Mightier Than The Pen

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Posts Tagged ‘crime

NY Sports Fans Not Surprised At Garner Death; Used To Choking

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MetsNew York, December 9 – Followers of New-York-area sports teams are expressing considerably less shock at the death of a man in a policeman’s chokehold than other populations, surveys indicate, because they are accustomed to the phenomenon of watching their chosen clubs choke.

A study of Knicks, Mets, Islanders, Rangers, Yankees, Jets, Nets, and Giants season ticket holders and of subscribers to the satellite or cable channels carrying those groups’ games shows that the demographic in question has developed a much higher tolerance for observing others choke than has the population at large. A control group expressed revulsion in approximately twice the intensity at seeing people choke than did these sports fans.

Choking has been a part of the New York sports experience at least since 1960, when the Yankees failed to put away the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series and ended up succumbing on perpetual underachiever Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run in game seven. Since then New York fans have lived through the futility and occasionally tantalizing periods of real potential embodied by their teams only to see them come crashing down after flirting with success.

Most prominent among the dubious group are the Knicks, who came oh-so-close to glory several times in the 1990’s only to choke famously against the Bulls, Rockets, and Pacers – with Reggie Miller of the latter club memorably gesturing toward the Knicks with his hands around his neck, thus capturing in an instant the essence of Knicks underachievement.

Choking has plagued New York on several other prominent occasions, including the Yankees’ 2004 inability to defeat the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series despite a 3-0 series lead. That letdown followed 2001 and 2003, when they lost the World Series in seven games. In more recent seasons they have failed to perform to expectations – with the highest payroll in all of professional sports – seldom advancing beyond the first round of postseason games if they have managed to reach the postseason at all. The lone bright spot of the 2009 championship has only served to highlight the sense of failure and choking under pressure every single other year.

The study authors intend to conduct similar research in other cities with perpetually disappointing performances by sports teams. Los Angeles features prominently as a candidate location, with the Dodgers consistently following a dominant season with a poor performance in the playoffs.

If LA becomes the venue, the researchers will be challenged to distinguish between adaptation to Los Angeles underachievement and residual tolerance for the choking that moved there from New York – first in the 1956 Bobby Thomson home run that gave the rival Giants the pennant, and more recently in the team’s Manager Don Mattingly, whose only playoff experience with the Yankees was in 1995 when his team dropped a five-game Division Series to the Mariners after leading two games to none.

Written by Thag

December 9, 2014 at 11:46 pm

NRA Curiously Silent On Rampant Guns Making Mideast So Safe

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NRA logoWashington, DC, July 19 – Conservative thinkers across the US expressed bewilderment this week upon realizing that the nation’s premier gun-rights advocacy group is missing a golden opportunity to argue for freer access to firearms by invoking the situation in the Middle East, where weapons flow everywhere nearly unrestricted and as a result, the citizens enjoy a level of peace, liberty, and prosperity that Americans can only envy.

A group of Tea Party, Libertarian, and other conservative pundits gathered earlier this week in Las Vegas to discuss legislative lobbing strategies for this November and beyond. From those conversations it emerged that the current public awareness and lobbying campaigns were completely missing the most compelling piece of evidence in their potential rhetorical arsenal: the correlation between large numbers of Arabs armed to the teeth and the success of those Arabs in forging tranquil, courteous, democratic societies.

“If the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, then the gun-toting good people of Iraq, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Sinai, and Libya must be so secure as to warrant emulation,” said right-wing radio talk show icon Rush Limbaugh. “I seldom have words of criticism for my friends at the National Rifle Association, but I contend they dropped the ball on this issue by neglecting to marshal this winning argument.”

No hard numbers exist for the per capita distribution of firearms in the Levant and surrounding evirons, in part because the limited reach of the central governments does not allow for effective statistical measures.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took up that point, noting that the decentralized governmental structures of the governments in those heavily armed countries was especially conducive to prosperity and security. “Just look at the burgeoning trade those countries enjoy,” he said. “There is almost no top-down market regulation, leaving it up to local sensibilities to determine who may traffic in what materials and services. That is what I call a recipe for liberty.” He expressed alarm that conservative organizations at large had not latched onto that argument.

(Originally posted at http://www.preoccupiedterritory.com/nra-curiously-silent-on-rampant-guns-making-mideast-so-safe/)

Written by Thag

July 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm

After Rocket Fire, Israel Retaliates Harshly Against Trees, Rocks

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Lebanon rocket

One of the Lebanese rockets that fell short and landed short of Israel, relieving the IDF of the burden of having to target that bunch of shrubs with artillery in response.

Kiryat Shmonah, Israel, December 29 (AP) – One of five rockets fired from Lebanon hit near this northern Israeli town today, and the IDF responded fiercely with dozens of artillery shells aimed at empty fields, rocky hillsides, and unpopulated cedar groves.

The impressive display of deterrence came amid heightened tensions along the border, where an Israeli soldier was killed by a Lebanese sniper earlier this month. Determined to demonstrate that any such aggression would be met by a firm, uncompromising answer, Israel boldly informed the UN force patrolling the border that it would not tolerate any such violations of sovereignty. The latest violence, which represents a significant escalation, have forced the IDF to showcase the lethality that further provocation would beget, and they did so by taking pains to minimize the lethality of the encounter.

“Israel has no interest in escalation of the situation,” said IDF spokesman Neville Chamberlain. “Our aim here is to demonstrate to Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army that violence against Israel or Israelis will be met with uncompromising avoidance of consequences that actually convey our seriousness.” He added that the units patrolling the border have been equipped with extra white flags in case any fighting breaks out.

The border has been more or less quiet since 2006, when Israel and Hezbollah fought to a standstill. Since then the Israel Defense Forces have studiously sought to prevent a recurrence, lest they be drawn into a conflict for which they have been trained and armed. During that conflict, Israel repeatedly tried to draw attention to the contrast between its own strategy and that of its adversary, pointing out that whereas Hezbollah had no compunction about aiming for civilian targets with its missiles, the Israeli military shied away from hitting targets that might contain actual human beings.

