was hidden from people at his day job: art teacher at Monacan High School in Richmond, Va. The art he produced in his time off is, as he puts it, "ass painting" -- he dips his rear in paint and then stamps it on canvas, and the cheeky results sell for hundreds of dollars. But when Murmer appeared on TV to demonstrate his technique, he was recognized despite his using a pseudonym and wearing a disguise (and nothing but a thong). The school suspended him over the objection of his students, and the school board fired him. "This is a bad day for the First Amendment," said Murmer's lawyer, Jason Anthony, adding he's disappointed that school officials didn't stand behind him. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, AP) ...They tried to, but they couldn't help "looking".

CHEAP DATE: The Monroe Chamber of Commerce has apologized to Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco after auctioning off a dinner with the governor at the governor's mansion. "This was not a reflection of the chamber's or the business community's attitude toward the governor," said Chamber president Sue Edmunds. It's not that they didn't have permission to do the auction as a fund-raiser; the problem was, the bid only reached $1. (Shreveport Times) ...And that was still contingent on the governor picking up the tab.

SNOW JOB: After a massive blizzard closed Colorado's Denver International Airport for the better parts of three days, there was scoffing over DIA's claim that it was an "all-weather airport". DIA spokesman Chuck Cannon said he "would like to choke the person who came up with that term." An enterprising reporter looked it up: in 1992, an airport spokesman bragged that DIA was "the world's first all-weather airport. We will be able to operate as well in a blizzard as [the old airport] can on a sunny day." Who was the airport's spokesman in 1992 who made that statement? Chuck Cannon. (Denver Rocky Mountain News) ...No doubt he did choke when the reporter checked back.

STRANGE WAY TO DIE: Jennifer Lea Strange, 28, was found dead in her home after competing in a contest on a local radio station called "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" -- with the prize being a Wii video game console to the person who drank the most water without peeing. The coroner's preliminary findings are her death is due to water intoxication, which occurs when someone drinks excessive water over a short time period. The contest was held by station KDND, which promotes itself as "The End". (Sacramento Bee) ...No doubt it was billed as "Another killer promotion!"

HEY GUYS! THINK THEY'LL BUY IT?
"Housework Can Help You to Beat Breast Cancer, Women Are Told" -- London Times headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#116 TalonRider

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 02:07 PM

THIS is TRUE: 21 January 2007 Copyright This Is True
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CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT: Jesse Dorris, an inmate in the Lincoln County (Neb.) Jail, demanded to be removed from his cell because, he said, his cell mate, Brian Bruggeman, 38, had "bad gas." Jailers moved him to another cell but, at the next meal, Bruggeman cut in line to be by Dorris so he could fart on him. Dorris hit Bruggeman, who was serving 90 days for violating a protective order. County deputies were called in to investigate, and "smelled a liar but quickly sniffed out who was guilty," a spokesman said. "It was an air tight case." Bruggeman has been charged with assault on a confined person -- a felony punishable by up to 5 years in state prison. Dorris was not charged. (North Platte Bulletin) ...We all know guys like Bruggeman, and no one will be surprised if he ends up in the gas chamber.

HE WENT THAT-A-WAY: After police in Loveland, Colo., were alerted to the description of the getaway car from a bank robbery, Officer Joe Berdin spotted it. And it was headed directly for the police station. By the time he got behind it to pull it over, the car had reached the department's parking lot. Berdin and cover units surrounded the car and arrested the driver on suspicion of bank robbery. So why was Mark Valladares, 48, going to the police station? To pay $325 in fines in a drunk driving case. "He said if he didn't pay them, he was going back to prison," the detective in the case said. Valladares allegedly didn't have enough cash to pay the fines, so he robbed the bank to get the money. (Loveland Reporter-Herald) ...With an excuse like that, they should have checked to see if he was driving drunk again.

GOLD PLATED JUSTICE: Of the 400 prisoners the U.S. has been holding at its Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center for about five years, only "about 75, give or take a few," are expected to actually go to trial, says the chief prosecutor, Air Force Col. Morris Davis. Only 10 trials have been scheduled so far. But to hold the trials, Davis needs a new courthouse -- current facilities can't handle more than one trial at a time. "We're fiscal conservatives by definition," says Cully Stimson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs. "We're not building the Taj Mahal here." Indeed, most of the pre-trial legal work is being done in the U.S., not in Cuba. Therefore the planned "conservative" facility will only have three courtrooms. But the new complex includes restaurants and housing for "at least" 800 people. Expected cost: $125 million. (Los Angeles Times) ...Maybe we should take another look at the "Taj Mahal" option.

