A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
A picture with the Obamas turned into a nightmare for the teenage daughters of P.M. Zapatero.
Last March, Sally Harpold, an Indiana grandmother of triplets, bought two boxes of cold medication in less than a week. Together, the two boxes contained 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine, putting her in violation of the state's methamphetamine-fighting law, which forbids the purchase of more than three grams by one person in a seven-day period.
Police came to Harpold's home, arrested and handcuffed her, and booked her in a Vermillion County jail. No one believes Harpold was making meth or aiding anyone who was. But local authorities aren't apologizing for her arrest.
“I don’t want to go there again,” [Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina] Alexander told the Tribune-Star, recalling how the manufacture and abuse of methamphetamine ravaged the tiny county and its families.
While the law was written with the intent of stopping people from purchasing large quantities of drugs to make methamphetamine, the law does not say the purchase must be made with the intent to make meth.
“The law does not make this distinction,” Alexander said...
Just as with any law, the public has the responsibility to know what is legal and what is not, and ignorance of the law is no excuse, the prosecutor said.
“I’m simply enforcing the law as it was written,” Alexander said...
It is up to customers to pay attention to their purchase amounts, and to check medication labels, Alexander said.
“If you take these products, you ought to know what’s in them,” she said.
Harpold's photo was put on the front page of the local paper as part of an article about the arrest of 17 people in a "drug sweep." Alexander has generously allowed Harpold to enter a deferral program. If she commits no crimes in the next 30 days, her arrest will be wiped from her record. She'll still have to pay court costs and attorney fees.
Leave it to Vigo County Sheriff Jon Marvel to (unintentionally) put an exclamation point on the absurdity.
“Sometimes mistakes happen,” Marvel said. “It’s unfortunate. But for the good of everyone, the law was put into effect.
“I feel for her, but if she could go to one of the area hospitals and see a baby born to a meth-addicted mother …”
Because clearly the best way to prevent meth-addicted babies is to arrest women who buy cold medication for their grandchildren.
This new species is Phreatomerus latipes, from Coward Springs, South Australia. Photo credit: University of Adelaide via Eurekalert
Scientists have discovered 850 new species of invertebrates living in underground water, caves and micro-caverns across arid and semi-arid Australia. Over the course of a four-year study, the team found whole communities of previously undiscovered insects, small crustaceans, spiders, worms and many other creatures...and they say it is all evidence of past climate change.
Now we found someone who was made to believe he could kill people with an asshole bomb, and so it follows that the TSA will have to ban -- or at least inspect -- our assholes. They're like opinions, you know, everybody's got one. Except, of course, most of us got to keep our assholes to ourselves. Not anymore.
Let's just be thankful that no one has yet convinced a suicidal murderer that he could blow up a plane with his mind, because once that happens, we're all in for mandatory airport trepannations. Because, you know, you can't be too safe. Every little bit helps. If an unhinged suicide bomber believes it's possible, we must take it seriously. To do less would be irresponsible.
For years, I have made the joke about Richard Reid: "Just be glad that he wasn't the underwear bomber." Now, sadly, we have an example of one.
Lewis Page, an "improvised-device disposal operator tasked in support of the UK mainland police from 2001-2004," pointed out that this isn't much of a threat for three reasons: 1) you can't stuff a lot of explosives into a body cavity, 2) detonation is, um, problematic, and 3) the human body can stifle an explosion pretty effectively (think of someone throwing himself on a grenade to save his friends).
But who ever accused the TSA of being rational?