That conservative approach, says military analyst Dunkirk Beech, aims to avoid the sticky question of civilian casualties. Israel attracts opprobrium for any collateral damage, however unintentional, while its opponents openly target noncombatants while suffering no international consequences, diplomatic or otherwise. Accordingly, says Beech, the IDF has evolved a policy of harsh verbal retaliation for any threat to Israelis, coupled with the threat of even louder warnings. If that two-step deterrent system fails to forestall escalation, the Israeli military has no compunctions about terminating inanimate objects beyond the border with extreme prejudice.

A similar approach has characterized Israeli police activity in recent months, during which a war among organized crime syndicates has claimed the lives of criminals, bystanders, and law enforcement officials up and down Israel’s coastal towns and cities. In response to car bombs, drive-by shootings, and intimidation of policemen and prosecutors, police officials have made grand pronouncements about bringing the perpetrators to justice, while not actually having anything to show for their investigative work. As a result, suspects either avoid arrest entirely or are released for lack of evidence.

Written by Thag

December 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Nigerian Prince With Fortune To Give Away Laments Impostors

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Nigerian cookies

Lagos, Nigeria (AP) – Mgumbe Uwa, a member of the deposed Nigerian royal family, has found himself increasingly frustrated in attempts to give away millions of dollars to total strangers, as part of an effort to recover the royal fortune.

To Mr. Uwa’s amazement, there have been no takers on his offer of largess.

“I would gladly give anyone TEN MILLION DOLLARS,” said a visibly confused Uwa. “How about you?” he asked a reporter. “Can I give you TEN MILLION DOLLARS?”

The prince, whose family was deposed in a bloody coup, remains in hiding and cannot openly access the tens of millions of dollars in his bank accounts. He planned to convince someone overseas to accept a transfer into their account, figuring he could then spirit the money out of the country. But the plan hit an unexpected snag – complete and utter disinterest from all potential recipients of the money.

“I just can’t understand it,” said the baffled Uwa. “Any one of the people whom I SPECIALLY SELECTED for their TRUSTWORTHINESS could GET RICH QUICK, if they would only ACT IMMEDIATELY IN COMPLETE CONFIDENCE. But nothing.”

“And here I am, knowing that the entire FORTUNE of my late father, his EXCELLENCY KING UWA IV, is just sitting there in that SECRET TAX-FREE account. I feel like such an idiot.”

Mr. Uwa began sending out discreet mailings to everyday Americans and Europeans, hoping to locate someone willing to accept the cash into their account, and to keep a sizable cut of the money. Assuming that the country’s secret police would be unlikely to examine bank records of ordinary people, as opposed to prominent individuals with ties to the old regime, he set out to give away a veritable windfall – so far, without success.

Despite the setbacks, Mr. Uwa remained hopeful, even expanding his efforts to include other assets.

“I recently had the GOOD FORTUNE to have my numbers come up in the UK LOTTO. Foreign nationals are not eligible, so in exchange for a small advance payment, I am happy to bequeath a SUBSTANTIAL SHARE of this GREAT WEALTH to somebody. Anybody.”

Written by Thag

December 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm

De Blasio’s First Move: Shoot-To-Kill Dog Owners Who Fail To Clean Up

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dog poopNew York (AP) – New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has announced that his first move as Mayor on the first of January will be to empower New York City Police and concerned citizens to shoot the owners of dogs that leave excrement on the ground and neglect to clean it up within minutes.

De Blasio called a press conference this morning to publicize his intention and to give New Yorkers notice of the impending policy change. Until now, dog owners and walkers have been subject to fines of up to $500 for the violation, but de Blasio asserted that he has received unending complaints from residents of all five boroughs that canine fecal matter can still regularly be found adorning various parts of the city. He hopes to gain City Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Scientists Still Unable To Explain Popularity Of Non-Chocolate Donuts

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jelly donutsCambridge, MA (AP) – Researchers at Harvard University have announced that despite a ten-year study involving physicists, chemists, biologists, and philosophers, they remain mystified by the phenomenon of non-chocolate donuts that people like.

The study examined sales patterns, manufacturing processes, anatomy, neurology, psychology, marketing, culinary history, genetics, molecular chemistry, and numerous aspects of the non-chocolate donut phenomenon and found themselves thwarted by the same enigma that stumped scientists nearly two decades earlier. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Video Arrested In Killing Of Radio Star

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broken guitarNew York (AP) – Police have detained a video in connection with the 1978 bludgeoning death of a radio star. The arrest comes after years of several self-proclaimed witnesses recounting the circumstances of the murder, but scant other evidence.

New York State’s statute of limitations does not apply to certain serious crimes including murder, so the time that has elapsed since the 1978 incident has no legal significance, but it may be the focus of efforts by the defendant to cast doubt on the reliability of the three key witnesses. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

October 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Report: Lousy WiFi Connections A Leading Cause Of Murder

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angry wifiNewport News, VA (AP) – A national upswing in violent crime can be attributed to the occurrence of inadequate wireless internet service, according to a recent study.

Sociologists at Wireless Research And Technology Heuristics (WRATH) write in this month’s issue of the law enforcement journal CrimeTracker that a steady increase in murders and other violent crimes can be causally linked to outages in wireless service or improperly functioning wireless equipment. The article also noted that it took several attempts to submit the article to the journal online as a result of Verizon’s crappy FIOS connectivity in their area, resulting the the stabbing deaths of eight people. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

October 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Billy Joel Denies Starting Fire

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Joel in 2009.

Joel in 2009.

Oyster Bay, NY (AP) – Noted singer-songwriter Billy Joel has maintained his and other suspects’ innocence in massive case of arson dating back to 1949, casting blame on more than a hundred other people, movements, and events. Joel repeatedly asserts that he and others did not start the fire.

