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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Convocation of Who’s Dumber

I wasn’t really planning on anything today, but there are just some days every news story is a head-scratcher.  For example:

Contestant #1-

Climate scientist admits stealing docs from conservative think tank

Theft, deceit and outright lies: How ugly can climate science get?
Prominent climate scientist Peter H. Gleick relied on deceit and subterfuge to solicit a cache of sensitive internal documents from conservative think tank The Heartland Institute before leaking them to the press -- a fresh scandal that further darkens the highly charged debate on planetary climate change.
Gleick -- an internationally recognized hydroclimatologist and author of the respected annual report “The World’s Water” -- said he received an anonymous document in the mail that tipped him off to what he described as Heartland’s efforts to muddy public understanding of climate science and policy. He released the documents to expose their work “to cast doubt on climate science.”
“In a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name,” Gleick wrote. “My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate … nevertheless I deeply regret my own actions in this case.”
Following his admission, Gleick's resignation was accepted by the National Center for Science Education. His name appears to have been removed from a Task Force on Scientific Ethics at the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a prominent science organization.
The documents consist of climate policy statements, fundraising documents, board meeting notifications and even tax filings -- as well as a memo titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy.” That memo, apparently the anonymous document that inspired Gleick to take action, describes plans to create an anti-global warming science campaign for grade schools that will “dissuad[e] teachers from teaching science.”
The Heartland Institute calls it a forgery – and (Heartland Institute president Joseph L.) Bast says he believes Gleick may have written it.
"Gleick also claims he did not write the forged memo, but only stole the documents to confirm the content of the memo he received from an anonymous source,” Bast said. “This too is unbelievable. Many independent commentators already have concluded the memo was most likely written by Gleick.”
"We hope Gleick will make a more complete confession in the next few days,” Bast wrote.

When will “scientists” involved in global warming learn that their own lack of integrity is all the evidence most of us need to disbelieve them?  Science has been more about “Let me ‘prove’ what I believe” rather than “Lets observe and figure out what we’re observing” ever since Darwin decided his Grandpa JoJo had a tail.

Contestant #2-

An eighth-grader suspended after pranking a classmate with a bag of oregano following a lecture on the dangers of marijuana has a civil liberties group in his corner, but officials at his North Carolina school aren't backing down.
"It was just a joke," the mother of the boy, who is not being identified because of his age, told in an exclusive interview. "He's embarrassed that it's turned into such a big issue. He's actually said he doesn't know why he did it. But he didn't have an illegal substance to begin with."
Luan Ingram, a spokeswoman for Union County Public Schools, confirmed to that the matter was handled according to its student discipline policy, but declined additional comment.
In a letter to Union County Public Schools officials, the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute called the suspension a "gross overreaction" to a childish prank and said it may be a violation of the boy's constitutional rights.
Immediately after the incident last month, in which the boy passed the bag of seasoning to a pal a day after their health class discussed marijuana, the boy received a 10-day suspension. On Feb. 1, school officials notified the boy's family that he had been recommended for another 45 days of suspension. Their appeal of the additional term was denied this week, and the boy is attending a school for at-risk students until he is eligible to return to Cuthbertson on March 29.
Whitehead noted recent North Carolina legislation requires local school boards to minimize use of long-term suspensions and expulsions to violations deemed to threaten safety of students, staff, or school visitors or threaten to substantially disrupt the educational environment.
"Your school district would be hard-pressed to demonstrate that [the boy's] conduct either threatened the safety of the school community or substantially disrupted the school environment," Whitehead's letter to the school district stated.

