Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

The 50 Most Loathsome Americans

January 23, 2012

The Buffalo Beast has produced lists of “The 50 Most Loathsome Americans” almost every year this decade (see their lists for: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) To recap, the most loathsome over the years, with…

Three entries: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mel Gibson, Michael Jackson, Barack Obama, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin
Four entries: Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, John McCain
Five entries: Ann Coulter, Joe Lieberman
Six entries: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney
Included every year thus far: “You”

I know this because I tried to put the info from the lists on Wikipedia last year, but they didn’t like that :( But hey, neither did Orly Taitz ;)

Their 2011 list is due any day now; HERE! In the mean time though, I thought I’d guess (total not guaranteed to equal 50) who might be on the list when it gets published, in alphabetical order:

Scott Adams
Roger Ailes
Casey Anthony
Levi Aron
Joe Arpaio
Any/all of these Bad Governors (Rick Scott (Florida), Paul LePage (Maine), Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania), Rick Perry (Texas) note: see also below, Jan Brewer (Arizona), John Kasich (Ohio), Rick Snyder (Michigan), Scott Walker (Wisconsin) )
David Barton
Glenn Beck
Rebecca Black
Michael Bloomberg
John Boehner
Harold Camping (I wasn’t raptured because I’m a godless heathen; what’s his excuse?)
Deryl Dedmon (and ‘friends’)
The Duggars (specifically the parents: their 19+2 kids didn’t ask to be born)
John Freshwater
Reed Hastings (Netflix CEO)
Christopher Hitchens
Victoria Jackson (INSANE.)
Kim Kardashian
Amy Koch
Charles & David Koch
Steve Jobs
Rush Limbaugh
Jared Lee Loughner
Keith Mason (Personhood USA)
Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform)
Barack Obama (even if only for signing the Patriot Act Reauthorization)
James O’Keefe
Bill O’Reilly
Sarah Palin
Pepper Spray Cops (Anthony Bologna & John Pike)
Phone hacking scandal participants (Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, Les Hinton, et al)
Republicans running for President (Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty)
Jerry Sandusky
Charlie Sheen (and Sheen-wannabe Ashton Kutcher ;)
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Tea Party
Tim Tebow
Donald Trump
Anthony Weiner

If you think I missed anyone who really deserves it, leave a comment!


Honolulu Mystery

December 9, 2009

The other day I commented on a Facebook post by Ricky Garduno, who does the excellent (and often disturbing) webcomic 1930 Nightmare Theater on Dumm Comics, that “pictures like this [from WWI] haunt me” (“and speaking of trench rats… something for your nightmares“)

Today, I wrote: “maybe it was those posts about WWI, but I remembered something nightmarish and thought I’d share it with you. It’s from a quite awesome book from 1927 called Count Luckner the Sea Devil which recounts the true story of Felix von Luckner and especially his participation in WWI, but the part I want to mention is on pages 35-37:”

In Honolulu I came upon a mystery, a fantastic mystery. It sounds unbelievable. I, myself, cannot explain it. Someday I hope to meet someone who can. One of the cabin boys aboard the Golden Shore was a German named Nauke. He was a violin maker by trade who had lost all his money and put to sea. We became fast friends. At Honolulu, Nauke invited me to go ashore with him. He brought along a can of condensed milk, a delicacy he knew I liked. We went sightseeing, and one of the sights was that of royalty. We stood outside of the palace grounds and watched the Hawaiian potentate while he had tea. He sat in a reed chair, and a couple of his wives stood beside him. A well-dressed gentleman who seemed to be on a stroll came up to us and began to talk to us in English.

“Don’t waste your time on anything like that,” he said. “Why not see the hula-hula dance?”

Nauke and I said all right, because the hula-hula was just what we did want to see.

The gentleman asked whether we had any better clothes to wear, to which we responded that we had not.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said, “I will provide you with a suit each.”

He took us to a carriage drawn by four mules, and we all got in. I remarked to Nauke that the gentleman seemed to be a man of means. The gentleman turned his head.

“You mustn’t talk so much,” he said in German.

We came to a sugar plantation outside the town. The carriage stopped. Our host led us to a field path, until finally we came to a European house that had an air of distinction. Young colts grazed within a fence. Through the large windows of the stately villa I saw a row of large black tables such as are used in Germany, in a lecture room. Our host told Nauke to wait outside, and got a piece of cake for him. I whispered to Nauke not to go away.