While no one has named Joel or anyone else specifically as involved, the 64-year-old entertainer has issued an explicit list of persons of interest or other causes that, in his opinion, require investigation. The series of accusations began in 1989, with the release of his album Storm Front, on which the Bronx native spent more than three minutes listing the various characters who might have some light to shed on who started the fire.

The litany of alleged suspects includes presidents and other world leaders; entertainers and athletes; terrorist incidents; multiple foreign states; and the US government’s apparent neglect of veterans of the war in Vietnam, among others. However, at least one inconsistency in Joel’s words has led observers to question the veracity of the accusations. The singer claims the fire has been burning since the Earth began its rotation approximately 4.5 billion years ago, while none of the suspects he mentions was born earlier than the late nineteenth century.

Additionally, and suspiciously, every suspect he names attained some prominence in the news or in world affairs, leading some to wonder why Joel singled out only the famous, powerful, or notorious for an act of starting fire, which almost anyone can do.

Apparently unprompted, Joel rattled off the suspicious individuals and developments rapidly, beginning with Harry S. Truman, who began his second term as US President in 1949. Other prominent individuals who enjoyed fame around the same time are also included in Joel’s list. He proceeded almost methodically through the ensuing decades, mentioning names of celebrities, international crises, and medical disasters that made headlines during those years.

It remains unclear how the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, for example, could have resulted in a fire, but Joel has repeated his claims in many subsequent encounters, including in the presence of tens of thousands of people at various arenas around the world. In the 24 years since he began flinging the accusations, interest has waxed and waned in the list of suspects and their possible accomplices, but has not entirely gone away. Police, however, have not commented on whether they lend any credence to Joel’s claims.

Nassau County Police Chief Joseph Buonarotti declined to offer any information on the investigation, if any. Sources within the department who spoke on condition of anonymity cautioned that any such investigation would probably lie beyond the jurisdiction of the Nassau County Police, as the people and events to be investigated have only a marginal connection, if any, to the county.

At press time, Joel was on a Downeaster boat named Alexa, cruising through Block Island Sound.

Written by Thag

October 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm

TSA Agent Treats Traveler Courteously; Agency To Revamp Procedures

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TSANew York, August 3 (AP) – After Barney Willis, a Transportation Security Administration screener New York’s La Guardia Airport was caught treating travelers with dignity and politeness, the agency has promised to crack down on such rogue agents who violate standard operating procedure.

On Tuesday, July 30, undercover TSA agents conducted an operation to test the adherence of its La Guardia screeners to agency procedures. While preliminary results of that investigation point to the overall acceptability of the agents’ conduct, Mr. Willis, a two-year veteran of the agency, was caught addressing travelers without the required disdain, and not even pretending to steal from the luggage he was checking, despite full knowledge among the airport’s personnel that the TSA stations are continuously monitored by closed-circuit TV to ensure that the minimum theft quotas are met.

In eleven separate cases, Willis was observed greeting travelers warmly and apologizing for the invasion of their personal space and property, actions that constitute a serious breach of TSA agent guidelines, says agency director John S. Pistole, who has promised to restructure the entire TSA agent training regimen as a result of this incident.

“We cannot have travelers encountering any agent who is not surly, dismissive, bored, demoralized, or at least grossly incompetent,” he said at a press conference held at the site of the violations. Pistole sad Agent Willis has been suspended with pay, pending a review of his conduct since he began working at La Guardia last year.

The event marks the sixth incident is as many months that travelers at a major metropolitan airport have not been guaranteed a demeaning, utterly unpleasant security screening. In February, when the climate control system broke down in one of the terminals at Chicago’s O’hare Airport, agents were heard apologizing to travelers for the discomfort, and exhibiting actual empathy. Empathy is specifically barred under Section III of the TSA training manual.

Then, in March and April, agents were recorded on video as assisting a traveler in repacking a suitcase that had opened and spilled its contents after the passenger had passed her security check. In both cases, the agents were given a disciplinary hearing but not penalized, as the attractiveness of the passenger was seen by the oversight committee as a mitigating circumstance.

Twice in May, undercover TSA agents were checking the incompetence of security screeners at Los Angeles’s LAX Airport, and discovered that the security check failed to detect the fake bombs or guns only 20% of the time, representing a severe flaw in the execution of proper procedures. Agency guidelines mandate that at least 70% of hazardous materials smuggled onto aircraft remain undetected. In fact, according to TSA data, in May and June only the personnel at Logan Airport in Boston and Newark, New Jersey, were able to reach that mark.

Also in June, an agent at Ronald Reagan International Airport near Washington repeatedly refused bribes to let several suspicious-looking travelers through unchecked. the travelers were undercover agents, who quickly reported the offending agent to his superior. The agent was soon reassigned to other duties, where his job is to puncture the tires of cars in the long-term parking lots.

Written by Thag

August 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm

FBI Uncovers Conspiracy To Deprive Your Blog Of Traffic

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FBI sealArlington, Virginia, August 2 (AP) – Federal investigators have unearthed a plot to keep internet users from visiting your blog, FBI spokesman Shelby Cummin-Rounthmountain announced at a press conference today.

In February, the FBI’s Online Investigative Division received an informant’s tip to the effect that a shadowy group of conspirators had, for at least six months, if not much longer, diverted potential visitors to your blog, and continues to do so. The investigation is still in progress, but Cummin-Rounthmountain said they were nevertheless allowed to offer certain specifics to the news media, including the fact that most of the members of this alleged cabal operate from overseas.

The Bureau was prompted to recruit an informant after you observed repeatedly that by all rights, your blog should enjoy significantly higher levels of popularity and acclaim, given the manifest quality of your work. However, despite significant time and emotion invested in this project, traffic to your blog has never exceeded 633 page views in a single day, and that figure represents an outlier. The median number of visits per day is actually 28, with only six days in the last three years in which your blog attracted more than 100 views.