SNOW JOB: Colorado ranchers are having trouble getting federal aid for the major blizzard that hit in December. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is waiting for documented proof of how much snow fell to compare it to historical averages so it can approve claims -- but the gauges can't be read. They're still buried in snow. (Rocky Mountain News) ...Usually when you put on hip boots to deal with the government, it's because of a different kind of pileup.

IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY, TRY, TRY AND TRY AGAIN:
"Law & Disorder: Woman, 38, Charged in Hit, Hit, Hit, Hit, Hit, Run" -- Jacksonville (Fla.) Times-Union headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#117 TalonRider

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 12:48 PM

THIS is TRUE: 28 January 2007 Copyright This Is True
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THIS AIN'T MAYBERRY: A rookie police officer in Los Angeles, Calif., arrested a suspect after a gang shootout. The rookie patted the suspect down, but as he was leading him away the suspect pulled out a gun and shot another officer, a 12-year veteran. His body armor saved him, and other officers shot and killed the shooter. The veteran officer was named -- Andy Taylor -- but the rookie was not. (Los Angeles Times) ...Barney Fife.

THE PUBLIC BE DAMNED: Two convicted murderers are among 13 escapees from a prison in Sudbury, Derbyshire, England, in recent months. But most of the men, including the murderers, are still at large because police won't release their photos, since that could breach their human rights. "When making a decision to release any photograph, police forces must take into account numerous factors including the public interest test," lectured a police spokesman, "whether there is a strong local policing purpose and, of course, the Human Rights and Data Protection Acts." So now what? The spokesman said by escaping, the felons "abuse the trust
we have placed in them," and "it's up to us to trace their whereabouts." (PA) ...While it's up to the public to worry about how the police abuse the trust we have placed in them.

GET A LIFE: Blogger Darren Barefoot of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, says he's not anti-"Second Life", the online virtual world game with the slogan "Your World. Your Imagination." But the hype for "SL" has gotten to the point where Barefoot created a one-page parody site, GetAFirstLife.com, with the slogan "Your World. Sorry About That." where one can "Work, Reproduce, Perish." His site invited "Comments or cease and desist letters," but Linden Research, Inc., the San Francisco, Calif., company which owns SL, isn't biting. "Linden Lab objects to any implication that it would employ lawyers incapable of distinguishing such obvious parody," its lawyer wrote to Barefoot, and "your invitation to submit a cease-and-desist letter is hereby rejected." (AP) ...Corporations with a sense of humor, and lawyers with common sense? Wow: Second Life really is a fantasy world.

THE LAST LAUGH: Kanawha County, W.V., Sheriff Mike Rutherford noticed a car weaving into his lane. Driving in an unmarked vehicle, Rutherford saw the car get behind him, and then start to tailgate him. "I thought he was going to ram me," he said. "He'd come right on my bumper, then he would just back off," so he got on the radio to see if a marked unit was available to come stop the driver. That's when the other driver made his move. "He was looking directly at me, giving me the finger and just ran into the guardrail," Rutherford said. Glenn Harold Vickers, 53, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. (Charleston Daily Mail) ...Give one finger to a cop, and odds are he'll want the rest.

I GUESS THIS MEANS SHE LOST: "Woman Hospitalized after Trivial Pursuit Game" -- Chicago Sun-Times headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#118 TalonRider

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 12:32 PM

THIS is TRUE: 4 February 2007 Copyright This Is True
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THOU SHALT NOT: The Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Ind., announced plans to set up a video projector to show the Super Bowl to attract parishioners to church on Sunday instead of staying home to watch the game. Super Bowl Fever was strong in Indianapolis, thanks to the home team being in the game to smite thy enemies, the Chicago Bears. But the National Football League spotted the announcement on the church's web site, and sent a letter demanding they cancel the showing since per copyright law, the game may only be shown on one TV per location, and the screen must be limited to 55 inches. "We have contracts with our [TV] networks to provide free over-the-air television for people at home," said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. "Out-of-home viewing is not measured by Nielsen," and therefore cannot be measured for ratings purposes. The NFL exempts bars from the rule, but said it won't extend that to churches. Fall Creek Baptist pastor John Newland said he'd respect the NFL's copyright, but many other churches vowed to hold similar events despite the NFL's legal stance. (Indianapolis Star) ...Right -- that pesky Commandment against stealing is surely optional.

