Saturday, October 29, 2011

Last Call

No, the kids are not alright under GOP rule in Michigan.

City fire marshal investigators plan to inspect every Detroit Public Schools classroom after receiving complaints this week about overcrowded classes with more than 50 students.

Detroit Fire Department representatives met Thursday with district officials to determine the maximum number of students for every classroom in the district, said Assistant Fire Marshal Osric Wilson.

The fire marshal issued a violation this week at Nolan Elementary-Middle School after receiving a tip that a kindergarten class had 55 students.

Other complaints followed and investigators visited other schools, Wilson said. "This issue is not going to go away; people are going to continue to complain."

Best part is you already can see the GOP solution to the problem of twice as many kids in classes because of half the needed teachers and wrecked schools:  sharp cuts in fire marshal inspections because of "unnecessary government interference when these societal parasites should be out stopping fires like we pay them to do" followed by taking a orbital cannon that shoots chainsaws at the state's education budget because "our schools are clearly failing students."

Besides, if the little drains on taxpayer dollars took up a trade to contribute to the economy instead of wasting time and money pretending like an education would ever get them out of the urban hellholes of America, they'd be better off in the long run or something, right?

The War Against The Stupid Wages On

From the You Saw It Coming Files:

NEWARK, N.J. -- A baggage screener who left a note saying "Get your freak on girl" inside a woman's suitcase that contained a sex toy will be fired, the federal Transportation Security Administration said Friday.

"TSA views the handwritten note to be highly inappropriate and unprofessional and apologizes for this unfortunate incident," spokesman Kawika Riley said in an emailed statement.
You gotta admit, it's a little bit funny.  It's also creepy to think of what people pack, and what TSA agents see on a daily basis.  A necessary evil, but if you pack something like that, you must also allow for the possibility that a "Get your freak on, girl" is warranted.

Not to be outdone, we have Cigar Man. Rumor has it he is trying a hostile takeover of
Conroe police responded to an assault incident early Thursday morning after a man tried to run over Walmart employees at 18700 Texas 105 W.
The man went into the store to buy cigars around 1 a.m., but employees declined to sell to him because he did not have an ID and looked young, Sgt. Joe Smart said.
After yelling at employees, the man was escorted outside and attempted to run over several workers before fleeing the scene, Smart said.

And folks, I never thought I would have to say this, but if you can't spell the word "south" then making highway signs is not the job for you.  But if it takes more than 5 seconds to see the typo, then driving may not be your bag, either.

Happy, Hollow Weenies

Meet the Buffalo law firm of Steven J. Baum, where the specialization is helping banks with foreclosure law and the annual Halloween costume party shows just how the employees feel about the "home ownership society" as I give Joe Nocera a second chance after last week's Bork idiocy.

Let me describe a few of the photos. In one, two Baum employees are dressed like homeless people. One is holding a bottle of liquor. The other has a sign around her neck that reads: “3rd party squatter. I lost my home and I was never served.” My source said that “I was never served” is meant to mock “the typical excuse” of the homeowner trying to evade a foreclosure proceeding.

A second picture shows a coffin with a picture of a woman whose eyes have been cut out. A sign on the coffin reads: “Rest in Peace. Crazy Susie.” The reference is to Susan Chana Lask, a lawyer who had filed a class-action suit against Steven J. Baum — and had posted a YouTube video denouncing the firm’s foreclosure practices. “She was a thorn in their side,” said my source.

A third photograph shows a corner of Baum’s office decorated to look like a row of foreclosed homes. Another shows a sign that reads, “Baum Estates” — needless to say, it’s also full of foreclosed houses. Most of the other pictures show either mock homeless camps or mock foreclosure signs — or both. My source told me that not every Baum department used the party to make fun of the troubled homeowners they made their living suing. But some clearly did. The adjective she’d used when she sent them to me — “appalling” — struck me as exactly right.

These pictures are hardly the first piece of evidence that the Baum firm treats homeowners shabbily — or that it uses dubious legal practices to do so. It is under investigation by the New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman. It recently agreed to pay $2 million to resolve an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether the firm had “filed misleading pleadings, affidavits, and mortgage assignments in the state and federal courts in New York.” (In the press release announcing the settlement, Baum acknowledged only that “it occasionally made inadvertent errors.”) 