I felt very strange on entering the house. The man showed me into a room next to the hall with the many tables. He was about to lock the door. I asked him not to. In the room was a long black table like those I had seen in the other room. The man said he was going upstairs to get a measuring tape. While he was gone, I noticed that under the table were two long narrow boxes with heavy locks on both sides. What if I should end up in one of those boxes! But I was confident. What had I learned boxing for?

The stranger returned with a tape. He measured my arm. Unlike a tailor, he measured from wrist to shoulder instead of from shoulder to wrist.

“Thirty,” he announced, repeated it once, and muttered several other numbers between his teeth.

He pulled my coat halfway down my back, thus hindering my arms. He remarked that the light was poor, and turned me so that my back was toward the outer door. I could hear a creaking that told me that someone was moving behind that door. I noticed on the floor below the lower part of the table a disorderly pile of old clothes which looked as though they might be sailors’ togs. The gentleman took off my belt and laid it on the table. Attached to the belt was my knife case. It was empty. I wondered where my knife might be. I remembered having it that morning. I had peeled potatoes with it. My blood froze as between empty bottles on the window sill I saw a chopped off human thumb with a long sinew attached. The gentleman was about to let down my trousers, which would have kept me from running.

I jerked my coat back into place, knocked the man down with a heavy blow, grabbed my empty knife case from the table, kicked open the nearest door to the open, and jumped out, shouting for Nauke. He appeared, still munching his piece of cake. We ran out into the plantation and threw ourselves down among the cane. There was the sound of a whistle and of galloping horses and running men. They were hunting for us along the roads. We groped our way among the fields, and, after losing our way several times, finally reached the beach.

We looked up an English-speaking policeman and told him our story. He shrugged his shoulders and said it would take a special force of detectives to discover how many sailors had mysteriously disappeared on the islands. Our captain merely remarked that we deserved a good thrashing for going ashore. We sailors on the ship laid a plan to take the plantation by storm on the following Sunday. But on Friday a quarantine was proclaimed, due to some infectious disease that was spreading, and the raid was off. In later times, I often inquired about the strange circumstance, and heard tales of white sailors disappearing on the islands, but never a solution of the mystery.

Dubious Distinction: USA is #1 for incarceration

February 28, 2008

For the first time in history, more than one in every 100 American adults is in jail or prison […] more than any other country in the world.

– as of January 1 [there are] 1,596,127 people in state and federal prisons and 723,131 in local jails — a total 2,319,258 out of almost 230 million American adults.

– The report said the United States is the world’s incarceration leader, far ahead of more populous China with 1.5 million people behind bars. It said the U.S. also is the leader in inmates per capita (750 per 100,000 people), ahead of Russia (628 per 100,000) and other former Soviet bloc nations which make up the rest of the Top 10.

– “For some groups, the incarceration numbers are especially startling,” the report said. “While one in 30 men between the ages of 20 and 34 is behind bars, for black males in that age group the figure is one in nine.

the 50 states spent more than $49 billion on corrections last year, up from less than $11 billion 20 years earlier. The rate of increase for prison costs was six times greater than for higher education spending, the report said. […] According to the report, the inmate population increased last year in 36 states and the federal prison system. The largest percentage increase — 12 percent — was in Kentucky, where Gov. Steve Beshear highlighted the cost of corrections in his budget speech last month. He noted that the state’s crime rate had increased only about 3 percent in the past 30 years, while the state’s inmate population has increased by 600 percent. […] The report said prison growth and higher incarceration rates do not reflect a parallel increase in crime or in the nation’s overall population. Instead, it said, more people are behind bars mainly because of tough sentencing measures, such as “three-strikes” laws, that result in longer prison stays.

– The steadily growing inmate population “is saddling cash-strapped states with soaring costs they can ill afford and failing to have a clear impact either on recidivism or overall crime,” the report said. […]  “For all the money spent on corrections today, there hasn’t been a clear and convincing return for public safety,” said the project’s director, Adam Gelb. “More and more states are beginning to rethink their reliance on prisons for lower-level offenders and finding strategies that are tough on crime without being so tough on taxpayers.”

Source: CNN