Derp Roundup: Your Weekly Grab-Bag Of Grotesqueries

Welcome, kids, to Derp Roundup, the weekly feature where we give our browser tabs a Silkwood shower, then inspect the drains for stories that are too stoopid to ignore altogether, but not enough to hang a full blog post on. We recommend that you apply the mood-altering substance equivalent of a wire brush to your brain before reading further.

  • Our Top Derp this week is this story from Georgia, where freshman state Rep. Sam Moore has introduced a bill that would rescind the state's law against loitering -- and since that's almost always enforced as a bullshit charge, good for him! But then there's the other part of the bill, which would get rid of restrictions of convicted sex offenders, enabling them to hang out at schools, church youth groups, parks, playgrounds, day care centers, whatever, as long as there are no other restrictions in the offender's particular case. What's his reasoning here? You got it -- just like the idiots who don't want domestic abusers' gun rights to be infringed, Rep. Moore just doesn't like the idea of Big Government interfering in pedophiles' personal liberties:

    “I am OK with that,” Moore said Thursday, adding that he meant only those who were off parole and not barred from those places. “The reason I’m OK with that is the assumption is they have done their time. If they’re still a danger to society, they should not be free. … Am I saying it’s not creepy? It’s definitely creepy.”

    It is a good day to be creepy in Georgia!

    It all comes down to Moore's dedication to the proposition that no one should ever have to give their name to a cop, never ever ever, which would also be prohibited under his bill -- "under no circumstances shall a citizen be required to identify himself or herself to a law enforcement officer" -- and so, says our defender of liberty, since loitering is the only law requiring people to identify themselves, protecting our freedom depends on getting rid of the loitering law, which would also mean that there can't be any exceptions for sex offenders who might want to loiter by the swingset.

    That's some catch, that Catch-12-And Under.

    This is where we need to give our own little ACLU-tinged sermon about how, in the attempt to Protect The Children, restrictions on sex offenders have indeed been drawn so broadly that even people who have served their time are not allowed to live within ten miles of anywhere, and that is unjust. The problem is made worse by the inclusion of trivial offenses like public urination under sex-offender laws. Some real reform in that area would be a great idea, but that's not even Moore's intent -- he's just so dead set on one hyper-Libertarian idea that loosening restrictions on sex offenders is merely a knock-on effect.

    Happily, no other legislators have signed on to Moore's bill, and it's unlikely to even make it to the House floor; Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison explained the proposal's likely fate:

    the speaker of the House has a little corner for people like Mr. Moore: It’s called the ineffective corner. It’s just an embarrassment he happens to be from Cherokee County,” Garrison said.

  • On the other hand, we have this tale of Law Enforcement Overreach from Pickens, South Carolina, where police arrested Kayla Finley, 27, on an outstanding warrant stemming from her failure to return a VHS tape of the unfunny J-Lo/Jane Fonda comedy Monster In Law. Nine years ago.

    Y'see, When Finley was 18, she was not kind, did not rewind, and did not return the tape, so after mailing several warrants, the video store -- now defunct -- notified the police, who sent her a certified warrant in 2005. Finley was arrested February 13 when the outstanding warrant was found when she went to the sheriff's office to report an unrelated case of harassment; she spent a night in jail and was release on a $2000 bond. Finley says she moved away from the area about the same time as she rented the movie and forgot all about it; she also said she never received any of the warnings. But there's good news! The former owner of the video store notified the court that they did not want the case pursued, so the charges against Finley have been dropped. No word on whether her ordeal will be adapted into a future episode of Law and Order: Special Video Unit.

  • You may also have missed this News of The Oddly Ironic: Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka not-Joe the not-Plumber, has gotten himself some honest work for a change, and announced on his FaceSpace that he had gotten a union job at a Chrysler Corporation plant in Toledo, Ohio. Needless to say, he also noted that he was feeling butthurt and oppressed because a coworker called him a "teabagger," the poor sensitive thing. Wurzelbacher said there's absolutely nothing strange about his having a union job, because

    Private unions, such as the UAW, is a choice between employees and employers. If that is what they want then who am I to say you can’t have it?"

