Right, so here it is. Some guy from Utah got caught looking at kiddie porn on a flight to Boston. One of the other passengers got a gander at what he was watching on his laptop and notified the flight crew, who in turn notified the authorities, and he was arrested shortly after the plane landed. The story says he was in first class. Hmm, so not only is this guy a sick-o, but apparently he’s got more dollars than “sense”. (Sorry, dumb pun for a dumbass.) Read about it here.

Nov. 28, 2011 – Update

So, apparently the guy from Utah is a professor at the University of Utah, and he claims that he is not guilty. However, the passenger that caught him watching kiddie porn took a picture of what he was doing with his phone. Also, the police found images of young girls on his computer even though he’d tried to erase them. Again, can you say “Sick-o”? Read about this here.

A 79 year old woman who was mugged and beaten for her purse in Manchester England passed away the following day. She also happened to have her dead husband’s ashes in that purse, and they were lost as well. Two teens, aged 14 and 17, have been held for questioning in connection with the assault. Read more about it here. The whole thing is very sad.

Three people in southern Florida have pled guilty to scamming elderly folks out of their money for (get this) toilet paper. Oh, they scammed them into buying other crap too, but it was the reference to toilet paper that caught my attention. Read about it here.

Three have pled guilty, but there are three others awaiting trial. The allegedly got over a million dollars from their victims by claiming an association with the EPA, the FDA, and the Dept. of Agriculture. Damn, but you’ve got to be absolutely heartless to take advantage of gram and gramps like that. I mean, there are people everywhere that will take what they want rather than earn it, but when they target the vulnerable and weak. Hmm, that just seems particularly shitty to me. (Sorry, couldn’t help the puns.)

Apparently Black Friday had a little more impact than I previously believed. A new story has surfaced about a man who collapsed in a Target store and later died after nearly ALL of the shoppers around him completely ignored his distress. Two people, TWO, stopped and tried to help the man. An E. R. nurse and an off-duty paramedic were the only ones willing to do ANYTHING. The woman administered CPR, but the man passed away later at a local hospital. At least a couple of people made the effort, but apparently not before others casually strolled around, and even stepped over, the poor man’s body. Read about it here. It seems that for some people it really is all about the sale. Screw my fellow human being, look at the price on those slip covers!

A woman and her boyfriend were arrested earlier this week for locking the woman’s three-year old son in his room by nailing the door shut. Apparently they arrested the pregnant mother while she was at the hospital being treated for wounds the boyfriend gave her. The police said the little boy was suffering from an extremely bad rash (his diaper was soiled when they found him) when they had to KICK DOWN THE BEDROOM DOOR TO GET TO HIM. They also said the house was filthy, as in fecal matter, bugs, soiled diapers, and rotting food. You can read about it yourself here.

Holy Shit, how do these people live with themselves? Nailing the door shut on a toddler? I literally cannot find the words to describe how f*cked up that is. Have a gander at these two geniuses. Bleh, I’m feeling a little sick.

There’s always a lot of news coverage for Black Friday (*shudder*), and any incidents that crop up are trumpeted, but other than a few isolated idiots (see other posts) there wasn’t really much going on. Considering how many shoppers were out yesterday (millions nationwide) it could have been much worse. Just one crazy woman with a loaded can of pepper spray, an over-enthusiastic off-duty cop, and a few robbery/shootings outside retail stores. Check this story.  This one says there were only 15 people caught in the woman’s spray-for-all. Then there were the robberies, or attempted robberies might be a better description. I hesitate to call those specifically related to Black Friday (*shudder*) other than they happened to occur on that day. Other than that the average shopper got to pack themselves into box stores like sardines and push and shove their way to awesome (or are they?) deals. I still don’t understand the appeal, but hey – I hate shopping anyway.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as if pepper spray keeps popping up in the news lately. The most infamous incident, of course, is the protest at UC Davis when the campus police doused a group of peaceful protestors. I know, I know, they were told to move and refused, but c’mon people. They were just kids and they weren’t hurting anyone. Was the pepper spray really necessary? I’d have to say no, but that’s just my personal opinion.

There is also the incident in North Carolina where an off-duty officer sprayed a crowd. You can read the story in another post here at Anonymous Artichoke that specifically addresses it. Anyway, the officer claimed the crowd was getting out of hand and that he only sprayed a little “puff” in the air to regain control. That worked beautifully, of course. What better way to calm people down than to shoot a horrendously painful irritant at them?