FBI Director Roberst S. Mueller III immediately ordered an investigation. According to the rudimentary details offered to the press, agents have documented hundreds of cases in which your posts were removed from display on the relevant category pages within minutes. Your efforts at finding the right blend of category tags to help users navigate toward your urbane useful, and well-presented material proved for naught, as this group of online pirates forcibly pushed your posts off the front page by stuffing those sites with a barrage of inane, meandering, badly-written posts by other users.

The FBI is exploring the possibility that these blog-stuffing posts were written by bots programmed to detect when you posted. This would serve to explain why so little of the traffic your site does attract comes from the users of the same blogging platform. In addition, fellow users who have actually subscribed to your blog seldom actually see your posts unless they make an effort to do so, which deprives you of the page views you so clearly deserve, no doubt about it. One possible angle of investigation of this issue involves collusion with these criminals from within the blogging platform enterprise itself, who for some unfathomable reason will not allow you to realize your dreams of becoming a blogging superstar. Perhaps jealousy is the motive, the FBI suggests.

However, says Cummin-Rounthmountain, the activities of this conspiracy extend beyond the boundaries of WordPress or Blogger, or whatever stupid platform you use. When you – or, on those all-too-rare occasions, someone else – shares a post of yours on other social media such as Facebook or Twitter, it still goes all but ignored. This, the FBI asserts, suggests a much broader effort to silence you and frustrate your ambitions. It simply cannot be, they reason, that there is so much other compelling material on the internet that yours would go effectively ignored.

This is not the first time that the FBI has investigated crimes of this nature. The case remains open on who exactly is behind the popularity of certain TV shows with no recognizable merit whatsoever, such as The Kardashians. Similarly, several dozen soft drink industry executives face federal felony charges for defrauding the public by convincing them that there is actually an appreciable difference between Pepsi and Coca Cola.

Written by Thag

August 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Study Links Graffiti to Small Penis Size

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graffitiNew York, June 15 (AP) – Researchers at Columbia University have determined that the propensity to engage in graffiti vandalism has an inversely proportionate relationship to penis size, according to an article in the August Issue of the Journal Science.

In a study titled The Scale of Male Endowment as Reflected by Vandalism, the study authors note a very close correlation between a smaller-than-average penis and multiple instances of crude or repetitive graffiti. Reviewing arrest records and anatomical information for individuals convicted of graffiti vandalism in the New York City area for the years 2007-2012, the researchers found that the median length of male members of those individuals was 40% shorter than the median length of the general population.

Even more striking, said Dr. Sy Zmatters, the lead author and head of Columbia University’s graduate-level Anthropology Department, the extent to which any individual engaged in graffiti vandalism directly reflected relative penis length. “We found that the more prolific taggers were even more poorly endowed than those who had been convicted of only one or two vandalism violations,” he noted.

N. Largement, a Princeton University anthropologist not involved in the study, praised the report as an important piece of information in piecing together the complex web of human psychology as it has developed over the ages. “We knew, anecdotally, that certain behaviors represent a compensation mechanism for those males insecure in the measurements of their manhood,” he explained, handling a scale model of a monster truck on his office desk. “But it has never before been so clearly quantified.”

A further nuance of the study involves different types of graffiti. Vandals who prolifically sprayed only words, gang signs, or other relatively crude symbols constituted the most poorly endowed subgroup of the population under observation, while those whose graffiti involved artistic expression, political criticism, or a message of some social value fell more closely in line with the national average.

spray paintLargement noted that the study helps complete a much larger pattern of what he called manhood deficiency compensatory behavior, which had previously been described for much smaller segments of the population. For example, assault rifle ownership has been strongly correlated with a smaller penis, as has the frequent or highly visible use of muscle cars. Sports fans who paint their bodies and engage in rowdy displays of devotion have been similarly shown to have shorter than average penises; these behaviors has been explained as an attempt to mask their insecurity over penis size by associating themselves with a larger, more powerful, and overtly masculine enterprise.

Written by Thag

July 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

11 Hospitalized in Encounter with Nauseatingly Affectionate Couple

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pdaNew York, July 14 (AP) – A Queens man and woman are in custody after their public displays of affection resulted in the hospitalization of nearly a dozen passersby this morning.

Jose Ruiz Menendez, 28, and his girlfriend, Sara Murphy, 24, were arrested late this morning on Fifth Avenue, allegedly following a cloying display of hand-holding, nuzzling, repeated pecks on the cheeks, and multiple counts of loving head-on-partner’s-shoulder caressing. As a result of the couple’s actions, 11 people were sent to Belleview Hospital, with a further nineteen treated by paramedics at the scene.

According to preliminary police reports, the couple were walking south along the east side of Fifth Avenue at about 10:30 AM when Murphy, walking alongside Menendez, grasped his arm and inclined her head tightly against it, continuing in that position for about eight yards, according to eyewitnesses. The resulting disgust caused three people to succumb to nausea and three others to reel around to escape the sight, slightly injuring six.

As Menendez and Murphy proceeded south, they apparently remained oblivious to the mayhem they fomented. Menendez kissed Murphy on the top of her head several times and murmured lovingly to her as they waited to cross 38th Street, causing an elderly woman to clutch her chest, having suffered a mild heart attack. She was listed in stable condition as of about noon.

