Facepalm Newsoids IX

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When facepalm doesn’t quite seem to do justice…

YASRS (Yet another stupid robber story). In Glasgow, Ireland, a 45 year-old man attempted to rob a teen coming from an ATM at knifepoint, who turned out to be his own son. The father, who later confessed, is now serving 26 months in jail. (10 Mar)

Trying to impress the tourists. Two middle-aged Americans in Mexico seeking a cheap tummy tuck surgery were found by police after a search lasting several days. The two Americans kidnapped by a gang called The Scorpion Group because they were mistaken for members of a rival group of drug traffickers. The minivan the Americans were travelling in carrying North Carolina plates was found riddled with bullet holes, and two other American travelling companions with them had died during the shootout. Of the survivors, one was injured. The fact that the police responded at all was considered unusual, likely because these were American tourists. This is contrasted by the fact that there are presently more than 112,000 Mexican citizens missing or kidnapped at the hands of drug cartels, many missing over several years, with the only people searching for them being family members and relatives. (8 Mar)

YASRS, the second instalment. Liu Moufu of China’s Hubei province stole 156 yuan (approximately CAN$31) from a gas station in 2009, 14 years ago. He had two accomplices for this heist, and he had heard that they were arrested after they parted, and ever since Liu has been living in a cave, 10 km from the nearest human settlment, to evade authorities. He lived with several stray dogs to evade wild animals, keeping himself alive by hunting and scavenging for food. Now over 50 years old, he surrendered himself to authorities and now faces 3 to 10 years in prison for robbery using a weapon. (10 Mar)

You do not appreciate the depths of the f*ck which I do not give. On March 8, Quebec court judge Dennis Galiatsatos found Montreal resident Neall Epstein not guilty of criminal harassment involving threats, in particular, giving his neighbour “the finger”. The judge defended flipping the bird as a “God-given, charter-enshrined right belonging to every red-blooded Canadian. It may not be civil, it may not be polite, it may not be gentlemanly. Nevertheless, it does not trigger criminal liability.” Judge Galiatsatos further expressed a wish that he could literally, not just figuratively, throw the case out of court. The prosecution is not considering appealing the Judge’s decision.

Our food was never touched by human hands. The food kit supplier, HelloFresh, will stop selling coconut milk imported from Thailand, amid allegations of forced monkey labour, leading to pressure from animal rights activists. Thailand has 80% of the market share of coconut milk. (6 Mar)

Why are they still coming?

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I noticed that the United States government has grown a lot more intolerant of newcomers to the country. The latest wave has to do with the perceived threat of the migrant caravan of people trying to leave Central America, and enter the United States as refugees through Mexico. I am pretty sure they already know Americans are not exactly going to roll out the red carpet for them. But the caravan is still coming nevertheless. They could face arrest, deportment, interrogation … I don’t think they care. They will stick it out it anyway.

You have to be pretty desperate to want to take risks of travelling mostly on foot for a 4300 km journey. Not just from the American Military. But the even bigger enemy would be the outdoor elements, and the predators that a hot, mountainous climate brings. The 5000 or so members of this caravan will be sure to dwindle in number as the rigors of the wildlife and the elements take their toll.

After leaving Mexico City, they still have another 2700 km to travel. They will arrive tired, hungry, and some will be near death. Hardly a military threat. It’s a long way to go and a lot of danger to overcome, to be on the dole in America, or to be a terrorist, if we believe the stereotypes. It is not as if they are flying in or taking the train. They are pretty much all walking. This caravan is very slow-moving.

The 5000 refugees (counting men, women and children, assuming everyone makes it) will be met with 15,000 troops at the border, who see themselves as serving little or no military purpose. The troops will be there over Thanksgiving and will return on Dec 15, close to Christmas. For the Military to actually do their “military” thing, Trump will have to declare martial law. The lack of reason for being there is not a boost for troop morale. It is a hot climate at the border, and many troops already are protecting themselves from heat exhaustion by no longer wearing their armored vests or flak jackets, since they know they won’t need them anyway. Due to water shortages, their shower time is restricted to 7 minutes. Living conditions are similar to similar American bases in Afghanistan at the start of the millenium. Also scarce is electricity. Unlike Afghanistan, they are not expected to interact with the migrants, so they will not be receiving combat pay.

It would appear as if the $200 million dollars budgeted for sending these troops to camp out a the Mexican border was simply to satisfy Trump’s need for political theater before the midterms. Now that they have served their purpose, it is unclear how big a deal will Trump make of this from now.

“Why are they still coming?” can be asked of all immigrants from around the world, of which Trump has expressed an intolerance, or have written executive orders to block. One has to have desperation, and what they flee from is often far worse. The question is better asked: what American foreign policy (or foreign policy of Western Europe) is being pursued in south Asia, in the Middle East, in Africa, that make them come to the industrialized Western World in such large numbers over the past two or three decades? I am sure many of them would rather be home in their native culture, surrounded by their relatives and friends, and pursuing their living there.

Crappy Album Covers #163 — Lacking a Certain "Je ne sais quoi"

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Album_Cover_Crap_200_musicforants_com In a failed attempt to “Out-4AD” the album designs of other groups signed to that label, The Mountain Goats approved this supposedly muted-but-proggy album design. 

You place a cartoony stock image of a boxer painting on top of a splattery concrete background that the Cocteau Twins probably rejected, then place the album and band name somewhere on the cover, and ya gotchyerself a 4AD album all your own. Easy as pie.

Their 2006 album “Get Lonely” was their 15th to be released, but their fifth album on 4AD. It reached #193 on Billboard’s Top 200 that year.

Album_Cover_Crap_202_uncoached_com There is little information on Rulli Rendo’s Orchestra and Chorus. But for those interested, he has a very current website. He has been over 40 years in the music business, and has lived most of his life in Mexico. He currently is residing in Peru, his native country.

Crappy Album Covers 43 — The International Language of Bad Taste I

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For this part of our tour, we go to France and across the ocean to Mexico.

So, I know a bit of French. The Brothers Jacques (a literal translation of “les freres jacques”) consists of, as the cover would suggest, four members, much like The Brothers Gibb, except that these folks are less well known.

The Brothers Gibb were better known by the name “The Bee Gees”. So, by that metric, that would make The Brothers Jacques what … the Bee Jays?

Let’s not go there. But of course to state the obvious, “Frere Jacques” is also the name of a child’s French nursery rhyme. Unlike the Brothers Gibb, none of these guys are named Jacques.

These much-mustachioed mavens of vocal music have the quality of essentially a barbershop quartet. Except, they often parody classical pieces, or offer humour and satire along with the occasional sad song.

In Mexico, even the females can be one-eyed bandits.

I suppose that some guys get turned on by a sexy female holding a gun. I think she would be a whole lot sexier without the gun. Also, it would help matters if she took a hairpin and moved her hair away so we could see both eyes.

Information on this record or on Los Bandidos was hard to pin down. It seems as if it is a popular name for some recent punk rock bands.

There is some evidence that this album might actually be either Spanish or Brazilian. I just can identify some Spanish words, and have taken the mention of bandits to be an attempt to play on a Mexican stereotype.

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