    We're looking forward to hearing that some smartass at the UAW has appointed Mr. Wurzelbacher as the union's goodwill ambassador to South Carolina.

  • In Kermit, West Virginia, a Pizza Hut was shut down by the county health department after videotape surfaced of an unnamed district manager "relieving his bladder in the restaurant's kitchen sink." The Mingo County Health Department assured the public that the restaurant would not reopen until the entire place had been sanitized; calls by the public to take off and nuke it from orbit were reportedly dismissed as overreactions, and brewers of Coors Light pointedly had no comment. And of course, the surveillance video is on the interwebs.

    Jeeze, dude, don't you know that pissing in the sink is reserved for surgeons?

  • Do we have any news of Responsible Gun Owners? You bet your sweet bullet-riddled ass we do! In Denver, first-term Republican state Rep. Jared Wright returned to his office in the Capitol after participating in a debate on concealed handgun permits -- needless to say, he's for 'em -- but he left something behind in the committee room. Rep. Jonathan Singer found a black canvas bag under the table where Wright had been sitting, and inside was Wright's loaded handgun, which he later said is perfectly legal, since he has a concealed-carry permit and his status as a retired cop makes him exempt from Colorado's ban on weapons in the Capitol building.

    “I feel it’s my duty to be a first responder wherever I am at,” said Wright. “That’s why I carry it.”

    Except, of course, when he leaves his loaded weapon in a bag on the floor, where it's a little less accessible. Wright has agreed not to carry his gun purse into the Capitol any more.

  • But that's not all the Firearms Frolics for this week. A well-trained First Responder in Euharlee, Georgia (from the Greek for "good Harlee"), shot a 17-year-old boy to death when he came to the door holding a Nintendo Wii controller -- she was really sure it was a gun, and that he'd pointed it at her. The cop had come to the house to serve a probation violation warrant on the boy's father. Mistakes happen, and we in no way wish to suggest that too many cops are entirely too likely to be trigger happy, and to approach every aspect of their job as a confrontation with Bad Guys.

    And in Boynton Beach, Florida, a Florida Man shot himself in the leg as he was leaving his gun safety class. Because this is America. And specifically, Florida.

  • Finally, because we would hate to leave you on a Saturday afternoon with such icky news on your minds, let us close with this EPIC WIN by Mike Lair, a Republican in the Missouri state House and chair of the House Appropriations – Education Committee. Lair responded perfectly to a proposed amendment that would bar the state from accepting any federal grants to implement the Common Core educational standards. Common Core, as you know, is fast replacing Creeping Sharia and UN Agenda 21 as the focus of wingnut paranoia (even better, Common Core gets accused of advancing both of those, plus masturbation and homosexxing).

    So, enough buildup. What did sane person Mike Lair do? He attached an $8 appropriation to the Education budget, explaining that it would be used to purchase enough aluminum foil to provide tinfoil hats for all in the Lege who are convinced that Common Core will infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war:

    “Basically, when you deal with conspiracy theorists, you do logic first,” Lair told the committee, noting that he has filed bills to limit how student data is shared and blocking the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from mandating curriculum or textbooks to local schools ...

    “If you can’t deal with folks with logic, you use humor,” he said. “This is to stop all the problems from the black helicopters and drones. This is high density foil.”

    And then the committee even voted to allow the state to accept federal funds for Common Core implementation, so it looks like that tinfoil was a pretty good investment.

  • [Cherokee Tribune via RawStory / Fox Carolina via Ars Technica / Toledo Blade / The Independent / Denver Post / RawStory / Palm Beach Post via Gawker / Columbia Daily Tribune]

    Doktor Zoom

    Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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