When the couple stopped to sit on a bench near 36th St., Murphy sat on Menendez’s lap as the two exchanged embraces, kisses, affectionate strokes of the hair, shoulders, back, and arms, as well as words of devotion and mutual care. This further display resulted in several more victims, at least one of them admitted to the hospital’s trauma unit. A bystander notified the police, who arrested the two perpetrators at the scene.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly told reporters that New York has seen its share of similar crimes, but the department must remain vigilant, as this case clearly demonstrates. “According to the information we have right now, the two suspects were engaging in sickening displays in broad daylight. Neither of them has any criminal record, but our officers continue to be on the lookout for such crimes.” He dismissed reports that a police officer had failed to report the couple upon seeing them holding hands and smiling as far north as 45th St., noting that the first recorded incidence of disgust occurred significant to the south of that location, and that the first eyewitnesses placed Menendez and Murphy on 44th between Fifth and Sixth before they were even observed on Fifth, making the former report unlikely.

According to NYPD statistics for 2012, 12 couples were arrested for Public Displays of Affection, a decrease of 3 since 2011, which in turn saw a reduction of 2 in 2010. The statistics spiked in fall 2009, possibly as a result of the Yankees World Series title, but that remains conjecture.

Menendez and Murphy were unavailable for comment, and their attorneys declined to comment for this article.

 

Written by Thag

July 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Death Penalty Proponents Avoid Citing Crucifixion As Precedent

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Cameron Todd Willingham, wrongfully executed in 2005, is probably thrilled to share that fate with Jesus.

Cameron Todd Willingham, wrongfully executed in 2005, is probably thrilled to share that fate with Jesus.

Austin, TX (AP) – Conservative activists turned out in large numbers today to oppose a proposed repeal of the death penalty in Texas, repeating the claim that properly administered capital punishment deters crime. The mostly Evangelical Christian demonstrators repeatedly invoked the name of Jesus, whose execution nearly two thousand years ago deterred countless potential Christians from ever accepting him and effectively short-circuiting the entire religion.

“What Would Jesus Do?” cried Samantha Osborne, 44, of Corpus Christi, exhorting her compatriots. “He’d keep the death penalty!” Jesus was continually cited as the prime example of capital punishment working, as his crucifixion in the year 33 CE by the Roman authorities put an end to trouble from early Christians and forever relegated Jesus’s followers to the footnotes of history.

At issue is a legislative proposal set to be voted on in committee this week, a measure that would ban the death penalty in the state for any sentences handed down after December 31 of the year it becomes law. If it survives several rounds of voting and is signed by the governor, the bill could attain passage this year. Inmates already on death row would not have their sentences commuted automatically, but they could request that their punishment be changed from the currently mandated method, lethal injection, to the more traditional crucifixion.

The rally, sponsored jointly by the student group Campus Crusade for Christ and the Christian Coalition, a political organization, attracted nearly 10,000 Christians from across the Lone Star State, with many driving up to six hours and several dozen others flying in from as far away as San Antonio. Speakers called on the crowd to defend both the conservative values represented by capital punishment and the very sanctity of life, which, they contended, could only be upheld if those who took life were similarly deprived of it.

“We have no issue with proper oversight of courts so that we do not risk putting innocent people to death,” acknowledged Rick Perry, the former Republican governor in his address to the crowd. “But truly innocent people know how not to end up on death row in the first place. Jesus Christ!” he continued, invoking the name of someone he believes to have been wrongfully executed. At least four documented cases exist in which Texas executed the wrong party for a capital crime, and little incentive exists for post-execution investigations that would lead to revelations in dozens of other possible wrongful executions.

Jesus Christ was unavailable for comment.

Written by Thag

June 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm

India To Limit Brutal Rapes to 1 Per Month

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"Listen, we can only allow this much publicity at once."

“Listen, we can only allow this much publicity at once.”

New Delhi, India (AP) – In the wake of several violent rapes over the last several months, the Indian government has announced a cap on horrifically brutal sexual assaults, limiting the number to 12 per year. The law will go into effect in January 2014.

The four-year-old victim of an April 17 rape in Madhya Pradesh died today, on the heels of a similarly brutal rape involving a five-year-old girl in New Delhi two weeks ago. Sexual assault of minors in India has become increasingly common in recent years, or at least have become increasingly reported. Two other cases of gang rapes made international headlines in December and January and sparked tumultuous protests across the country. Demonstrators accused the police and prosecutors of treating accused rapists leniently and turning a blind eye to the phenomenon.

The new legislation, formally ratified this morning, applies only to those “non-consensual sexual acts,” as the bill refers to them, that generate significant media coverage and spark public outcry. Theoretically, all twelve highly publicized annual beating-rapes or rapes of children could occur in the same month, as long as none occurred during the rest of that calendar year. And since the law only covers the assaults that make headlines, it will not affect the thousands of rapes that continue to occur.

“This is a call to rapists to be much more careful,” said Shewantsit Dontcarewatchusay, a Mumbai sociologist who has studied the issue extensively with the young offspring of his neighbors. “It would be too ambitious, I think, to call for a complete elimination of excessively violent rapes in so short a time, but anything to keep things quiet is a welcome step.”

Dontcarewatchusay expects further legislation in the same vein if the community of rapists and child molesters embraces the new law. The practice of highly publicized gang rape might fall out of disuse entirely if adherence to the new limits takes hold. “It’s in their interest to generate as little publicity as possible so they can continue their work,” he said of his fellow practitioners.

Some advocates have been agitating for more reform along different lines. Idowanna Takkabowdittagain, a lobbyist, represents a number of organizations that would prefer the simpler step of a ban on using social media to facilitate the unwanted publicity that has made these incidents so unpopular. The advantages of such a policy, she noted, have been demonstrated in locales such as North Korea, where not a single rape has been reported in international media in decades.

Others call for more sweeping measures. “If we outlaw women this problem would solve itself,” argues Missengh Deforestforthetrees, who leads a non-profit legal research foundation. He referred to similar initiatives in other countries, but concedes that India’s huge population might make implementation of the measure a formidable logistical challenge.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook, where violence is punishable by being forced to listen to the same two grunge band songs over and over. Which probably account for the whole genre.

