At Least There Were No Casualties This Time

Today’s top story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Rams’ Little is accused of DWI.

At least he didn’t kill anyone this time.

Here’s what I wrote when he was sentenced for killing Susan Gutweiler in The Cynic Express(ed) 3.02:

    A St. Louis Court has just this afternoon upheld the precedent that
    although the law in our nation maintains that everyone is equal before
    the blind, deaf, and especially dumb Maiden Justice, some animals are
    more equal than others. Now in our very heartland, much like on this
    nation’s more enlightened Left Coast, football players can kill innocent
    women with near impunity.

    Last October, Leonard Little, intoxicated Star Bonecrusher of some
    sort or another for the St. Louis Rams, ran a red light in his great big
    new Mercury Decimator sport utility vehicle and, true to his title,
    rammed a smaller car that was quite lawfully making its way through our
    downtown St. Louis streets. Susan Gutweiler died from it.

    Gutweiler, a mother from Oakville, a suburb to the southwest of St.
    Louis improper, died because she was in the right place—crossing an
    intersection according to all applicable traffic laws—at the wrong time,
    when a local footballer on the sixth-rate tax abatement and corporate
    incentive money hole that passes for an NFL team in this town happened
    out at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong blood alcohol
    content and at the wrong speed. And she died, as the Post-Dispatch put
    it, “later of her injuries.” Suffered when two tons of blood alcohol
    content and metal compacted her proletariat car.

    At least the media have not been silent throughout the debacle.
    Although Gutweiler’s family will have to go on without a mother and a
    wife, at least Leonard Little’s story is being told. The St. Louis
    Rams, when their coach Dick, capital D-I-C-K, Vermeil has taken time to
    reflect on crime and punishment in the United States, issued a frank and
    thought provoking statement that the St. Louis Rams are not afraid to
    embrace all members of their team, even those who get lit and run down
    actual practicing members of Family Values.

    No, the St. Louis media have emphasized the claims from Little’s
    attorneys, therapists, and other millennial swamis that Little needs to
    get back to work making the bountiful dollars that those of us here in
    the inner ring suburbs can imagine only remotely. It’s part of the
    healing process for him to get back out onto the field crashing into
    other felons and earning the adulation of a public which bemoans the
    collapse of society and the dearth of character in strangers but doesn’t
    confuse the man’s personal life with the great job he does. No, Leonard
    Little just wants to move on, find closure, and put it all behind him
    that she got in front of him. Susan Gutweiler would probably have
    wanted to move on, too, if she weren’t dead.

    I know, I know, I should probably calm down. After all, the St.
    Louis court today handed down the punishment for Leonard Little. Ninety
    days in jail—NINETY DAYS IN JAIL–and four years’ probation. And the
    conditions of the probation are pretty strict, I’ll admit. No booze, no
    bars, no intoxicating substances. After all, the Post-Dispatch does
    emphasize that he faces testing. It’s already obvious that he doesn’t
    have the decency, self-discipline, or common sense not to drive
    intoxicated without someone, maybe like a gruff-but-with-a-heart-of-gold
    coach, on his case(where’s Billy Martin when you need him?). It’s not
    as though Leonard Little, the Leonard Little who’s the linebacker for
    the St. Louis Rams, wrote a Word Macro virus which crashed e-mail
    servers or anything; he just struck someone down dead.

    I don’t want to calm down. After the decision, the only quote from
    the victim’s family and the only outrage I have heard so far, is that
    someone should take justice into his or her own hands. That’s it. Just
    a heated little quote certain to paint the family as unrealistic and
    possibly vengeance seeking. I couldn’t blame them. After all, the
    mishmash of judicial and legal wisdom has decided that Susan Gutweiler’s
    forty-seven years of life are worth ninety days in jail, less than two
    days per year.

    Maybe I am just cynical. Not nearly as cynical as the buzzing
    cloud around Leonard Little, the sycophants that tell him and us that
    it’s not his fault and that somehow it serves the greater good for
    society that the Little boy can drive about freely and play football,
    but I’m getting there.

On the other hand, this time Little has not been found guilty of driving while intoxicated; perhaps he wasn’t. However, with one decal of a downed car already on his fuselage, I expect the worst from Little.

Taranto’s Tattler

Not to brag or anything, but look who’s in the Thanks To section of Best of the Web for Thursday, April 22, 2004:

(Carol Muller helps compile Best of the Web Today. Thanks to Catherine Brooks, David Eike, Terry Young, S.E. Brenner, Gary Petersen, Darren Gold, Thomas Campanile, Mark Van Der Molen, Erik Smelser, P.F. Erlin, Ben Sandler, Lynn Segal, Scott Lawrence, Bill Buckingham, Russell Zwerg, John Esposito, Alan Stahura, Daniel Mark, Ed Holton, Chip Paschal, Don Hunt, Ted Rathkopf, Brian Noggle, Gil Yoder, Michael Williams, Jeff Touchet, Erik Ivers, John Corringan, Ken Shotwell, John Sanders, Mike Hohman, Jonathan Mairs, Stephen Silkowski, Cheryl Pedersen and Bradley Lawrence. If you have a tip, write us at opinionjournal@wsj.com, and please include the URL.)

