Saturday, June 26, 2010

Couple tries to sell baby at Walmart; 'Save More, Live Better?'

A couple, possibly feeling they could "live better" without their baby, and with some extra cash, tried to sell their baby outside a Walmart on Tuesday. Unlike Walmart's always falling prices, they raised the price after an initial rebuff.

The incident happened on Tuesday around 7:20 PM. PDT outside a Walmart in Salinas, California, when a Patrick Alan Fousek, 38, approached two women and asked if they'd like to buy his child for $25. Samantha Tomasini, 20, was reportedly in a car nearby.

The women rebuffed Fousek, who then raised the price to $75, and shoved the child into the arms of one woman. The women then called 911.

However, the couple had left before police arrived, but based on the description provided by the women, police eventually found the couple, with baby all right, but her parents high on meth.

The defendants are charged with felony child endangerment, which carries a four-year maximum sentence, and misdemeanor charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of a meth pipe.

The couple was arraigned on Friday, but both are being held in segregated, lockdown cells at the Monterey County Jail. Reportedly, Fousek was attacked by fellow inmates Thursday night after details of the incident were shown on TV. Fousek was transported to Natividad Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries, including two cracked ribs, before being returned to jail.

Watch a video report:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Woman Punched by Cop Apologizes for Provoking Incident

Many pushed Seattle police officer Ian Walsh under the bus for punching a 17-year-old teenager in the face. That was, until they carefully viewed the video (embedded below), and saw her shove him before that punch. That still-unnamed Seattle teen has now apologized to the officer in a private meeting.

Authorities say officer Walsh accepted the apology Friday. Meanwhile, the King County, WA prosecutor charged the 17-year-old girl with third-degree assault, but as a juvenile. As such, that charge is punishable by a maximum 30 days in detention.

The original incident occurred Monday. The teen interfered in a friend's jaywalking arrest. James Kelly of the Urban League of Seattle said he requested Friday's meeting to help calm the situation.

Despite the apology, which seemingly clears officer Walsh, authorities say the matter is still under investigation. The department's civilian-led Office of Professional Accountability is looking Walsh's actions.

Watch the incident below:

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cop Punches Woman, Video Goes Viral

This YouTube video, of a Seattle, WA cop punching a woman in the face has gone viral, an example of what police shouldn't do if someone's around, period. Nowadays just about everyone has a cell phone that can record video, after all.

It turns out that four women were jaywalking, and the officer had them come over. Things escalated, and he was trying to handcuff the first woman (a 19-year-old) when the second one, a 17-year-old, came over. It is clear from the video that the 17-year-old pushed the officer (as pictured above). At that point, the officer punches the 17-year-old in the face.

Get your TASER C2 Gold Package Today!In a situation where he is clearly outnumbered, it's difficult to fault the officer. At which point, one must ask, did the second woman feel it was OK to assault the officer, and why didn't the first one just cooperate?

Undoubtedly, there's going to be arguments over the incident, and also undoubtedly, there will be "race" brought into the picture. The Seattle police have responded to the incident, and issued this statement.
"You obviously have to take into context everything that occurred from the point that the officer did make contact with the individuals until the situation ended. As I said before, we have some concerns about the tactics the officer used and employed at the time. Again, we did feel what occurred did deserve a review by the Office of Professional Accountability."
Watch the video, and decide for yourself.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sixty-two foot 'Touchdown Jesus' statue goes down in flames

One of southwestern Ohio's most familiar landmarks, the "King of Kings" statue, which is a six-story tall statue of Jesus Christ first erected in 2004, has been burned to the ground. The statue, which stood with an image of Jesus with his arms outstretch, had been nicknamed "Touchdown Jesus."

$10 off $40 or more: Code BABW10 BuildABear.comThe 62-foot-tall statue, covered in fiber glass, was built by the Solid Rock Church (Monroe, OH)’s at an estimated cost of more the $250,000. In addition to the most popular nickname of "Touchdown Jesus," the statue, which has now been reduced to a pile of rubble, has other popular monickers, such as Big Butter Jesus (as seen in the photo, it is a sort of buttery color) and Drowning Jesus (as the statue's body seems to be half immersed in water).

Watch Touchdown Jesus go down in flames in this embedded video:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Taliban hangs seven-year-old boy accused of spying

The Taliban has executed a 7-year-old boy, it has been reported. The child, whom the Taliban accused of being a spy for the Afghanistan government, has reportedly been hanged, after being placed on trial and found guilty.