Written by Thag

April 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Federal Agents Find Weapons in Raided Gun Shop

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gun seizureAustin, Texas (AP) – Agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided a gun store in the downtown area of the Texas capital today, where they found a sizable stash of weapons, said an agency spokesman.

“The team entered the shop and found literally hundreds of guns lying there in plain sight,” said Walther Remington, the spokesman. “The proprietor clearly had no compunctions about displaying his extensive inventory of deadly weapons.” The shop owner was taken into custody but has not yet been formally charged.

Neighbors expressed little surprise at the turn of events. “The guy has been running the shop for almost twenty years,” said Mark Smann, who runs a nearby dry cleaning business. “People go in and out of there all the time, and everyone knows why.  It’s not like you can hide a high-powered hunting rifle in your purse.”

“What gets me is not that the guy has been selling guns basically out in the open for years and years,” said Sharpe Schuter, a retail manager at a clothing store down the street. “It took the Bureau this long to notice? That’s the surprising thing.”

It is not clear when the BATF became aware of the gun shop’s stash of weapons, or what prompted them to raid the establishment when they did. Remington claimed only basic knowledge of the case, but called the procedure routine.

“The Bureau’s mission is to prevent dangerous firearms from reaching the wrong hands. Anyone walking by the store could see the racks of deadly weaponry, and it would only be a matter of time before someone acquired one or more of those guns. The Bureau felt compelled to act, and discovered that the inventory of guns was even more extensive than we’d suspected.”

drugsThe episode comes on the heels of a similar incident last week in Florida, when the Drug Enforcement Administration seized thousands of pills, syringes and dangerous powders from a Miami Beach pharmacy. In that case, the pharmacy’s owner publicly admitted trafficking in the substances, and that doing so provided a comfortable livelihood. The DEA subsequently discovered hundreds of other such establishments in Florida, and the director voiced his suspicion that thousands more are active across the country.

Also last week, New York State authorities opened an investigation into the presence of large quantities of dihydrogen monoxide in its plumbing and sewage systems.

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Written by Thag

February 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

4 Out of 5 Stalkers Prefer Pine-Scented Mace

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Oddly, the respondents did not choose anything in the broccoli-cabbage family.

Oddly, the respondents did not choose anything in the broccoli-cabbage family.

New York, NY (AP) – A nationwide poll has found that stalkers like a faceful of mace with the aroma of pine twice as much as they do lemon- or cinnamon-scented spray, according to Criminal Research Associated Partners, a firm that studies the consumer protection market.

The CRAP study asked 2500 stalkers to list their favorite mace scents in order of preference, and pine came out the clear winner, though some areas of the country clearly favored citrus, such as Florida. Overall, about eighty percent of the respondents chose pine as their favorite, with lemon, orange, cinnamon and vanilla rounding out the rankings. The poll had a margin of error that effectively conceals the guy hiding in the bushes.

CRAP CEO Mick Turitian says he was surprised by the results, given that stalkers tend to be a single-minded group, and that he was pleased to discover that they were, on average, sophisticated enough to also consider the aesthetic questions involved in being sprayed by the caustic material. “Last year we conducted a survey about what color dye attempted rapists want to be sprayed with, and there was no clear favorite,” he said. “It’s encouraging to see the American stalker maturing, and realizing there’s more than just incapacitation and uncontrollable tearing to be had from being sprayed with CN Tear Gas.” Turitian referred to the purple dye that is included in some varieties of Chemical Mace, the product’s trade name.

George Tannenbaum, director of Clandestine Romeos Ever Eyeing People (CREEP), a fraternal organization for stalkers, said that tastes in mace have been changing for some time, but the data pool has not been as rich as it is now. “Ten years ago, most of our members ranked a direct spray in the face as about as unpleasant as being kicked repeatedly in the groin, but now mace has outpaced other defenses by a large margin,” he explained. “With the greater variety of scents available today, that’s not much of a surprise – at least, not as surprising as having the object of your devotion mistake your affections for ill intent and giving you a sudden, totally unjustified shot of harmful chemicals in the face.”

Grace Underfire, a carrier of Chemical Mace since 1996, when she was a college student, has used her supply exactly twice, and on both occasions had to opt for an unscented variety. She remains unconvinced of the retail potential of pleasant-smelling mace. “Um…what the hell are you talking about?” she said.

The manufacturer, Mace Security International, declined to say whether the company intends to expand its modest selection of chemical defense sprays to better match the evolving preferences of stalkers. “We have no comment at this time,” said a spokesman under condition of anonymity who kept looking over his or her shoulder, then hurried back into his or her office in an undisclosed location.

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Written by Thag

January 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Rapists Concerned New Delhi Attack Might Give Them Bad Name

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move alongNew Delhi, India (Reuters) – Following the death of a woman who was gang-raped on a bus earlier this month in the Indian capital, rapists across the Indian societal spectrum are voicing concern that the incident will harm their reputations.

“Most of us are normal, hardworking guys, and something like this gets us really worried,” said Whatshewants Dusinmatta, 40, of Bangalore. “The vast majority of times we do what we do, it doesn’t result in riots, so we’re naturally a bit nervous that people might not treat us the same way anymore.”

The Indian umbrella organization of sexual assailants, All Sheilas Know It’s Natural and Good For Overpowering Romeos to Impale Them (ASKINGFORIT), advised its members this week not to couple their violation of women’s bodies with violations of murder statues, at least until the current episode of negative publicity subsides. Spokesman Theyall Wantitt said the group was preparing a public relations campaign to attenuate the effects of the December 16 gang-rape on the reputations of rapists in India.

“Most Indians realize that these thugs do not represent us as a whole,” he said, “and our campaign will emphasize that we rapists are not these supervillains who drive around on buses picking women up. We are your fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, neighbours, classmates, and coworkers. That alone should tell everyone that public safety in India has not appreciably changed as a result of this unusual incident.” He said the organization would work with police so that the public’s confidence in its law enforcement institutions would not be affected. An estimated 1% of sexual assault and harassment are currently reported to the authorities.

