Chuck Shepherd's News Of The Weird
Everyone’s Above Average: Ask Americans how they stand compared to their fellow countrymen, and in survey after survey, the vast majority rank themselves “above average” in such areas as driving skill, sexual prowess and general honesty. A recent study of English prisoners, published in the British Journal of Social Psychology, revealed that those miscreants think they, too, are in the upper half. They rate themselves above average (whether compared to Britons in prison or in society at large) in compassion, generosity, dependability, trustworthiness and honesty. In fact, the only trait on the University of Southampton survey on which the criminals failed to rank themselves as better than the typical Brit was “law-abidingness.” On that trait, the inmates rated themselves merely as “average.”
- Robert Bourque, 55, was convicted of DUI in Sarnia, Ontario, in October, but continued to deny the charge. He admitted he had four beers on the day of the traffic stop but said the Breathalyzer result was misleading because he had recently poured alcohol into his ears to test his theory about how Jesus healed the sick. (Bourque was acting as his own lawyer.)
- The mother and other relatives of William Medina, 24, said they felt hurt by the public’s comments suggesting that Medina and his partner in the November Reading, Pa., armed robbery were “thugs.” William was a “family man”—“no big hard criminal,” his mother said. The two robbers, armed and wearing masks, were gunned down by a Krick’s Korner customer who said he feared the worst when he saw the robbers leading a store employee at gunpoint into a back room. A Medina cousin said he deplored people’s taking the law into their own hands.
Celebrity Ironies: (1) In December, a California appeals court endorsed actor Tippi Hedren's victory suing the lawyer who had earlier failed to win compensation for her from a 2006 studio accident. In Hedren’s most famous movie role, she was attacked by birds in Alfred Hitchcock's iconic film, and in 2006 had been clobbered by falling scenery caused by birds nesting in an attic over a stage. (2) A man who won a Hollywood raffle to watch the finale of “Breaking Bad” with cast members was arrested in Fort Myers, Fla., in January and faces his own intent-to-sell drug charges. Two weeks earlier, unrelated to the show or the raffle, a man with the same name as the show's protagonist (Walter White) was sentenced in Billings, Mont., to 12 years in prison on drug charges.
For nearly 30 years, until 2007, the U.S. national symbol, the bald eagle, was endangered and protected, but officially they (along with golden eagles) are now so insignificant that the government is willing to endure dozens of them being chopped to death annually in the blades of “clean energy” wind turbines. An Associated Press investigation in December revealed that the federal government is purposely ignoring the eagles' attrition out of fear that outraged conservationists’ campaigns will hinder development of wind power as an alternative to coal-produced electricity. (Another recent AP investigation revealed a similar painful choice in the continued commitment to ethanol as a cleaner alternative fuel even though that cleanliness is being increasingly questioned, and even though ethanol production requires the massive diversion of corn that could inexpensively feed millions of hungry people worldwide.)
Least Competent Criminals
According to a police report, Tevin Monroe, 31, walked into a McDonald’s in Norfolk, Va., in December to inquire about a job, asked a manager for an application, and was told that the form was available online and that he should go download it. The manager’s response left Monroe dissatisfied, and he lifted his shirt to show the manager the gun in his waistband. The manager quickly located a paper application for Monroe (but also discreetly summoned police, who arrived and arrested Monroe while he was still filling out the form).
© 2014 CHUCK SHEPHERD