The boy was killed on Tuesday in Helmand province. When asked about the incident, Afghan president Hamid Karzai said the following,
"A seven-year-old boy cannot be a spy. A seven-year-old boy cannot be anything but a seven-year-old boy. And therefore, hanging or shooting to kill a seven-year-old, regardless of whatever reason one would give for it, is a crime against humanity."
While the so-called spy label has been used as a reason by the Taliban, Daoud Ahmadi, the spokesman for the provincial governor of Helmand province, gave another. He said that the killing happened days after the boy's grandfather, Abdul Woodod Alokozai, spoke out against militants in their home village.
"His grandfather is a tribal elder in the village and the village is under the control of the Taliban. His grandfather said some good things about the government and he formed a small group of people to stand against the Taliban. That's why the Taliban killed his grandson in revenge."
Watch a video report.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Dina Lohan: Lindsay's SCRAM bracelet set off by spilled drink

Many celebrities, as well as their relatives, appear to believe that the public and law enforcement are as smart, or rather, as dumb, as they are. Witness Lindsay Lohan's mother Dina, who said:
"She was at the MTV Awards and somebody spilled a drink on her leg, which must have set off the SCRAM bracelet. She has done absolutely nothing wrong and shouldn't have to wear the bracelet in the first place. She is doing absolutely fine."
Serious PerformanceOne doesn't have to be an expert to know that a spilled drink on a SCRAM monitoring device would register significantly more alcohol that would be possible in a person's bloodstream. Does she really think we will believe that?

While one doesn't have to be an expert to figure that out, here's an expert's opinion, anyway. AJ Gigler, SCRAM’s National Sales Manager, said:
“When somebody spills something on someone’s leg or arm or even directly on the device, it’s going to show a very stark and quick peak for alcohol detection, which compared to what is humanly possible through absorption rates is going to look drastically different than that of some ingested alcohol."
The fact that Lohan remains out of jail points to both her wealth, as well as so-called celebrity entitlement. Anyone else would have been sent to prison already, and these impossibly foolish excuses (let's not forget she also missed a court appearance because her passport was stolen. Right.) be damned.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

$200,000 and celebrity entitlement: Lohan avoids jail again

Lindsay Lohan avoided jail again, by posting another $200,000 in bail money. According to People magazine, Lohan's SCRAM ankle monitor alerted authorities Sunday night while she attended an after-party for the MTV Movie Awards.

This was enough for Beverly Hills Judge Marsha Revel to issue a bench warrant late Tuesday for Lohan's arrest, claiming the 23-year-old actress was "in violation for conditions on bail." Her prior $100,000 bail was revoked because of the violation; another $200,000 in bail was paid.

It's unclear what triggered the alarm, but the obvious thought would be, seeing as how it was a party, that Lohan took one (or more) drinks. The SCRAM bracelet detects alcohol in a person's perspiration.

An additional possibility is that Lohan tried to interfere with the bracelet somehow, so she could take a drink.

Of course, Lohan denied any wrongdoing, posting the following on Twitter:
My scram wasn't set off-Its physically impossible considering I've nothing for it to go off-All of these false resports are absolutely wrong
Wearing the monitoring bracelet was part of the requirements imposed by Revel after Lohan missed a mandatory hearing on her probation related to an earlier DUI case. Her lawyer claimed her passport was stolen.

3 Months for the Price of 1Despite her claim of sobriety, Lohan’s lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, said in a statement that the device indicated the "presence of a small amount of alcohol," which was what set off the alert.

The sheer number of times that Lohan has avoided "real" jail time (she did serve for 84 minutes at one time) has led many to point to the "celebrity entitlement" issue that seems to pervade the judicial system.

One has to wonder if the lack of jail time, which Jane Q. Public would most certainly have faced by now, will lead to eventual tragedy, either for her or someone else.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tokyo screenings of Oscar-winning dolphin slaughter film canceled

We first wrote about "The Cove" in 2008, when it was tentatively titled "The Rising." Since then the film, about the slaughter of dolphins in a secluded cove in Japan, has won an Oscar for Best Feature- Documentary. Yet showings of the film in Japan may not happen.

Unplugged, the Japan distributor, had planned showings of the film at two cinemas in Tokyo this month. Those have been canceled because of fears that planned protests might "inconvenience movie-goers," whether or not they were attending "The Cove."

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Despite all this, Unplugged is still in negotiations to show the movie at 23 venues around the country this summer. Screenings at one Osaka theater have also been called off.

At issue are planned protests by conservative activists who say the film is anti-Japanese. Takeshi Kato of Unplugged said in a faxed statement to Reuters, "'The Cove' is absolutely not an anti-Japanese film. I believe a deep and constructive debate is needed about the content of the film."

Japan's government has long defended its whale and dolphin hunts, saying such hunts are an important cultural tradition. The country continues to use the "research" loophole in anti-whaling laws to justify its whaling, for one.

Watch the trailer, and a video report, embedded below:

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

BA struggles to explain bin Laden frequent flier miles

One has to wonder if British Airways decided to screw up and thus take some of the heat off another company with the word "British" in its name, British Petroleum (BP). Nah, that makes to much sense.

Star Wars 4 GB USB Flash DriveInstead, this is likely a joke gone bad. BA is apologizing profusely after it was noted that the LHR News, the company's internal magazine for BA staff at London's Heathrow airport, had the image above in it. The photo accompanied an article touting the benefits of BA's mobile-boarding setup, which permits users of mobile devices (like bin Laden's iPhone) to print out their boarding passes on the fly.

The boarding pass reads "Bin Laden/Osama," as you can see. Worse, it appears that somehow bin Laden managed to get frequent flyer miles.

While it could just be a joke gone bad, it's also possible it's a bit of ill-natured sabotage by a disgruntled employee. After all, BA is embroiled in a nasty standoff with cabin crew that has led to strikes.