A similar concern plagued rapists in Pakistan and Afghanistan earlier this year, when a twelve-year-old who was gang-raped managed to escape and reach Westerners who provided her with treatment and protection. Her male relatives and the leaders of her tribal village spent weeks trying to reassure their clansmen and the wider public that the escape did not represent a shift in policy away from killing the victim to maintain the family’s honor. Purveyors of sulfuric acid had also been worried about a drop in sales if jealous husbands would stop throwing their product in the faces of wives and daughters suspected of entertaining such radical feminist ideas as leaving the family hovel for a few minutes.

child marriageEventually the media attention and related disturbances petered out. ASKINGFORIT clearly hopes that a similar phenomenon will characterize the New Delhi case, although currently the city is seeing vehement protests that continue to worry rapists. “Our way of life is threatened,” said Shova Nistpig, mayor of the southern town of Sekslaiveree who has been raping women for upwards of four decades. “The invasion of foreign values has given people all the wrong ideas about people’s proper places in society.”

“It’s one thing to attack the caste system, which has its problems,” he conceded, “and I say that as a Brahmin,” a member of the elite caste. “But the focus on one extraordinarily violent rape in New Delhi is making it harder and harder for the traditional rapists to go about their activities unmolested.”

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December 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm

GOP: Death Penalty Would Have Deterred Murder-Suicde

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BoehnerNewtown, Connecticut (AP) – In the aftermath of the shooting deaths of dozens of Connecticut schoolchildren and teachers in a murder-suicide, the Republican National Committee issued a statement today touting the death penalty as an important measure in preventing massacres of this nature. Republican Congressional leaders also spoke out in favor of tougher penalties against the perpetrators of murder-suicides.

“Some very disturbed people can only be deterred by harsh consequences,” said House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). “It is imperative that American states adopt capital punishment for brutal crimes such as this. For some criminals, only by making them pay the ultimate price can we prevent other would-be mass murderers from committing mass murder and then suicide.” He noted that Connecticut abolished its death penalty in April of this year.

McConnellSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) echoed the theme. “The vast majority of Americans are law-abiding people, respectful of the law and of others,” he said at a press conference. “The overwhelming majority of us do not need penalties of any sort to get us to do the right thing. But a few individuals lack, unfortunately, that respect, and the only thing that can deter them from killing other people and themselves is the knowledge that they face the death penalty if they act on those brutal impulses.”

The Connecticut legislature passed the repeal of the state’s death penalty on April 11, and Governor Dannel Malloy signed the bill into law two weeks later. The law does not apply retroactively to the ten people currently on Connecticut’s death row.

RellFormer Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell lamented the repeal of the death penalty. “My administration specifically vetoed the abolition of capital punishment in Connecticut,” she said, referring to her action of May 2009, after the legislature passed a similar measure. “It was exactly this kind of horror I had in mind when I did so. I share the pain and anger of the people of Newtown,” she continued. “We now know all too well what happens when governments refuse to use the death penalty as a deterrent to murder-suicides.”

Rell cited statistics to support her argument, noting that not a single murder-suicide criminal in any state with the death penalty has ever murdered again. Moreover, she pointed out, the criminals in question never again committed any crime at all. “I don’t see how anyone can argue that the death penalty would not be effective under these circumstances, when the facts speak for themselves,” she said. “Life in prison – even without parole – still leaves a criminal with the opportunity to commit more crimes, especially in the event of an escape. These are some of the most dangerous people on the planet, with a reputation to prove it.”

“It’s too late to save the children of Newtown,” said Rell, “but I pray that Connecticut, along with the other sixteen states without a death penalty, reexamines its coddling of the perpetrators of murder-suicides. Then maybe, once again, these monsters can be prevented from taking others’ lives – and their own.”

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December 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm

How to Choose a Mobster Nickname

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October 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Blind Beauty Pageant Judge Arrested for Groping Contestants

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Metcalfe, in an undated photo.

Pottsville, IA (AP) – Edwin Metcalfe, 62, was arrested yesterday on charges of sexual assault after allegedly groping eleven teenage girls during a high school beauty pageant. Metcalfe is legally blind.

Sergeant Dwayne Frake of the Pottsville Police Department told reporters that Metcalfe had been serving on a panel of judges for the pageant, but, unable to judge the contestants’ appearance by visual means, sought another way of assessing their appearances. He was arrested after the parent of one of the students complained.

Metcalfe’s lawyer, Emily Edwards, insisted her client had acted entirely properly, given his disability and his commitment to fulfilling his task as judge, a position, she noted, that was entirely voluntary. “Edwin Metcalfe’s firm adherence to the rules of fair play and to the community are really what’s being challenged here. My client has been wronged by a system set up to entrap well-meaning people who fondle young women for completely innocent reasons.” She predicted the case would be dismissed without trial.

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The 2011 pageant finalists (AP file photo). Left to right: Ida Calder, Dee Bahm, Leia Offs, Bridget Gapp and Bertha Day.

Melissa Boone, professor of anthropological studies at Iowa State University, said that this incident was hardly the first of its kind, though perhaps the first in decades in the Hawkeye state. “Everyone automatically assumes that someone who runs his hands along the soft, supple parts of a teenage girl’s body, lingering on the most curvaceous portions, is doing so because it titillates him,” she said, but that is not necessarily the case. This incident is more complicated, noted Boone, in that, “the girls in question willingly offered their bodies to the defendant so that he could perform his service to the community.”

“The big question is, have anyone’s rights been violated? It’s hard to say. The community has certain standards enshrined in law, but the very same community specifically agreed to appoint a blind man to judge the pageant. They couldn’t expect anything else.”

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August 15, 2012 at 12:07 am

Slain Mafia Informant Missing After Burial

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Police say turncoat may have gone underground
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Piscatelli in an undated photo.