Also, there’s the story about the elderly lady, the priest, and the pregnant woman who got sprayed at an Occupy protest in Seattle. Sounds like the opening line for a joke, doesn’t it? Unfortunately it isn’t. Read about it here. The police spokesman claimed that “Pepper spray was deployed only against subjects who were either refusing a lawful order to disperse or engaging in assaultive behavior toward officers” (www.seatlepi.com). Wow, so this 84-year-old woman must have been a hellcat I guess. Add in the priest and the pregnant woman and you’ve got a trio of major offenders there.

There were also several people arrested during the incident. A young girl who swung a stick at an officer, several individuals suspected of pedestrian interference, and a man who threw an unknown liquid on an officer. Hmm, it’s enough to make you think twice about visiting Seattle isn’t it? With all those dangerous people on the loose and all.

On a side note, I had to look up “pedestrian interference” because it sounded so damned stupid I just had to know what it was describing. Here is the definition straight from the Seattle Municipal Code*:
SMC 12A.12.015 Pedestrian interference.

A. The following definitions apply in this section:

1. “Aggressively beg” means to beg with the intent to intimidate another person into giving money or goods.

2. “Intimidate” means to engage in conduct which would make a reasonable person fearful or feel compelled.

3. “Beg” means to ask for money or goods as a charity, whether by words, bodily gestures, signs, or other means.

4. “Obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic” means to walk, stand, sit, lie, or place an object in such a manner as to block passage by another person or a vehicle, or to require another person or a driver of a vehicle to take evasive action to avoid physical contact. Acts authorized as an exercise of one’s constitutional right to picket or to legally protest, and acts authorized by a permit issued pursuant to the Street Use Ordinance, Chapters 15.02 through 15.50 of the Seattle Municipal Code, shall not constitute obstruction of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

5. “Public place” means an area generally visible to public view and includes alleys, bridges, buildings, driveways, parking lots, parks, plazas, sidewalks and streets open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings and the grounds enclosing them.

B. A person is guilty of pedestrian interference if, in a public place, he or she intentionally:

1. Obstructs pedestrian or vehicular traffic; or

2. Aggressively begs.

C. Pedestrian interference is a misdemeanor.

Legislative history/notes:

(Ord. 117104 Section 1, 1994: Ord. 116897 Section 1, 1993: Ord. 113697 Section 1, 1987.)

Cases: Subsection B 1 was upheld as constitutional in a challenge based on breadth and vagueness and does not deny equal protection of the laws. Seattle v. Webster, 115 Wn.2d 635, 802 P.2d 1333 (1990).

*Here is the site if you want to look for yourself.

A man who apparently styles himself as a “superhero”, complete with costume and mask, used pepper spray to disperse a fight outside a bar in Seattle. Read the story here. I’m not sure what to make of this one. On the one hand, dressing up in a body suit, wearing a mask, and acting out your fantasies as an “alter ego” is definite therapy territory. On the other hand, stepping in to break up a fight could be seen as the action of a good Samaritan. You’ll have to read the story and judge for yourself. There just isn’t enough information there for me to say, but I couldn’t help posting it here because of the reference to pepper spray . . . and the superhero bit. *Chuckles* Anyone see that movie Kick Ass?

I shudder in fear just hearing those two words. Black Friday. Masses of retail shoppers foaming at the mouth for great deals on everything from clothing to electronic devices. I’ve never been a Black Friday (*shudder*) shopper myself, but I have been there from the other side. I worked for one of the retail giants a number of years ago as an assistant manager. Furbies were the “must have” toy of the season to give you some idea of how long ago that was. All of the managers had to get together and link arms to keep shoppers from grabbing boxes off the pallets before the sale was on. We had arguments, pushing and shoving, and even a fist fight. To this day I still have to shake my head at the insanity of it all. What material item do any of us need so badly that it causes such atrocious behavior? This year the big story so far is the woman who used her pepper spray on the rest of the crowd, but remember when that poor Wal-Mart employee was trampled by a Black Friday crowd? A person actually lost their life in the quest for a “great bargain”. Unbelievable.

Personally, I just don’t get it. My money is earned through hard work and dedication, and I’m not in so much of a hurry to throw it away that I would fight other people just for the chance to spend it on worthless crap. I mean, I have kids, and I understand how good it makes you feel to get them that perfect gift. However, I’ve got to say, not at the expense of mine and my family’s dignity. What lesson are your children learning from you when you behave that way? That it’s OK to assault other people for stuff as long as you get a bargain? I wonder how that woman who used pepper spray on the crowd is explaining that to her kids. It makes me sad and disappointed in my fellow human beings when I see things like this. What have we become when we’re willing to hurt other people in pursuit of a sale?

This time it was the security at a Wal-Mart who used the pepper spray. Check out the story here. One man had to take his granddaughter to the emergency room for treatment when the spray triggered her asthma (msnbc.com).