A 55-day suspension for giving oregano to a friend.  I guess they’re really hard on Spice ther- what?  Not that kind of “Spice”?  OOPS…

Contestant #3-

A New Hampshire man who fired his handgun into the ground to scare an alleged burglar he caught crawling out of a neighbor's window is now facing a felony charge -- and the same potential prison sentence as the man he stopped.
Dennis Fleming, 61, of Farmington, was arrested for reckless conduct after the Saturday incident at his 19th century farmhouse. The single grandfather had returned home to find that his home had been burglarized and spotted Joseph Hebert, 27, climbing out of a window at a neighbor's home. Fleming said he yelled "Freeze!" before firing his gun into the ground, then held Hebert at gunpoint until police arrived.
"I didn't think I could handle this guy physically, so I fired into the ground," Fleming told "He stopped. He knew I was serious. I was angry … and I was worried that this guy was going to come after me."
No one was injured in the incident, but when the police arrived, they made two arrests. Hebert was charged with two counts of burglary and drug possession. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. Fleming, meanwhile, is scheduled to be arraigned March 20 on a charge of reckless conduct, which could potentially land him a sentence similar to the one Hebert faces.
"I didn't know it was illegal [to fire into the ground], but I had to make that guy realize I was serious," Fleming said. "I've got a clean record. I really don't want to be convicted."
County Attorney Tom Velardi told Foster's Daily Democrat he will review the case and determine if the charge against Fleming is appropriate under the state statutes regarding self-defense and defense of property.
Fleming's collection of seven rifles and a .38-caliber handgun were seized by police. Calls seeking comment from Farmington Police Department Chief Scott Roberge were not immediately returned.  (And probably never will be, in a community like this.)
Penny Dean, a spokeswoman for the Gun Owners of New Hampshire, said her organization is "absolutely outraged" by Fleming's arrest.
"This homeowner fired at the ground, from all accounts, in a safe direction and held a burglar for police and did things correctly," Dean told "The fact that this man would be charged is an outrage. Burglars in New Hampshire must know it's open season, since homeowners cannot defend themselves, as evidenced by this case. This is charging the victim."
Rick Pelkey, Fleming's longtime neighbor, said he's now worried how the "straight-forward, working-class guy" will pay legal fees associated with the arrest.
"I think it's outrageous," Pelkey told "He did the community a service here. We ought to thank him for it."

OMG, call Greenpeace!  Somebody just shot Mother Earth!  Does anyone on this planet use there brains to assess a situation anymore?

Contestant #4-

A man died after he was hit by a car while riding a couch tied to the back of a truck in Canada.
Francois Halle, 22, was "couch surfing" when the driver lost control of the vehicle, pushing the sofa onto the opposite side of the road, where he was hit by another vehicle in Saint-Benjamin, south of Quebec City, CBC News reported.
Halle was rushed to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

If nothing else, at least this one shows that abject stupidity is not a US of A monopoly.

Contestant #5-
Troops on the U.S.'s largest base in Afghanistan have inadvertently burned Korans and other religious materials, triggering angry protests and fears of even larger demonstrations as news of the burning spreads.
The books were mistakenly thrown out with the trash at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul and were on a burn pile Monday night before Afghan laborers intervened around 11:00 p.m., according to NATO and Afghan officials.
The workers doused the flames with their jackets and mineral water before marching out of Bagram in a fury, carrying with them the charred remains, according to Sabir Safar, secretary of the provincial council of Parwan, the province where Bagram is located.
By the morning, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside of Bagram and on the outskirts of Kabul. Some shot into the air, some threw rocks at the Bagram gate, and others yelled, "Die, die foreigners." Many of them were the same people who work with foreign troops inside the base. At one point, apparently worried that the base would be stormed, guards at the base fired rubber bullets into the crowd, according to the military.
There is perhaps no action that enrages Afghans more than foreigners' mistreating the Koran.  Korans are supposed to be buried or released into a flowing river if they need to be disposed.
"Those materials were inadvertently given to troops for disposition and that disposition was to burn the materials. It was not a decision that was made because they were religious materials," (Gen. John ) Allen told NATO TV. "It was not a decision that was made with respect to the faith of Islam. It was a mistake, it was an error. The moment we found out about it we immediately stopped and we intervened."
Allen launched an investigation and promised to take steps that the same incident would not be repeated.

The story then goes on to tell how something like this has happened at least TWO other times, giving rise to “reasonable doubt” concerning Allen’s promise.  “Bury them or release into a flowing river.”  Would composting be acceptable?  Shouldn’t all those Greenpeacers gathering to lynch the guy for shooting Mother Earth be racing here and there to keep devout Muslims from polluting rivers with soiled Korans?  And is being shot with rubber bullets #2 on the Afghan people’s “list of actions that enrage” ?

