Archive for the 'Crime' Category

Mar 18 2008

Connecting The Dots: Supreme Court Arguments

A quick observation and inference:

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today on the meaning of the Second Amendment (it’s examining whether Washington D.C.’s gun ban is unconstitutional, and in deciding that issue will likely discuss whether the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms). It also recently agreed to hear a case on the FCC’s power to prohibit foul language on the airwaves.

Here’s my prediction:

The Supremes will decide that we don’t have an unfettered right to defend ourselves with firearms.

But we’ll be able to swear about that as much as we want.

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Mar 16 2008

Weaponizing … Food!

Published by under Crime,Weaponry,WTF?

One thing that I focus on in this blog is the creation of original content. In other words, blogs primarily full of links to other work don’t interest me as much as blogs where more effort goes into them.

Nevertheless, given the emergence of a mini-theme on Mind Scalpel these last few days of the weaponization of everyday things, I could not resist highlighting this story in the <shudder> Boston Globe:

Owner fights off meat thief with frozen ham

March 15, 2008

GLOUCESTER, Mass.—A prosciutto-wielding meat thief in Gloucester met his match when a restaurant owner fought off the assault by slamming the thief’s face with a ham.

Joe Scola of Scola’s Place heard a noise in his restaurant Wednesday, then saw a man fleeing with his arms full of meat from Scola’s freezer.

Scola caught up, and started taking the meat back.

That’s when the man raised a five pound log of frozen prosciutto over his head, presumably to whack Scola.

Luckily, Scola had his own frozen pig product on hand.

He tells the Gloucester Daily Times that he slammed the ham in the man’s face, leaving a gash. The thief was so stunned, he dropped the meat and ran.

Police searched the area, but couldn’t find the suspect.

Possibilities abound, here: “Look out! He’s packing meat!” “We must address the problem of assault prosciutto…”.

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Mar 12 2008

Client 9: The Web Site

Okay, no schadenfreude on Mind Scalpel! I have an entirely different blog devoted to that.

Well, maybe a little schadenfreude. Fine, it’s a schadenfreude fest! I bathe in schadenfreude.

But the main thing I wanted to do is give a nod in the direction of Nick Galbreath, a New York resident whose domain-registration reflexes are as sharp as those 13-year-olds who, jacked up on Jolt and Red Bull, play Halo 2, Team Fortress 2 and other fine first-person shooter computer games with eye-blurring speed.

See, apparently within minutes of the Eliot Spitzer Emperor-Has-No-Clothes Club VIP scandal breaking on March 10, Mr. Galbreath registered the domain name. No word yet on what Mr. Galbreath intends to do with the domain, but he does have a blog at with a cryptic FAQ about it. Come on, Nick, make some bucks!

Now that I am on this subject, I have to say that I am just aching for one of these spouses who is forced to do the “clutch walk” (degrading parade to confessional podium clutching hand of philandering spouse) to interrupt her husband’s speech, right after he says “Good Morning,” by shoving him out of the way, grabbing the mic, and saying “That’s enough out of you, Eliot, you pathetic bastard. My god, I can’t believe I actually married someone named “Eliot.” Or “Spitzer,” for that matter. Okay, reporters, here’s a short list of my husband’s inadequacies… [ten minute laundry list, with reference to new web site with more details, maybe titled “www.daddys-five-hundred-million- dollar-fortune-isnt-enough-to-compensate-for-being-married-to-”], and I’ve drained a few million dollars from our bank account to pay for the ten nastiest lawyers in the country to break our prenup.”

That must happen someday soon to terminate this whole drag-your-shellshocked-wife-to-the-podium-as-cover phenomenon. It’s disgusting. Make the walk alone, dude; take it like a man.

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Jan 29 2008

One Frenchman Beats A Hundred Monkeys

Published by under Crime,Technology

Proving that computers radically increase the efficiency with which people can commit world-shattering screwups, one 31-year-old French guy banging on a keyboard managed to aerosolize $7 billion of his bank’s assets.

This is remarkable, not least because the French are notoriously averse to any sort of serious, sustained effort at pretty much anything other than the courtship of former supermodels or protesting the removal of 35-hour work week limitations. So either this Jerome Kerviel guy was an unusually industrious Frenchman, or technology was the force-multiplier that enabled this market-crashing trainwreck.

As is sometimes the case, a seemingly unrelated news story occurring at about the same time as the above event provides a good illustration of the magnitude of this event. I am referring, of course, to the recent headlines about a Japanese chimpanzee who proved better at memorization than an international memory expert.

This naturally led me to wonder how Monsieur Kerviel might stack up against a competing monkey for monetary-destruction skills.
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Jan 27 2008

Public Service Marketing = Demonize the White Guy

(Non-humorous screed alert!)

Alright, this one was so damn subtle it almost slipped by me. But not subtle enough!

Currently, there is in at least one East Coast market a radio ad campaign for “Wireless Amber Alerts.” One ad features someone who is obviously supposed to be a police dispatcher making a radio call for an Amber Alert — the abducted child is said to be something like a “six-year-old African American girl.”

The suspect?

A “Caucasian male, 30-35 years old, blue shirt, black jeans, 180 pounds…”.

I’m in favor of the Amber Alert system, and I think the addition of the Wireless Amber Alert text messaging system is a great idea — in fact, I went to the web site to sign up for it.

Then I heard the above radio ad again, a few times.

And I thought, wtf?

Why, exactly, was this particular racial combination (African-American victim; Caucasian suspect/offender) chosen to be the example for the Wireless Amber Alert ad? How often, based on actual statistical evidence, is that particular racial combination of the suspect/offender and victim present?
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