Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ripped from the Headlines XVI

Wow.  What a week it has been for odd/gross/disgusting news!  Let's see... there's the Montreal man who killed his boyfriend, dismembered him and sent some of his body parts in the mail, a New Jersey man who stabbed himself and threw his intestines at police, a contractor in Georgia who bit two Lowe's employees, and, of course, the naked man in Florida who was killed by police as he was in the process of eating another man's face.  Did I mention all of them?  All I'm going to add is that I'm quite a bit annoyed at certain news organizations who insist on speculating on what that last man might have taken in order to behave so bizarrely.  First I heard angel dust, then LSD, then that substance they call "bath salts". Honestly, people! This serves no purpose!  Let's just wait and see what the toxicology report indicates.  You are merely guessing.

Moving on, the private rocket that left earth last week on a path to the international space station has safely returned to earth. I have to admit that I was more than a little skeptical about allowing private companies to run this sort of operation but this mission was quite a success so perhaps things will work out.  I am sad that NASA is currently not running manned missions right now, however.

I have often wondered whether it was entirely legal to flash your lights to warn other drivers of a speed trap police have set up.  A Florida judge has ruled that it is a form of free speech!  Now that I think of it, this makes perfect sense.  I'm sure it doesn't make police officers happy to have people warned in this way but, on the bright side, it results in temporarily safer - well, slower - driving so that's a win-win, isn't it?

Finally, I heard mid-afternoon yesterday that the jury had reached a verdict in John Edward's trial.  You may recall that Edwards was accused of misusing campaign contributions by funneling some contributions to his former mistress to keep her quiet. A while later I heard that the jury had reached a verdict on only one count and that the judge had sent them back to work on the rest.  I thought that would be the last we heard of them yesterday but I was surprised to hear the news later on that they jury had come back out to say that they were deadlocked on the rest of the charges. Edwards was acquitted of the one charge and the judge declared a mistrial on the rest.

I've read several opinions on this outcome and I have to say that I agree with this commentator. The jury was being asked, basically, to decide if Edward's motivations were personal or political.  A jury cannot read the minds of others and if there is not enough of an indication of motivation for a person's actions, then they simply cannot be expected to decide what a person was thinking.  I do have to wonder why he was even charged in this case.  While I don't in any way deny that what he did to his family was horrible - especially to his late wife, Elizabeth - this trial didn't solve anything.  His remaining family should have been spared having to hear, again, of his various transgressions.  I hope the government decides to just drop the rest of the charges against him so everyone can move forward.


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