Friday, June 29, 2012

A Hearing in Florida, The Germans Unite Jews and Muslims, the British Think We're Cruel and Unusual, and Jerry's Pension

As the month melts away and morphs into July today's news dispatches have gone to the decidedly weird side of the aisle.

Down in Florida George Zimmerman appeared in court asking to be released once more on $150,000 bond. That would be the same amount that sprang him the last time he was let out. Of course that was before it was discovered he was sitting on $100,000 plus in donations collected through a web site. And before it turned out his wife fudged a little bit when she testified she didn't know how much money had been brought in. The judge has taken the appeal under advisement and will rule on it later. MSNBC reports attorneys for both sides ended up in a shouting match before the hearing was over. One can only wonder what unholy and bizarre carnival will unfold once we get to the actual trial. Dueling audio and medical "experts," plus a long litany of witnesses who didn't actually see anything can be counted on.

Over in Germany a court issued a verdict banning the circumcision of babies for religious reasons. The ruling was based on the fact that the boys hadn't consented to the procedure. It did say that when the children were of an age to be able to choose their religion they could make that decision themselves and be circumcised then. Leave it to the Germans to finally get Muslims and Jews on the same page about something. Leaders of both religions have expressed extreme outrage over the decision.

In the U.K. the British High Court has stopped the extradition hearing of Shawn Sullivan. Sullivan is accused of molesting two young girls in Minnesota and raping a third back in the nineties. The reasoning behind the ruling is that Mr. Sullivan could be at risk of being put in Minnesota's civil commitment program. It is a program that allows the state to indefinitely detain a person found to be sexually dangerous. The British judges ruled that Sullivan would suffer a "flagrant denial of his rights" if Minnesota chucked him away under those statutes. Sullivan fled the U.S. right before being charged with the crimes. He initially went to Ireland where he holds a dual citizenship. He snuck into England because the Irish convicted him of assaulting two twelve year old girls after his arrival.

And back here in the states once more it turns out our pal Jerry, the tickle monster, Sandusky is still eligible for his state pension. The Pennsylvania Employees' Retirement System is on the hook to Sandusky for right at $59,000 a year. After his death his wife Dottie would be due half that amount. The System's rules do provide that a former state employee can forfeit his or her pension if he or she "commits certain crimes that breach the member's duty of faithful and honest public service." Sex crimes didn't make the list of  "certain" offenses. A member of Sandusky's defense team who visited his client in jail says that Sandusky is looking forward to his appeal, is "undefeated" and firmly believes he did nothing wrong.

Well of course not. As the song goes "all the cops are sinners and all the sinners saints," or something like that.

The weekend has arrived just in time. Much more of this and I'll start thinking the Mayans might be right, or at least should be.  


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