FOR THE BIRDS: The British government has a plan to provide medical care to citizens in case of a bird flu pandemic. Should the H5N1 flu mutate to a point where it can be passed among humans, at least 35 percent of all people will likely come down with the virus, planners predict, which would completely overwhelm Britain's medical care system. Thus, every citizen has been asked to name a "bird flu buddy" who will be responsible for picking up medications if they catch the disease, preferably within 12 hours of their showing symptoms. "This would be a unique situation for the country," said a Department of Health spokesman, "and we will be asking people to take a personal and social responsibility for their care." (Manchester Guardian) ...The solution requires personal responsibility? Uh oh: they'll all die for sure.

HERPETOLOGY HIJINKS: When a 30-inch red-tailed boa constrictor was stolen from a pet store in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, police had little to go on despite a security camera video showing a 15-year-old boy putting the
$300 snake in his jacket and walking out of the store, with his mother acting as a lookout. But there was a break in the case: the next day, the boy and his mother allegedly came back to the store. Employees instantly recognized the pair, in part because they were wearing the exact same clothing. The snake-napers were there to find out what kind of boa it was, to get books on how to care for boas, and to buy food for the snake. Employees chatted them up until police arrived. Sebrina Hill, 35, and her unnamed son were arrested on theft charges, and the snake was recovered from their home. (Cleveland Plain Dealer) ...The snake: red-tailed. The thieves: red-handed.

STRONG BELIEF: Newsweek magazine reports on a new trend: people not just not believing in God, but actively proclaiming their disbelief. "Hi my name is Lindy and I deny the existence of the Holy Spirit and you should too," says one 24-year-old woman in an Internet video posting. By making the claim online, it's hard to deny later that they said it, say the organizers of the "Blasphemy Challenge" web site. A man who recorded a similar "blasphemy" explained that "We want to show that we really mean it when we say we don't believe a word in this book," referring to the Bible. "God," Newsweek concluded, "could not be reached for comment." (Newsweek) ...I'll believe it's a real trend when a candidate for president makes the proclamation -- and then gets elected.

AND HURRY! "Reward Offered for Missing Kidney" -- Seattle (Wash.) Times headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#119 TalonRider

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 12:08 PM

THIS is TRUE: 11 February 2007 Copyright This Is True
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DEATH NOTICED: After the sudden death of former stripper and wanna-be actress Anna Nicole Smith, 39, news spread fast on online news and blog sites. "The occasion gave free rein to the pseudonymous savagery which passes for informed commentary on the Web," the Reuters newswire editorialized. For example: "Anna Nicole Smith's condition downgraded to dead," headlined fark.com, where a shot of a beached whale was captioned "preliminary autopsy photo." But legitimate news outlets were hardly less "savage". Australia's Sydney Morning Herald noted "she was as talentless as Paris Hilton, as empty as the celebrity culture she once craved." Her cause of death was "a fatal dose of celebrity," the paper said, noting that to "a casual viewer of her television show it was obvious that something more chemically active than silicone was in her body." (Reuters, Sydney Morning Herald) ...Yes, well, live by the media, die by the media.

JUST THE BARE FACTS: Officials in Washington D.C., are perplexed at the death of a construction worker. Joseph Oliver, 23, was on the job installing elevators at the "Newseum" -- a museum about news and journalism -- when he fell down an elevator shaft, apparently from the fourth floor. Why the mystery? "The body was unclothed, which raised concerns in our mind," said an official from the construction company. "We're waiting to see what the police come up with." (Washington Post) ...A guy in Washington D.C. caught with his pants down? Sounds like a cliche news story to me.

FULL STOP: A third of 11-year-old British students don't know to use capital letters at the start of sentences nor periods at the end of sentences, a skill they should have mastered at 6. Analysis of national curriculum tests found that 21 percent failed the English test, which was further broken down to 33 percent failing the writing portion, and 17 percent failing in reading. (London Daily Mail) ...How do we know anyone there did the math right to get to those numbers?