They forgot the J, but that’s okay.

So you better all straighten up, or I am telling Taranto.

Our Understanding Is Right, Yours Is Wrong

After a Chuck-A-Rama-(But-Not-That-Mucha) restaurant manager threw out a low-carb eating couple for eating too much roast beef at a buffet restaurant, district manager Jack Johnson proved that not all PR is good PR when he said:

“We’ve never claimed to be an all-you-can-eat establishment,” said Johanson. “Our understanding is a buffet is just a style of eating.”

Mr. Johnson’s understanding implies that you pay full price to the buffet style restaurant for the convenience of not having a server attend you, not for the ability to eat until you’re full.

Smile, Mr. Johnson; you’ve just made a politician of yourself before the whole Internet.

(Link seen on Fark.)

“Sqwak!” The Anti Gun Crowd Says

By now, we’ve all heard the story about the freighter seized in Italy with a bunch of AK assault rifles hidden aboard, destined for the United States.

Here’s the lead for the New York Post story:

A Florida-based arms company is at the center of the international probe into a New York-bound ship seized in Italy while laden with thousands of Kalashnikov assault rifles, The Post has learned.

The AK-47s were apparently bound for Vermont.

Officials have linked Century International Arms Inc. in Boca Raton to the discovery of a cache of 7,500 AK-47s hidden beneath piles of properly labeled arms in several cargo containers confiscated in the port of Gioia Tauro in southern Italy several days ago.

So that would mean that some illegal automatic weapons were being illegally shipped, nay, smuggled towards the United States. What could be better?

The startling seizure prompted Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Nassau) to call for a renewal of the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons, which is slated to expire Sept. 13.

“We know al Qaeda training manuals have encouraged terrorists to obtain assault weapons in the United States,” she said.

Oh, yeah, that. Renewing a law that wouldn’t apply to these weapons anyway, simply because some nitwit member of the House of Representatives can put the words assault weapon and Al Qaeda in a soundbite.

Thank goodness Al Qaeda training videos don’t involve attack dogs, or we’d be stripped of our Chiahuahuas, too.

No Irony Intended

With no sense of irony, I am sure, StLToday.com posted these stories atop each other in the Business section today:


St. John’s workers oust union
:

Maintenance workers at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center voted 28 to 13 on Wednesday to decertify the United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 as their collective bargaining agent.

The union has until next week to protest the conduct of the election. If it does not, the National Labor Relations board will authorize the decertification. A plumbers-union official did not return a phone call Thursday. The maintenance workers’ contract expired Dec. 31, 2002.

Like the jingle, union label fades away

Calls for “Buy Union-Made” and “Buy American” might appear nostalgic in a day when X-rays of American patients are analyzed by physicians abroad and U.S.-produced shoes are nearly impossible to find.

But the union movement hopes its 130-year-old message to buy products with the union label and more recent calls to buy American are reinvigorated amid the growing debate about overseas outsourcing of service jobs and the steady loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States.

“First of all, union-made in the USA is No. 1. If you can’t find union-made, at least buy American-made,” said Charles E. Mercer, president of the AFL-CIO’s Union Label and Service Trades Department. “We say it in the same breath, the same sentence.”

Hmm. Perhaps it’s that American workers are tired of paying viggorish for the opportunity to strike put themselves out of work in the name of more pay and job security? [No, it’s that those damn capitalists are exploiting the workers we’re supposed to exploit. –Ed aka “Spike” (Local 355)]

World Exclusive!

It’s common knowledge that John Kerry communes with dolphins:

“He [President Bush] thinks that empty slogans like the ‘Clear Skies’ initiative and the ‘Healthy Forest’ initiative — that somehow names that would make George Orwell rise up and cheer — that those names will make people forget what is really happening in our country.”

Almost on cue, a dolphin slipped through the water. “There he is over there,” Kerry said. “He says, ‘help, help, help.”‘

“Help, help, help,” is not all the dolphin had to say. We here at All Things Belittled have an exclusive interview with Kerry’s guest star. (Warning: 2.7 Mb Mp3).

Put Your Back Into It

Some phishers don’t even seem to be trying. Here’s one such e-mail I got today:

From: *Citi_C_a_r_d_s~Members
To: stlbrianj@hotmail.com
Subject: Citionline |E-Mail| Verification – stlbrianj@hotmail.com
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 19:42:58 +0000
MIME-Version: 1.0
Received: from cdm-66-76-235-89.tyrd.cox-internet.com ([66.76.235.89]) by
mc3-f40.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(5.0.2195.6824); Thu, 22 Apr 2004
12:35:09 -0700
X-Message-Info: 6sSXyD95QpXLoZz646LSJ7Ue2E0865la
Return-Path: BarbMartincich@ihaveahugecrotch.com
Message-ID:
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 22 Apr 2004 19:35:10.0582 (UTC)
FILETIME=[ECCAF960:01C428A0]

To_veerification_of _your_ [Email] address click on_the_link :

[hyperlink deleted to protect you, gentle reader.]

and enter in the |ittle window_ _your_ Citi ATM/Debit full_Card_number and
Pin
that you use in local Atm_Machine..