It seems Nocera can at least spot some of the bad guys when they are on his regular NY Times business beat, but he still has problems with the politics of it all, not really mentioning the banks that are of course the real source of all the arrogance and misery that he chides the Baum firm for.  He also ends the piece with the standard "you should look at the pictures and judge for yourself" cop-out.

For an opinion piece, Nocera is certainly careful not to have too much of an actual opinion, lest he anger the corporate overlords he normally deals with as a business reporter.  Funny how that works.

And You Shall Know Them By The Trail Of Dead Bankers

FOX News has gone well beyond "Occupy Wall Street has cooties!" and is now firmly into "It's only a matter of time before these people will kill everyone you know and care for!" territory.

Fox News is on a roll with their latest round of polling — the news network has been releasing bits of data over the week, and on Friday they released some new gems. Those crazy kids braving the cold in Zuccatti Park certainly are something…..but what exactly? Fox wanted to find out, so they asked the following question: “How concerned are you that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations will eventually turn into street riots?”

Apparently a lot of people are. The answers — 16 percent are very concerned, 31 percent are somewhat concerned, 28 percent not very concerned, and 23 not at all. So only a near majority of Americans in the Fox poll think that the protest aimed at Wall Street and income inequality will turn into a violent mess.

While you're at it, FOX should ask "the people" how many of them are concerned that the Obama's thugocracy armies of New Black Panthers are going to eviscerate their grandmothers with a rusty hacksaw and display the remains as performance art.  I'm sure you could hit 27% on that too.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to transmit the latest secret order from Dear Leader.  After all, FOX isn't the only folks interested in seeing Occupy Together break out into more "deadly violence".

John Wayne Gacy "Victim" Found Alive

For 33 years, his family feared the worst – that he might have been a victim of Chicago serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Turns out Harold Wayne Lovell was just living in Florida.

Lovell, 53, was reunited with his family this week after police finally tracked him down, decades after he failed to return from a construction job, Chicago's NBC affiliate reports.

Lovell says he didn't know his family thought he was dead. "It's very emotional, it still is," he said of the reunion. "It's been two days, and I'm still crying."

Though I'm not sure how one can disappear for 33 years and not think you may be considered dead, it's surprising that it happened. Gacy apparently tried to get Lovell to come into the house a few times, and he did not.  I'm not clear if he was assigned as one of the bodies recovered, which may mean that some physical remains have been misidentified.

Do not confuse this with the mother who is having her son exhumed to verify with DNA that he is truly her son.  As of this time there is no follow up on that, which hit the headlines on October 6.  When I read that article, I remember thinking surely not, the investigators would have been more thorough, right?

Now I read about Lovell and I realize that it could happen.

Defenders Of The Universe (Or At Least Your Neighborhood)

This was a nice Halloween costume built here by a loving dad for his daughter.  And no, she didn't want to be a My Little Pony or a witch or a fairy princess, she wanted to be Voltron, dammit.

And so he made this.  It lights up at night, even.  You will give Voltron candy, or you will get a face full of BLAZING SWORD.

Five Bucks, Chucked

After being rightfully pegged as the poster child of Wall Street greed in a lousy economy, Bank of America is reconsidering that whole $5 a month debit card fee for its customers.

Bank of America is considering softening its controversial policy of charging some customers for making purchases with their debit cards, according to a person familiar with the bank's plans.
In September, the bank announced that it would begin charging most customers $5 a month if they used their debit cards to make purchases.
The fee, which would begin in January, set off a barrage of public outrage at the bank.
Now, under proposals being considered by the bank, Bank of America would offer customers new ways to avoid having to pay the fee.
Currently, only customers with certain premium accounts would be exempt from the fee.

Unless one of the ways B of A is planning to have customers avoid the fee is "are you a customer?" then the damage is already done.  The whole concept of knifing people in the back for $5 a month was the best thing to happen to efforts like the Move Your Money project since the financial crisis, and hey, let's remember that a week from today is Bank Transfer Day.

They must be scared if they're backtracking already on the plan.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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