YES, BUT IS IT ART? Commuters stuck in traffic on a Los Angeles, Calif., freeway saw something unusual when they passed the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels: a gigantic advertisement projected on the steeple. "Your Ad Here" alternated with "Your Corporate Logo Here". Officials at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles were as perplexed as motorists, since they didn't authorize the advertisement. "A church tower is different from a billboard," said an archdiocese spokesman. "If it wasn't, we would have been selling ad space 2,000 years ago." Rather, it was a piece of performance art by 28-year-old graphic artist James Cui. While the church was reasonably amused, bureaucrats weren't. "What he put up is the equivalent to an advertising sign and not a work of art," said city code enforcement head Dave Keim, noting illegal ad signs are punishable as a misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000 and six months in jail. "To us, anything that attracts the attention of the public is a 'sign' and you need a permit." (Los Angeles Times) ...Something the Catholics will have to remember next time they plead, "Lord! Give us a 'sign'!"

A STORY YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE THE PICTURES FOR: "Men with 'Moobs' Swell Queues for Breast Surgery" -- London Times headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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#120 TalonRider

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 11:39 AM

THIS is TRUE: 18 February 2007 Copyright This Is True
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COLLECTION PLATE: The Rev. Randall Radic of the First Congregational Church in Ripon, Calif., sold the church for $460,000, then bought himself a BMW and pocketed the rest of the cash. "He apparently saw [the church] as a source of money for himself," said San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Phil Urie. But Radic laid a Get Out of Jail Free card on prosecutors: he has information on a local murder, and cut a deal where he will testify in the murder trial if he gets no jail time for his embezzlement and nine other felony counts. Prosecutors accepted the deal, leaving the congregation sputtering. "My undoing is truth," Radic says on his web site. "I decided to say the truth and that has led me down some very interesting paths and complicated my life." Radic, 54, had to pay restitution as part of his plea bargain, and has signed a book deal to tell his story. "Not to read him is a crime," Radic says on his web site, which shows him holding a glass of wine, smoking a cigar, and looking toward a woman dressed in high heels, angel's wings ...and nothing else. "Not to publish him is a sin." (Modesto Bee) ...One thing for sure: he does know plenty about sin.

ANOTHER DAY AT THE SALT MINE: Emmalee Bauer, 25, was told by her boss at a Sheraton hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, to stop spending work time writing in her personal diary. Sure enough, they never saw her with her pen and pad again. But when they checked her computer, they found this: "I am going to be typing all my thoughts instead of writing all day," she had written. "That way, there isn't any way to tell for sure if I am working really hard or I am just goofing off." In total, Bauer used 300 single-spaced pages to describe her efforts to avoid work. She was fired, but Bauer applied for unemployment benefits. Sheraton appealed that, which is how the diary ended up in the public record. Other entries include "I have managed to waste half of the day doing nothing constructive. That isn't exactly an easy task, either." and "It's noon already and I don't feel like I have accomplished a damn thing. Accomplishment is overrated, anyway." Her request for unemployment benefits was denied. (Des Moines Register) ...So now the only thing she has left is to go into politics.

HONEY, I'M HOME! Post-war baby-boomers are starting to retire in Japan, too, and they're finding it hard to cope. "For about a year now, I've been starting to help out with the housework," says Mitsutoshi Fukatsu, who has been married to his wife for 30 years. He even took part in "Beloved Wives Day", which was set up in 2006 by the Japan Adoring Husbands Association. The goal is to come home from work exceptionally early each January 31 -- by 8:00 p.m. -- to tell their wives "Thank you." Fukatsu is also taking another step: he has started to call his wife by her first name. (AP) ...The hard part, of course, will be remembering what her name is.

FINDERS KEEPERS: Emmanuel Sanchez, 30, of Alton, Texas, was stopped by police in Georgia for a "routine" traffic violation. They asked if they could search his pickup truck, and he said yes -- and officers found $950,435 in cash hidden in the truck. He found the money, he said, in a dumpster outside a Hooter's restaurant, and said he hid it because he knew if the police found it they'd take it away. Indeed the moneyas
confiscated. Sanchez was not arrested since there is no evidence of any crime, but he can only get the cash back if he proves he had it legally. (San Antonio News-Express) ...Otherwise known as "Guilty until proven innocent."

HIGH COURT: "Judge Rules Government Supply of Marijuana Is Inadequate" -- San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News headline
Too often, we lose sight of life's simple pleasures. Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and slap the idiot upside the head.

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble. - Dennis Fakes.
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