8QkooH8y8N eg4f36 5f7l0ly3v2e3h3x3f6c 7d022oda n9dh 7vz1h020z kNoph86

Like I’m going to fall for that again.

Punct’ed

Harvey at Bad Money speaks word punctuation to power:

The purpose of punctuation is to reproduce the pauses and vocal inflections of the spoken word, thus allowing the writer’s intended meaning to be made as clearly as possible.

It is a servant, not a master, so use it any way you wish, as long as it helps you get your point across.

Now, let him try to convince my mother-in-law, the former English teacher. Good luck, Harv. I’ll be behind you with a dust pan, ready to collect your pieces.

A Government of the People, By the People, and For the People in Government

I was going to comment upon the unequal-before-the-eyes-of-the-law treatment received by Representative John Hostettler of Indiana, who mistakenly brought a gun to the airport as he was getting ready to fly back to Washington, but someone’s beaten me to it.

Did the TSA throw him down, surround him, rough him up a bit, and then whisk him to jail for a quick trial and felony sentence? Of course not, he’s not a citizen, he’s a legislator. They took his gun to hold for him and put him on a later flight.

Owen at Boots and Sabers has a complete compare and contrast for you.

Easter Egg

Spoons has come clean and has admitted:

    For some reason which is quite unfathomable to me, certain sections of the blogosphere are all abuzz over the question of whether coed blogger, “Hot Abercrombie Chick,” might really be a a dude.

    I’m not sure why this really matters,, but since it apparently does to some people, I feel I owe my readers a confession. I’m not actually a 32-year-old cranky male lawyer in central Illinois. I’m actually a 65-year-old widow and retired plus-size lingerie model from Butte, Montana.

    And my supposed wife “Laura” is actually just a raccoon that I sometimes see in my backyard. I think she’s trying to steal the birdseed I put out.

As a matter of full disclosure, I must too explain the source of the text you see here.

    This blog generated by Documatic 3000 Libertarian Blog Plug-In.

    LBPI renders real-time, current event feedback generated by algorithms that scour RSS feeds, content aggregators, and news sites for certain keywords and provide correct responses to keywords within the content.

    For example, LBPI reliably provides the following post responses:

    Keyword

    Response
    Eminent Domain

    The gummint is stripping people of our assets, flying in the face of sacred property rights!
    Taxes

    The gummint is stripping people of our hard-earned money, flying in the face of sacred property rights and fiscal responsibility!
    Jewel

    Jewel rox!
    Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand rox!
    George W. Bush

    George W. Bush rox compared to John Kerry.
    <end of post marker reached>

    Thank you, that is all.

    As the Documatic 3000 extensible architecture is proven in field tests such as this, look for an IPO soon.

Thank you, that is all.

Last 20 Books You Have Read

The Gleeful Extremist thinks that the last 20 books you have read say a lot about you. TGE then tries to list the last he’s read.

Come on. You readers know the last 20 books I have read; I find a minute or two to scratch out a paragraph or two about each for you, gentle readers. Let’s recap, shall we, since you skip over the reviews to get to the snarky stuff:

  1. Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven
  2. Naked Beneath My Clothes by Rita Rudner
  3. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  4. The Book Wars by James Atlas
  5. Rumpelstiltskin by Ed McBain
  6. Years of Minutes by Andy Rooney
  7. All the Trouble in the World by P.J. O’Rourke
  8. The Black Corridor by Michael Moorcock
  9. Make Room for TV by Lynn Spigel
  10. Time Flies by Bill Cosby
  11. Ghost by Piers Anthony
  12. Freefall by William and Marilyn Mona Hoffer
  13. Bad Business by Robert B. Parker
  14. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
  15. Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen
  16. Give Me a Break by John Stossel
  17. The Dilbert Future by Scott Adams
  18. Full Court Press by Mike Lupica
  19. Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks
  20. Video Fever by Charles Beamer

What does that say about me? Hecht if I know. Want to know what I am reading now?

  • The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick
  • Introduction to Philosophy by Baruch Brody
  • Fielder’s Choice by someone
  • Bob Greene’s America by Bob Greene

I guess I like collections of newspaper columns. There’s one insight for you. Lileks, Green, O’Rourke, and Adams did newspaper things. And comedians. Rudner, Cosby, Rooney, and so on.

Are my fifty minutes up already, Doctor?

(Link seen on this week’s Bonfire of the Vanities.)

You Down with DDT?

Virginia Postrel comments on a Tina Rosenberg NYT Magazine article:

Two million people a year, most of them little kids, are dying because of the West’s anti-DDT superstition. Two…million…people…a…year.

Anti-DDT taboos undoubtedly kill even more than that, since the debilitation caused by malaria helps keep Africa desperately poor. But, hey, they’re Africans. We got rid of malaria here, so we don’t give a damn. I bet the NYT Mag gets letters from people outraged at Rosenberg’s audacity in pointing out the problem.

Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows rebuts:

hey farmer farmer
put away the DDT
i dont care about spots on my apples
[and, apparently, two million dead people on a continent far away –ed.]
leave me the birds and the bees
please!