The Cynic
A cynical spin on the news.
Saturday, June 18, 2005

Weekender: Barbie Alert Edition...

What's a barbie alert. Well it's a phrase I coined (however, someone else probably did before me) based on the Amber Alert, which is an alert to be on the lookout for missing children.

Well the barbie alert is a lookout for missing white chicks from affluent families and that's where I'll start this weekender.

-- First Jennifer Wilbanks will take in a cool $500K for being a liar and a criminal. While such characteristics are perfectly acceptable to be the head of congress, I'm not sure if it warrants a payday for a person who's afraid to get married. [National Ledger]

And really that's all it is, there's no story. She was afraid to get married and she has oversized orbital bones, what else is there to know? If she was poor or a minority she'd be in jail and the authorities wouldn't be lollygagging with charges like they are now.

In a perfect world, the money she'll grab from the interview and subsequent sell outs will be donated to some sort of charity (after she repays the city), but I know better. At least she'll be branded a cheap whore by the citizens of Duluth.


-- A sadder tale, but no less strange, is that of the missing blonde pixie, Natalee Holloway. Holloway and some other recently graduated classmates from the well-to-do Mountain Brook suburb of Birmingham, Alabama were in Aruba for post high school celebration.

The trip, somewhat of a tradition amongst this particular clique of kids, was basically unchaperoned leaving kids 17-18 off American soil with no sort of guardianship. As the story goes, she got a little tipsy, met up with some nice kids, left in a taxi and hasn't been heard from since.

Now this is a sad story, don't get me wrong, but as I was discussing this with some other people and asking why parents would allow their kids to go on these unchaperoned trips into foreign waters one of the guys familiar with the area said "That's the mentality of kids from Mountain Brook."

A very simple phrase. Many kids from Mountain Brook (or really any affluent community in America) are used to their way of life. Drinking underage, all-access, no one tells them to stop, completely sheltered. How else can you explain a teenager, completely intoxicated, getting in a taxi with several strangers and none of her "friends" thought to tell her otherwise. Why should they, things like this never happened to them. This doesn't justify what happened, but it helped explain the bad judgment from all parties that got us where we are.

Even greater irony is the struggle that her parents are having with the Aruban authorities. In America, access to swift justice comes for a price. In other countries, however, we have to play by someone else's rules. Meanwhile this just distracts us from those infamous Downing Street Memos. [CNN]

-- Not everyone can be Nancy Grace. The whole guilty-until-proven angle has worked successful for her but not so much for Diane Dimond, one of the many hacks who destroy my industry by chasing entertainers in hopes of watching them trip. 12 years is a long time to spend wondering if Jacko is messing with kids. [NYT]

-- Speaking of Jacko. One of the jurors attended his party. It was invite only Jackson himself skipped it. [USA Today]

Speaking of the Jackson jury, why are they so bad? It's not like the jurors tried to pass a scam artist off as a victim. They were paid $25/day to listen and make a decision. Jacko's freedom has less to do with them and more to do with Tom Sneddon.

-- Don't know how to say no? (I do.) It's easy if you follow these simple instructions. Make no mean NO! Don’t quibble. When you say no, mean it. Stick to your guns and put the request out of your mind. Don’t feel bad about it. A task you agree to and never complete is worse for everyone involved than a simple, solid, no. [To Done]

-- Sticking with the Lifehacker theme, make an a/c unit for $30. Not bad if you've got the time. [Lifehacker]

-- And for Father's Day, ehow has ideas on how to buy your papa a gift [link]. Or if necessary how to celebrate the father who has departed [link]

Stay classy Cynics.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

Are you Kidding Me??

Someone actually falls for this. From the Toronto Star. Please sell Amway products to this guy.
Peel Regional police have arrested two men, one from Toronto and one from Brampton, for defrauding a 68-year-old man from Tennessee of about $200,000
(U.S.) with a scheme promising an inheritance of $15 million from Nigeria.


In November 2004, an elderly man was contacted by people using the Internet about receiving such an inheritance, which was reportedly unclaimed due to the death of a person in Nigeria. If left unclaimed, the message said, the money would go to the state.

“They were very convincing,” Det. Malcolm Bow said today. “It was very elaborate. You get some people that fall for it, hook, line and sinker.”

The victim was told to pay various bogus charges in order to receive the millions that were offered.


Go figure, the "victim" was from Tennessee...Folks this is exactly why spammers remain highly active these days.


Police Nabs Members of Inheritance Scam [Toronto Star]

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Monday, June 13, 2005

Jacko Walks...


Who's Bad?

The coverage around the net seems pretty funny.

Sploid Headline: Sweet Jesus Juice He's Not Guilty [Link]
Defamer did a LiveBlog [Link]
Gawker Wonders Who's Getting the Exclusive (My guess is Oprah) [Link]
Meanwhile Matt Drudge Is Gonna Cry [Link]

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Supreme Court Denies Texas...

...from killing another. This is an interesting decision and possibly one that could change the landscape of a lot of the inmates on death row.
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a black death row inmate who said Texas prosecutors unfairly stacked his jury with whites, issuing a harsh rebuke to the state that executes more people than any other.

In the opinion, Souter noted that black jurors were questioned more aggressively about the death penalty, and the pool was "shuffled" at least twice by prosecutors, apparently to increase the chances whites would be selected.

He was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.


I expect there will be an increase of these types of appeals going to the high court now that this precedent has been set.


Death Row Conviction Overtuned Over Race [AP]

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