Thursday, December 28, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
As long as we're talking smack about America's Wang...
The St. Petersburg Times has published its eighteenth annual Sour Orange Awards, a compilation of compilation of "all the stupid, futile events that happen in Florida every year." Here's a few highlights for ya:
WARN THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THE BUTT RUB! A food writer whose bag contained an oyster shell, a jar of Tupelo honey and a package of barbecue spices called Byron's Butt Rub accidentally triggered a bomb scare that prompted the evacuation of the Tallahassee airport. The writer was detained for five hours while a robot examined his bag, and airport officials said the White House was notified.
THE BITER BIT: A former South Florida lawyer pleaded guilty to stealing $300,000 from a client but said she lost the money to a Nigerian e-mail scam. [Official Pirate Commentary: you're smart enought to pass the bar exam but not smart enough to realize that the Nigerian e-mail thing is a scam? Yikes!]
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CABLE PROBLEMS, BABY: When a utility construction crew cut the television cable to Wesley Chapel, Verizon sent out apology letters offering customers a free pay-per-view movie. The letters listed a number to call with questions - but it was for an adult entertainment chat line called "Intimate Connections."
ANOTHER POLITICIAN COMES OUT OF THE CLOSET: When about 50 antiwar protesters encountered Gov. Jeb Bush in Pittsburgh for a fundraiser for Sen. Rick Santorum, they chased him down into a subway station shouting, "Jeb, go home!" Bush hid in a supply closet until they left.
BECAUSE THE GATOR SUFFERED SEVERE INDIGESTION: While showing guests around his 5,000-acre preserve, South Florida real estate tycoon Ron Bergeron tried to demonstrate how to wrestle a wild alligator. The gator bit his hand, breaking two fingers. An animal rights group immediately called for him to be charged with animal abuse. [Ha ha!]
PARTY OF ONE: The Coast Guard boarded a 50-foot yacht found drifting 5 miles off Fort Pierce and found a solitary passenger, who had passed out nude with a 12-gauge shotgun and 18 methadone pills. He was not, of course, the owner of the $350,000 yacht. When revived, he told deputies a friend picked him up in the yacht to "go party."
DOES MY HMO COVER THIS? A 76-year-old Broward County man was arrested after going door to door and offering free breast exams. At least two women took him up on it.
WASN'T THE NAME A TIPOFF? A man who sold more than $200,000 worth of endangered species' parts, hides and mounts through a Port St. Lucie shop and a Web site was sentenced to 25 months in prison. The Web site: Deadzoo.com.
FAKE WOULD'VE BEEN BETTER: Police say a security worker from MacDill Air Force Base approached two uniformed Tampa officers and asked them to test his crack pipe so he could be sure he was getting real drugs. He was.
THEY WERE HEADED FOR GUANTANAMO: Thieves hit a Jacksonville hotel during a convention and got an unusual haul. Three vendors told police that someone took two pairs of leather and metal bondage suspension cuffs, a 28-inch-long leather whip, bath salts, rainbow pot holders and an electrical stimulation device.
IT WAS FOR AN INVESTIGATION, HONEST! An Orlando police captain, two lieutenants and a sergeant were suspended for sending each other pornographic e-mails while on duty. The practice came to light after lower-ranking male officers complained that they had been sexually harassed by a female sergeant and initially didn't report her because her superiors were too busy watching porn.
Friday, December 08, 2006
America's Wang Strikes Again: If You're Sick in Florida and Your Name isn't Terri Schiavo, You're Screwed
With apologies to all my Florida readers, I have to ask - what the hell is wrong with America's Wang? Apparently they've got all the money in world to keep Terri Schiavo in a persistent vegetative state, but they can't find $360 to help the very sick child pictured above. I'll let The Miami Herald do the rest of the talking:
What's driving this pirate nuts is that they could've given Kevin the damn blankets he needs for a fraction of the cost they've spent on lawyers! Arrrgghh!
Kevin Estinfil is a badly disabled kid. He has severe cerebral palsy, is blind, has a shunt in his brain to drain excess fluid and has daily seizures. And his body can't control its own temperature.
Kevin, who is 12, can get as cold as 93 or 94 degrees, and he can't communicate when he feels pain or discomfort.
What would help keep Kevin warm, his doctors say, are special thermal blankets, which cost $10 each. He needs about three a month, for a cost of about $360 a year.
But for more than a year, the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities has refused to pay for them. The blankets, they say, ``have not been determined to be medically necessary.''
To make its case, the state has racked up thousands of dollars in legal fees fighting Kevin, who lost an appeal before a state hearing officer and is now appealing to the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami-Dade.
'I keep thinking, `It's a blanket. It's not like he's asking for a car,' '' said Lizel Gonzalez, Kevin's lawyer at Legal Services of Greater Miami. ``Give the kid a blanket. His life is hard enough.''
Kevin's condition worsened a couple of years ago when he suffered a series of severe seizures, which led to even more brain damage. Kevin brightens when his mother and sisters -- whose voices he recognizes -- come for a visit.
''Kevin is a severely disabled child,'' said one of his doctors, Julio Casas, who works at Baby House. ''He has a severe seizure disorder, and just about anything can set him off.'' Including getting cold, Casas added.
Thanks to Stephanie Miller for the heads-up on this one.