Mahwah, NJ, June 19 (AP) – Joseph Piscatelli, a longtime Mafia operative who turned state’s witness seven years ago in a prominent case, was laid to rest Monday after being killed in a drive-by shooting near his home, and has not been seen since.

“Lynch-man” Piscatelli testified in a 2005 conspiracy, racketeering and murder case against his former Mafia boss Giovanni “Blue-Boy” Messi, who led the Rizzuto crime family. Messi is now serving a life sentence at a federal prison in Upstate New York.

FBI and Mahwah police say they are not surprised at Picscatelli’s disappearance. “After being fatally shot two days before, I’d also want to keep a low profile,” said Mahwah PD Detective George Laverty. “You never know what kind of dangers are still lurking out there for someone with quite a few enemies.”

The list of suspects in Piscatelli’s murder is said to be quite lengthy, as the Messi trial also resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of six Messi associates, all of whom are still incarcerated, but some of whom have loyal followers of their own, said FBI spokesman Donna Nobis. “Piscatelli’s testimony against his former accomplices was particularly troubling to the Rizzuto members. Piscatelli and his former boss were very close – Joe Piscatelli even served as a witness when “Blue-Boy” separated from his wife in 2002. Everyone in the Rizzuto circle was pretty sure of Piscatelli’s position of trust, considering the role he played in the Messi divorce.”

Police officers and FBI agents have gone door-to-door in the vicinity of the St. Vincent Cemetery where Piscatelli was last seen, but have not reported any developments in the case. But they are sure to face criticism over apparently lax security measures for the slain informant, even though Piscatelli repeatedly refused to relocate or assume a new identity. He had no known relatives.

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The array of unresolved Mahwah PD donut-purchase cases (AP).

Mahwah police are no strangers to unresolved cases. During 2010, the last complete year for which statistics are available, the Mahwah Police Department opened has closed only one case file related to excessive donut purchases by department members. Department spokesman Will B. O’beese dismissed the donut files as irrelevant. “That section of the department is completely unrelated to Missing Persons, specifically the Missing Homicide Victim division.”

Professor N. Cogg Nito of Rutgers University, an expert on organized crime, holds slim hopes for the resolution of the Piscatelli case – both his murder and his subsequent disappearance. “No witnesses have stepped forward in his shooting, and Lynch-man has no relatives that might agitate for the police to pursue the case aggressively. They’re probably just going to wait for the media attention to die, then relegate the story to the cold case file, where it’s basically six feet under.”

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June 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I’m Pro-Choice: You May Pay Me Tons of Money Now, or Later

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April 27, 2012 at 12:21 am

Woman Breastfeeding on Subway Causes Massive Orgy

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New York (AP) – The sight of a woman suckling her infant on the subway yesterday caused commuters to engage in a wanton, public orgy, say police.

According to preliminary reports, on Monday at about 4:30 PM, Kate Philips, 26, boarded a northbound A train at the 34th St. station, carrying her seven-month-old son. Witness statements indicate that at some point between 59th Street at 125th St., the infant became cranky, and Philips, a pervert who refuses to use formula like other, civilized, humans, loosened a flap in her shirt over her left breast and exposed approximately one-half-square-inch of her flesh for nearly three quarters of a second. The exposure lasted until the child latched on and began to nurse, and during that interval the partially exposed breast wrought moral havoc on all the inhabitants of the subway car.

By the time the express train pulled into 125th St., every passenger in the same car as Philips was a participant in multiple lewd acts and episodes of intercourse, including a 75-year-old man. Commuters boarding at that station told police that not a single passenger was fully clothed, except for the nursing baby, and that they were forced to use other cars of the train because all three entrances to that car were blocked by gang-bangs in progress.

The cordoned-off section of train (Dee Viant, AP)

Philips was arrested upon arrival at 168th St., and her child has been placed in the custody of Child Protective Services. A spokesperson for the agency, Amanda Jefferson, explained that breastfeeding usually indicates that the mother has an unhealthy lasciviousness about her. “With all the infant formula available nowadays, a woman who chooses to breastfeed can only be doing so because it titillates her,” Jefferson told reporters at a press conference. “A woman’s body is not some food factory with sex hormones.”

Police did not allow reporters to enter the subway car, but through its windows the moral chaos that swept through it was plainly visible. Beneath a hair-removal ad featuring a woman in a bikini lay a pile of discarded clothes, some of them ripped along the seams when their wearers were overcome with unbridled lust.

Lew Dacts, one of whose neighbors was in the car, recalled seeing his neighbor later that day walking around in a daze. “I tried to talk to her, just to say hello or something, but she didn’t even notice me. Her breathing was heavy and she had this wild look in her eyes. I didn’t dare stick around,” he said.

The episode comes on the heels of a similar incident in Chicago last month that made national headlines and brought the issue of public breastfeeding to the fore. In that case, a woman sunbathing topless on her roof called the police to report a neighbor ogling her friend, who was had raised her shirt a few inches to nurse her daughter. No arrests have been made in that case.

Philips before her arraignment

Cleeve Idge, an attorney for Philips, said his client was cooperating with police. “Ms. Philips has repeatedly told the police exactly what she did,” said Idge, adding that Philips wants nothing more than to be reunited with her son and does not understand what she did wrong.

Dr. Anna Liszt, a clinical psychologist at Bellevue Hospital, says that Philips is just one of countless young women with a skewed perception of the role of the body and sexuality in everyday life. “These women, in either ignorance or apathy, genuinely believe that the female breast is a source of food first and a sexual firestorm second,” she explained. “Sometimes it can be traced to parents who grew up in the sixties, but usually it’s just another fetish. Excuse me, I’m getting a little warm just talking about it.”

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April 24, 2012 at 9:38 pm

It’s Too Bad YOU Can’t Make a Living Doing It. Lest You Go Blind.

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March 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm