All war is weird, but this ISIS war …
As summed up by a Vox.com writer: “The absurdity runs deep.” America uses American military equipment to bomb American military equipment that ISIS captured from inept Iraqi soldiers, inept in part since America disbanded Iraq’s professional military in 2003. America’s Kurdish allies, fighting ISIS, use inferior Russian weapons they captured in the 1980s. ISIS has a so-far-safer haven in Syria because America declined to arm moderate Syrian rebels, largely out of fear that radicals like the future ISIS would capture weapons America provided. “So now America is bombing the guns that (it) didn’t mean to give ISIS because America didn’t give guns to their enemies because then ISIS might get guns.”
In America, we’re all great parents. Kayla McKenzie, 22, was charged with DUI in Bismarck, North Dakota, a condition that led her to crash into five separate vehicles or structures on Aug. 12 while, according to police, three unsecured children were in her car, including a 1-year-old infant riding in her lap. Nonetheless, said the 0.252 blood-alcohol driver, “I look like a bad mother, but I’m not. I’m actually a really good mom.”
A fire hydrant at 393 University Ave. has brought in more parking ticket revenue (since 2008) than any other hydrant in Toronto — $289,620 on 2,962 violations, according to an August Toronto Star report. While hydrants are usually located at curbside to facilitate fire-engine access, the one at 393 University Ave. was placed about 20 feet from the curb, in the middle of a sidewalk, and obscured by a tree in a planter about 8 feet long. Nonetheless, the law’s wording treats the hydrant — for illegal-parking and revenue-earning purposes — as if it were curbside.
German truck driver Michael Harry K., 58, went to trial in August in Wuerzburg, Bavaria, charged with firing his gun in the direction of drivers more than 700 times in five years out of displeasure with their poor road habits. He never actually hit anyone, but police said he caused at least one serious injury by frightening a driver into a collision.
The boy who wasn’t bullied enough in school
Walker Harnden, 19, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, was recognized in April for a Guinness Book record for the highest note ever whistled (B7). Harnden, who told the Raleigh News & Observer that he has “irritated his parents and friends for years,” admits that he whistles “all the time” — up to four or five hours a day.
The new normal
In 2010, the village of West Lafayette, Ohio, barred residents from keeping fowl and farm animals, but Iraq war veteran Darin Welker, 36, believes his post-war depression and trauma are unusually well-assisted now that he has befriended 14 pet ducks that he keeps at home. The Department of Veterans Affairs, which paid for Welker’s back surgery, stopped short of providing physical therapy and counseling, causing him more than ever to rely on the ducks, which he says motivate him to get out of the house and provide them with caretaking services. Village officials, however, cited him in June for misdemeanor fowl-housing.
“Streamers,” according to workers at the state-of-the-art solar plant in California’s Mojave Desert, are birds that cross the path of the 300,000 garage-door-sized mirrors that magnify the sun’s rays on their way to producing steam to power homes. Those birds vanish in plumes of smoke at the rate of perhaps one every two minutes, according to an August Associated Press dispatch from Ivanpah Dry Lake. According to federal wildlife officials, the plant’s bright light attracts insects, which then attract even more birds. The operator, BrightSource Energy, said there is no feasible way to protect the birds.
Least competent criminals
Ryan Mullins, 22, was arrested in Swansboro, North Carolina, in August when he came to an officer’s attention at 5:30 a.m. Police said he had broken into a pharmacy, had stolen the 100-pound safe and was dragging it behind his car when the officer routinely pulled in front of him. Nonetheless, Mullins decided to try and pass the officer. CV
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