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


Monday, January 11, 2016

The dark side of MWN, and the M50 begins

Sometimes my search for Martin World News takes you to stupid yet funny places... sometimes it makes you mad.  One such story I have been sitting on for a while, about a suburb of St Louis that isn't named Ferguson.  No, this one is called Pagedale, and Pagedale has come up with a "clever" way of raising its revenues- fine the crap out of its citizens.

“The city never spoke to us directly, so we never really knew what we were being fined for,” (Resident Valerie ) Whitner told Fox News. She added, “The monthly $100 fine just became a natural bill. … This has been one thing after another, and we still don’t know exactly what we paid for.”  

These encounters became so frequent that when asked by a local reporter about her case, she was able to furnish a bag of 33 citations.

Among the things the citizenry of Pagedale are getting fined for:

According to one report by, Pagedale now considers it illegal for residents to have basketball hoops in their driveways, dog houses on their front lawn, uncut grass, overgrown gardens and fallen tree limbs. That’s not all – city inspectors even judge interior design decisions. Another plaintiff said she was cited for mismatched curtains and not having blinds in every window, according to 

Another lady was upset when an inspector stood at her back door, watching her through her bedroom window.  He was there, he said, to fine her over repairs needed on her back screen door.

According to (Joshua, attorney for Institute for Justice) House, nearly 18 percent of Pagedale’s budget is income from municipal court revenue – property and miscellaneous fines – just second to the city’s sales tax.

The city of Pagedale is being represented by local attorneys, who have filed a motion to dismiss.

“I have no comment,” Pagedale Mayor Mary Louise Carter said when reached by Fox News.

No word on the rumor that Carter is the illegitimate child of former sheriff Buford T Justice...

Taught the sumbitch everything she knows...
I wouldn't have a comment either, if I was running a US city like a glorified speed trap.  I'm beginning to see why the Rams wanna move.

Reminds me of the story I read this weekend about a small city in Brazil.  The one guy running for mayor was disqualified due to a law that disallows candidates that are currently under investigation for corruption.  So his girlfriend stepped in, won the election, and basically put him in charge.  In the meantime they looted city and federal coffers to the tune of around $4 million, and she was stupid enough to continuously brag about it on Instagram.  Eventually the feds caught on when the schools in the town HAD TO STOP SERVING LUNCH TO STUDENTS, and parents complained.  The girl went on the lam, running the town by keeping in touch with city council through her phone's WhatsApp.  Accounts were seized (too late, as it turns), properties seized, and eventually she turned herself in- 39 days later.

The sad thing, this isn't too surprising for Brazil.  I have another story where thieves have stolen at least two ENTIRE newspaper stands- by hooking them up to a crane and loading on a truck.  Won't you be proud to watch such a nation host the Olympic games coming up?


So today, among other things, is day one of the Martin 50 of 2015 reveal.  I decided to mix things up the next four days as we cover #s 11-40.  My rules were:  same group hits don't hit the same day; the six non-charting (they didn't make any M10 list) songs (with of course the one mathematical exception) also get split up; and I come up with a basic (if stretched to the breaking point) theme for each day.  And today, you get what basically became the thematic "mutt list" (AKA if you can find it, you name it).  And I'll give them from the bottom to the top on the M50 main list.

Perching at #48 was a song that really got me excited at first- because it was the first single from the new lp from ELO.  Alone In The Universe, as we found out later, was basically a Jeff Lynne solo lp (of course, Zoom was just him and Richard Tandy, but still a better overall album).  And yet, I put that song- the lowest of the three songs from that lp, When I Was A Boy, at #48. (Martin 10 peak #5)

This list has two of the songs from the very first M10 way back in late August.  The first we hit was from a supergroup from Canada (mainly) called Saint Asonia, made up of members of Finger Eleven, Three Days Grace, and Staind, three groups that had totalled on the alt chart 18 combined top tens and 7 top dogs.  And, as usual with me it wasn't the single that grabbed me, but the slower power ballad Leaving Minnesota, which I put in at #46. (#6)

That other original M10er came to me when fellow blogger Mich (I'm an old man, sue me if memory doesn't serve) pointed out that a very bizarre act called 16 Horsepower did a neat cover of CCR's Bad Moon Rising.  It was good, but the one that grabbed me with its vivid descriptions of Jesus and the unsaved was called Black Soul Choir.  It was actually fading on the musicscape of my mind by the time I started the M10, and given the total effect of it, takes it to the #42 spot. (#7)

Family Of The Year I discovered with their 2015 self-titled release, and since they are one of three acts to put three in the 50, they get spread out pretty evenly.  The lower charting of their three songs, called Carry Me, pulls up at #39. (#6)

The first of the non-charters comes up next.  Just before I started the M10, I was looking for "new old stuff" for my main playlist, and on an old Ozark Mountain Daredevils lp I found this gem:

You Know Like I Know spent like five weeks pounding at the door... and I just never found the spot to let them in.  It was from the 1977 lp Men From Earth, charted at #74 on Billboard, and lands here at #38. (NC)

You remember the story of the Preatures from their couple of weeks in the M10.  Their hit Is This How You Feel, which caught my attention despite my objections, closes 2015 at #34. (#9)

Jana Kramer at last check was at #8 on the country charts and #61 and climbing with her tear jerker I Got The Boy, which coasts into the year's #28 slot. (#7)

Avril Lavigne, which my boy KC introed me to, lands her recent #2 hit, I'm With You, at #22 on the M50.  Too bad I never put a still of her up to qualify for the beauty contest just past.  Well, better late... (#2)

Of course, Chris, you realize she STILL doesn't qualify as this is NOT a Time Machine post..."
"Aw, crap!"

Cage The Elephant was another one of those new (to me) bands I didn't go to give them such a big hit on the M10.  But once Cigarette Daydreams hit the chart, it gained a life of it's own, and the middle break swept it to #2 as a peak and #17 for the year.

Finally for today's list, Another song I stumbled on just about by accident.  When I was looking up biodata for WILSN's Walking For days (which we'll hit later), I noticed she had released an earlier single with the cool title of Unmeet You.  So I played it.  And played it.  Until it became part of 2015's legendary Titanic Three, who dominated the top three spots for 3 weeks from the end of October to the middle of November.  And it claims the #12 spot for the year. (#2)


  1. And hear I thought a Brazilian Olympics was just about catching incurable diseases in Rio's harbor.
    Sounds like MUST SEE TV!

    1. What's the over/under on the next incurable disease?

  2. They just outlawed sofas on the front lawn or porch in my hometown. Okay, I can kinda understand, but mis-matched curtains? My family would've spent a life in prison for the parents' sense of design.

    PS I linked to you today. Cheers, Chris.

  3. Chris:
    While I'm not a REAL fan of "bilking the citizenry", there ARE ordinances that the city must have had on the books, and some people (like many of OUR "locals" down here regularly thumb their collective noses to THAT end, I say it's okay to fine them.
    If it takes away from the quality-of-life for others and is an eyesore, then the city has the ability to levy fines (and I'm no fan of abusive KNOW that.
    in many cities a "mismatched curtain" = BED-SHEETS...seriously (and they get gov't money to boot). Al's comment about Brazil!

    SO far, I'm liking the "M50"...keep it going.
    (might take a bit to listen to ALL the choices - reliving some classic BOWIE)

    Very good post.

    Stay safe & WARM up there, brother.

  4. What if your curtains match but you have a loveseat on your porch overlooking tall sunflowers in the garden? Things are really getting out of control in places.