My thoughts on the Paterno situation

Our values and priorities are so fucked up in this country. Penn State head coach Joe Paterno turns a blind eye to a former assistant coach who was (allegedly) molesting children and yet he is (apparently) being allowed to retire at the conclusion of the (all-important) football season.

Let’s look at this from another angle – imagine for a moment that instead of a football coach, we were talking about, let’s say, a History professor. Would he be allowed to retire at the end of the year knowing what he knew and having not notified the proper authorities? Hell no! They’d fire his ass like a cannon (and rightly so).

It’s morally repugnant when the Catholic church shelters child abusers and those who facilitate or ignore the abuse, and it’s just as disgusting when it’s done by Penn State University, or any other organization.

Paterno must go.

Local State Rep. Arrested for DUI

Robert Mecklenborg is a conservative Republican who represents much of western Hamilton County, Ohio.

Check out his mugshot, here.

Investigators say Mecklenborg had viagra in his system and a woman in the car with him. There are reports that she is connected to a Lawrenceburg strip club called Concepts Showgirls.

Man! Talk about burying the lede! How is that not the headline?

All the Justice You Can Afford

If you’ve ever doubted that there are two systems of justice in the United States (one for the rich, one for the rest of us), read this story.

The first sentence sums it up nicely:

A financial manager for wealthy clients will not face felony charges for a hit-and-run because it could jeopardize his job, prosecutors said Thursday.

According to District Attorney, Mark Hurlbert:

“Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession, and that entered into it,” Hurlbert said. “When you’re talking about restitution, you don’t want to take away his ability to pay.”

This makes me angry on so many levels that I find it difficult to articulate. Click here to sign a petition urging DA Hurlbert not to drop the felony charges against Martin Erzinger.

I’m still looking for the petition to have Mark Hurlbert disbarred and brought up on criminal charges.

It’s interesting to note that this the same District Attorney who did feel that felony charges were warranted in the case of two women exchanging numbers in the 2009 Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race.

Cheating at bike racing? Class 6 felony!
Running down a respected doctor, father, and husband and leaving him for dead? Misdemeanor.
Yeah, that seems fair and just.

Drivers with 10-15 license suspensions ‘not unusual’

I just don’t understand how we, as a society, came to view driving a car as some sort of God-given right.

Early in the morning of Sunday, August 1, Rebecca Thompson, a 42 year old mother of three and her dog were struck and killed while walking in Harrison Township. The driver, later identified as 24 year old Jimmie Picklesimer fled the scene.

After killing Rebecca Thompson, Picklesimer called 911, not to get help for the woman and dog he’d run down, but to claim that his 1992 Chevrolet S-10 pickup had been carjacked by an armed black man two blocks north of the crime scene. He told deputies that his assailant had taken his keys. Inconsistencies in his story and the fact that it was discovered he had the keys in his pocket naturally caused deputies to question his story. Picklesimer eventually admitted to hitting the woman and her dog, and also to having downed six beers prior to doing so.

Now, here’s the really disturbing part of the story. Picklesimer who, remember, is just 24, has had his license suspended 9 times and in 2006 he was convicted of driving without a license. 9 suspensions in roughly 8 years, yet this person was still licensed to drive. Am I the only one who thinks there is something very, very wrong with this scenario?

From The Dayton Daily News:

Local police say they regularly stop drivers with multiple license suspensions. “It’s not unusual to get a guy with 10 or 15 suspensions,” said veteran Dayton police Officer Randy Beane. “We spend a lot of time with individuals like this.”

How can the automotive culture and lawmakers in this country be so blinded by our love affair with our cars as to be willing to allow these people to drive, unhindered, until they kill someone?

Honest to God, how many times does a person have to demonstrate that they aren’t capable of safely operating a motor vehicle before the “justice” system takes that privilege away from them, for good?

*Source: Dayton Daily News. Link 1, Link 2, Link 3

Poachers Illegally Take 7 Deer – Get Off Far Too Lightly

It seems that two geniuses were spotlighting deer one night back in January. They managed to get the pick-up they were shooting from stuck in a farmer’s field as they tried to retrieve one of the downed deer. They then asked the landowner to pull their truck out. He refused and instead called the Game Warden.

Investigation revealed that the duo had two deer carcasses in the pick-up and five more back at the shooter’s residence. While being interviewed by officers, Cody Patton, 20, of Hillsboro, Ohio admitted that he had shot the deer with a rifle while his side-kick, Matt Leisure, 20 of Sabina, Ohio shined a spotlight on them.

Patton (the shooter) was ordered to pay a total of $5480 in restitution and court costs. His sentence also included a one-year hunting license revocation and forfeiture of the rifle used to kill the deer.

Leisure (the spotlighter) was ordered to pay fines and court costs totaling $858 and had his hunting license revoked for two years.

The fines levied against the shooter seem fair and reasonable, though it seems to me that the person holding the spotlight should be just as culpable as the shooter and should face the same punishment.

The problem I have is the paltry one and two year license revocation. Finding deer resting in a field, blinding them with a spotlight, then shooting them while they’re immobilized isn’t hunting, it’s just killing. I think that anyone who engages in such wanton killing should be banned from hunting permanently, or at the very least for a period of say, ten years.

Full newspaper article here, from the Wilmington News Journal.

Spotted in the Wild: The Dreaded Horn-honking Douchebag

Finally saw the horn-as-doorbell idiot in the flesh. While I was out working on my car (@ 8:15AM) there was a familiar blast of steam-boat sounding car horn. Stepping from behind the raised hood I’m face to face with a Cadillac full of (I’m assuming) carpoolers. Lady in the passenger seat says “we weren’t blowing at you, we were blowing for our friend”. I don’t know if they heard me say “Have you never heard of a fucking doorbell?” as I climbed into my car (whose windows, like theirs, were down), but I don’t really care.

What the hell is wrong with people? Surely at least one of those people, too lazy to walk to the front door, has a cell phone and could call their friend to announce their arrival, rather than entertaining the entire neighborhood with their charming novelty horn every Goddamned morning, at 8AM!

I Love New York (part 1)

“They” tell you not to make eye-contact with people in New York and for heaven’s sake, don’t speak to people in the city or on mass transit. I say ‘bullshit!’ Don’t talk to the visibly deranged or those who obviously don’t want to be bothered. Otherwise, go for it. Who knows what interesting conversations and experiences you might be missing, sitting in your insular fear-cloud.

Here’s a picture which perfectly illustrates my point:

Messenger on Metro North 5-15-09
Click to embiggen.

If I hadn’t engaged him in conversation I could have said “I saw an interesting bike messenger on the train.”

Since I did, I had the pleasure of chatting with him for a bit and when I asked if I could take his picture, he struck this great pose. Just as you’d suspect from the photo, he was a very colorful and interesting character; one I never would have met if I’d listened to “them” and their “conventional wisdom”.