Mindless Repetition vs. Allusion

The headline is Sweep, it is: Gordon, Volquez guide Royals past Twins 7-2.

Friends, countrymen, do you think the 20 something Web producer has mangled an allusion to The Jackie Gleason Show, where Jackie Gleason used the catchphrase “How sweet it is”? Do you think the phrase has been thrown into the blender of modern American culture over the last fifty years, divorcing it from its origins, so that people today almost repeat it without knowing where it came from?

If so, it’s quite the metaphor for modern America in so many ways, where current utterances and thoughts are far divorced from their origins.

Or I suppose the headline writer could have put those words together that way because Yoda would. But Yoda would have used the article in front of sweep.

There Was One Man

With terrorists operating with impunity in tribal areas of Pakistan, there was one man who could bring order to the provinces.

A decorated veteran, he turned his back on the military until he was drawn reluctantly back into battle.

Older now, a world-weary sportsman leaps from his patrol boat with nothing but his M-16 and his determination to set things right.

Kerry II: The Warlords of Pakistan.

The movie has already been written from this headline:
Kerry in Pakistan to shore up counterterror cooperation.

I’ll blurb it: “Reminiscent of Genghis Khan!”

Prosecution as Puzzle Game

Woman who left gun in Brookfield church faces new charge:

Eight months after an Oconomowoc woman left her loaded handgun in a Brookfield church restroom, she is facing a new criminal charge, while her husband will likely avoid prosecution for a similar incident at a Door County amusement park.

Susan Hitchler, 67, beat the initial charge of negligent handling of a weapon when a Waukesha County judge dismissed a criminal complaint in June.

Now, a prosecutor has charged Hitchler with disorderly conduct. Gun rights advocates say Hitchler turned down an offer to avoid the charge if she would give up her concealed carry permit and forfeit her Ruger .380 caliber gun.

Apparently, it is not explicitly against the law to accidentally leave your gun in a bathroom in Wisconsin. But that’s not going to stop the prosecutor, who will try a little button-mashing on the statutes to get some conviction. Because this prosecutor knows this woman’s actions were wrong, and this prosecutor apparently is in the business of prosecuting those who do wrong instead of those who break the law.

Reading the article, it looks like the woman and her husband either have a major case of the whoopsies in this department, or they’re having the normal number of whoopsies in this department but the authorities have their eyes all upon them.

In no way am I advocating careless handling and forgetting of firearms, but I don’t wonder if they represent a talisman of extra bad. People leave dangerous things lying around once in a while, including knives, chemicals, prescription drugs. I mean, my pocket knife falls out of my pants pocket once in a while. Is that negligent handling of a weapon or disorderly conduct in Waukesha County? If the wrong person or a child picked it up, couldn’t something bad happen? Isn’t that the argument usually made to go treat guns differently from everything else?

If leaving a heater unattended is going to be against the law, perhaps a legislative body should pass this as a law explicitly and leave the prosecutor’s creative endeavors to model trains or weekend painting classes.

I’ll Take Misleading Headlines For $200, Alex

Stealing canned corn could bring 10-year prison term

What is this? A story of a three-strikes-and-your-out mishap, where some starving miser steals a can of corn to feed his malnourished children and faces an inhumane sentence because he’s stolen two cans of corn previously? Not hardly.

The specific charge to which both Nunn and Sherley pleaded guilty involves a theft that occurred on May 11, 2013, at the Snappy Mart Truck Stop in West Plains. Nunn and Sherley stole a 2000 Wabash trailer (valued at $7,500), which contained a load of Green Giant canned corn (valued at $73,008).

The trailer, owned by Bryant Freight, was in transit from Minnesota to a food bank in Arkansas. Nunn and Sherley admitted they traveled through Missouri and Indiana with the stolen cargo before being apprehended in Michigan.

They stole a trailer full of corn. Bound for a food bank.

And they’d done this before.

Canned corn, indeed. Maybe the headline writer couldn’t spell trailer and load of cargo.

Not Exactly Strangers

Headline: Two Missouri dads arrested after fight at kindergarteners’ play.

It sounds like it might be an instance of a couple of competitive paterfamilias duking it out over whose urchin made the better barnyard animal or something, does it not?

In reality:

One of the men was the stepfather of a child in the play. The other was his biological father.

Yeah, that’s a domestic disturbance in an exotic location.

Bonus points to the actual article writer, too, for making it sound like a double homicide.

Tortoise Death Panels

The government subsidizes a living creature, and when the money runs out, it’s dirt nap time:

Federal funds are running out at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center and officials plan to close the site and euthanize hundreds of the tortoises they’ve been caring for since the animals were added to the endangered species list in 1990.

You see, they have these endangered living creatures that they can no longer continue to provide for with tax dollars.

So do they put them out in the wild and let them take their chances? No, that’s inhumane.

Do they put them up for adoption in case the individuals or organizations can take care of them? No, that’s inhumane.

Euthanasia is the only answer.

The threat of just killing the turtles (If we can’t have them, NOBODY CAN!) is designed to either get the Federal fiscal firehose turned back on or get more private donations. But private donations are fickle, and Federal funds are forever, or the tortoise get it.

Old 880 Honored by the United States Mint

The new $100 bills, as reimagined by Old 880:

For the past few years, the Federal Reserve has been preparing to introduce a redesigned hundred-dollar bill into circulation. It will have a Liberty Bell that changes color, a new hidden message on Ben Franklin’s collar, and tiny 3-D images that move when you tilt the bill this way or that. But delay has followed delay. And now again: The New Yorker has learned that another production snafu has taken place at one of the country’s two currency factories, according to a document from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

The cause of the latest blunder is something known as “mashing,” according to Darlene Anderson, a spokeswoman for the bureau. When too much ink is applied to the paper, the lines of the artwork aren’t as crisp as they should be, like when a kid tries to carefully color inside the lines—using watercolors and a fat paintbrush.

Old 880, as you might remember, was a bad counterfeiter of $1 bills.

(Link via Instapundit.)

Missouri Leads the Way in Avoiding Passage of Faddish, Ineffective Legislation Outlawing More and More Individual Behaviors

Well, that’s not how the papers cast it, of course. They say Missouri still lags in passing key driver safety laws, mainly driving while texting.

Have you ever noticed how the newspapers always point out that this district or that community (or state) has ‘fallen behind’ others in their rates of taxation and that when legislative bodies don’t rush headlong to curtail freedom by outlawing this or outlawing that or by spending public monies profligately, that the government is somehow falling down on the job?

It’s almost as though the papers think freedom of the press means only the press should be free or something.

Get Daddy’s Halberd; He’s Going to Help

The headline seems to indicate a volunteering opportunity:

Help sought in attacks

But it doesn’t appear like we’re going to storm a castle after all.

The subhead confuses me a little: “Postal carriers ask the city for assistance with aggressive dogs”.

What does that mean? Would I be helping the postal carriers, the dogs, or the city in a double-cross of the postal carriers?

I suppose I could read the article, but headlines are much more fun without the stories, where I fill in the gaps myself. Kind of like politics and governance.