Contestant #6-  Well That one got pulled.  I went looking for a story I just read on how country duo Sugarland’s attorneys are going to claim that it was the fans’ responsibility to leave the scene of the stage collapse at the Indiana State fair and not the band’s to postpone the show.  However, the story seems to have been pulled- probably because it s headline went to the effect of “Sugarland blames fans” rather than “Attorneys blame fans” and then went into a re-hash of all the genuine things that the band DID say after the tragedy to make it look like the group was callously crapping down its leg.  The comments section was loaded with fans and, well, just people with common sense, telling the news outlet that perchance they might want to modify the headline.  So this one is a toss-up between the attorneys, the media outlet, and myself for forgetting which of the “usual suspects” had the story up in the first place.

UPDATE:  It was on, I just looked in the wrong spot.

Sugarland blames fans for state fair injuries

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) --Fans who were killed and injured when stage rigging and sound equipment collapsed onto them as they awaited a Sugarland concert at the Indiana State Fair failed to take steps to ensure their own safety and are at least in part to blame for their injuries, the country duo's attorneys said.

The statement, part of a Feb. 16 response to a civil suit filed by survivors and families of some of those killed, comes in sharp contrast to earlier statements by lead singer Jennifer Nettles and appears to be an attempt to cast blame elsewhere.

Calling the powerful winds that toppled the stage on Aug. 13 an "act of God," Sugarland's attorneys said fair officials and Mid-America Sound Corp. were responsible for the stage setup, and that the fans voluntarily assumed risk by attending the show.

"Some or all of the plaintiffs' claimed injuries resulted from their own fault," according to the band's response.

Nettles told The Associated Press in a statement issued through her manager two days after the collapse that she was "moved by the grief of those families who lost loved ones. Moved by the pain of those who were injured and the fear of their families. Moved by the great heroism as I watched so many brave Indianapolis fans actually run toward the stage to try and help lift and rescue those injured. Moved by the quickness and organization of the emergency workers who set up the triage and tended to the injured."

Jeff Stesiak, a South Bend attorney involved in the suit, said the band's response was strange given the circumstances of the fans' injuries.

"It's unusual to put the blame on victims. The concert wasn't canceled and they weren't told to leave. I can't imagine what the victims did to be at fault," Stesiak said Tuesday. "They had a duty to warn fans. An open and obvious danger is more like walking along a road and seeing a downed power line and walking over it anyway. The storm wasn't like that."

In a Jan. 16 deposition on a lawsuit against the company that built the stage rigging, Indiana State Fair Commission Executive Director Cindy Hoye testified that
Sugarland resisted delaying the start of the concert despite threatening weather.
Hoye said a representative for a concert promotion company working with the fair twice approached Sugarland about the fair's desire to delay the show. But Hoye said the band expressed concerns about how a delay would affect the time Nettles needed to warm up and complicate the band's travel to its next show.

Sugarland tour manager Hellen Rollens told investigators with the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration that there was no discussion of delaying the show.
So we have to adjust the contestant list on this story:  First, still me, but for missing where the story was; still, the attorneys;  throw in the Sugarland promoters, who apparently perjured themselves to IOSHA;  and of course, Ms. Shedler and the AP for an intentionally misleading article and headline which seeks to debase the band, when the promoters and lawyers are the skunks in the henhouse.

And the winner?  I’ve got to go with the couch surfer.  This has to be on a par with “bottle rocket up the butt” a week or so ago in sheer unjustifiable mental deficiency.

1 comment:

  1. CWM:
    Never at a loss for "players" these days...are we?

    #2 - we used pencil

    #3 - that police department needs to EASE UP on the farmer...he should get a dang MEDAL for his actions.
    Plus, he did THEIR job for them (the whole protect & serve thing).

    #4 Maybe they could sue GOD...and then wait to die to "collect" (like a snowball's chance in Hades of that happening).

    It sure is BIZARRO WORLD.

    Can we please find a way back to OUR EARTH again?
    ('cause this one is getting too weird and too scary)
    Good post.'

    Stay safe up there.