Friday, August 18, 2006

The Lightning Round:
Everything But The Girl

As TV news hyperventilates over the JonBenet Ramsey case (again), we at The Lightning Round ask you in all kindness to devote some time to, ahem, "other news."

SANCTUARY. Immigration-rights activists: for your sake, for our sake, and for goodness sake, please don't turn Elvira Arellano into the next Elian Gonzales. Elvira is the illegal immigrant holed up in a Chicago Church, presumably thinking La Migra, like Count Dracula, is repelled by the cross.

Joel Fetzer, political science professor at Pepperdine University in California puts it mildly in an AP interview:
"If the government comes in, it's going to look very jack-booted fascistic. It would look very bad."
So if we can't send in the feds, let's send in Roy Warden: Mexican flag-burner, loud anti-illegal-immigrant activist, general boor.

If anybody's willing to go in and fetch Elvira, Roy's the man. Let's ask him. If he can't, that's even better. Hopefully it will drop the curtain on his angry-Anglo act.

LAY-ING WASTE TO JUSTICE. Lawyers for Ken Lay, now the Deadest Guy In The Room, are filing motions to clear his name and erase the guilty verdicts against him. If they're successful, Lay's estate may be off the hook for millions of dollars in restitution.

From the Houston Chronicle:
There is legal precedent that essentially states a defendant has not received final judgment if he dies before being sentenced and having the opportunity to appeal their conviction.
Some would say Kenny Boy did indeed recieve final judgment, only in a higher court. But it's unfathomable to me how any judge could wipe the slate clean when so many people lost so many thousands of dollars in the Enron collapse. Are they supposed to die too? Perhaps Lay's lawyers figure we shall all find our rewards in Heaven.

SHAKES ON A PLANE. An extremely claustrophobic woman disrupted a flight from London to Washington this week, forcing it to land in Boston and forcing The Lightning Round to wonder what in tarnation she was doing on a plane in the first place with such a condition.

Catherine Mayo is now being held on a charge of interfering with a flight crew. And we're learning her problems stem well beyond the fear of enclosed spaces, according to the AP:
She was dressed in a Rolling Stones T-shirt, black pants and socks without shoes for the [court] hearing and was ordered held pending a detention and probable cause hearing next Thursday.

Her attorney, federal public defender Page Kelley, said Mayo was "just barely" lucid when they spoke. "She's got some very serious mental health problems."


Mayo's son, Josh, 31, described his mother as a peace activist and said she had been in Pakistan since March. She traveled there often since making a pen pal prior to Sept. 11, 2001, he said. The pen pal hasn't been allowed to visit the U.S., he added.
We can screen for bombs, knives, guns, incendiaries and detonating devices. But head cases are still getting through.

WHAT'S IN A NAME? SHAME! Rule #17 of The Campaign Trail: When stumping, don't use a word you don't know, especially when the microphone is on and the tape is rolling. And especially don't use the word "macaca" to describe the Indian-American man with the camera. Virginia Senator George Allen forgot to read the rulebook and he's having to apologize for his ignorance. "Macaca," by the way, can refer to a genus of monkeys.

With that in mind, The Lightning Round presents the offending moment via YouTube, uncut and un-spin-doctored so you can judge for yourself:

Senator Allen, you're not allowed to be a doofus. Rule #18: If you want to crack jokes on the Trail, make yourself the butt... or else see it kicked on election day.

BROTHER BRAWLERS. Some Buddhist monks aren't afraid to mix it up. A peace demonstration Sri Lanka nearly turned into a battle royal when hardliners and pro-peace friars got on each others' nerves.

From Reuters:
"They were saying we should go to war," said pro-peace monk Madampawe Assagee. "We like to listen to other opinions so we let them do that but then they started fighting and we couldn't control some of our people. They tried to make it a big fight but we settled it in a few minutes."
I'm not sure what Assagee meant by "we settled it," but man, those pro-peacers must pack some wicked right hooks.

WE'RE ALL ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY. Turns out we all have famous ancestors. It's because the family tree of humanity has so many billions of branches, allowing just about anybody to trace their roots to a king or queen -- which kind of makes my longing to be a Viscount a relatively humble request.

What I know of my most recent ancestors is that they came from Scotland. Soon I shall celebrate my heritage in a grand and joyous manner. Stay tuned.

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