Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Week That Was: Bug Spray and Machetes in New Orleans, Five Courts in Italy, and Iowa State Forgets How to Jump

On Friday Mr. Richard White went a little off his rocker. For reasons known only to himself and presumably the voices in his head, he attacked a TSA security checkpoint at New Orleans International Airport, first with bug spray and then a machete. In addition he was carrying a bag full of Molotov Cocktail gasoline bombs and a barbeque lighter. The episode didn't end well for Brother White. He took three bullets to the body from a Sheriffs Department Lt. and is currently listed in critical condition. According to the Associated Press, during a press conference held earlier today, authorities, "suggested the suspect had mental health issues."

Oh, you think?

The media is also saying Amanda Knox, may, or may not be extradited to Italy later this year. The news outlets can hardly be blamed for not being sure. Knox and her boy friend of one week, Raffaele Sollicito were convicted in 2009 of brutally killing British housemate, Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. Knox was convicted primarily because she signed a confession, which she later recanted and swore was made under duress.

In 2013 another Italian court threw out the conviction and both Knox and Sollicito were released. Knox flew home and within a few weeks of landing saw her acquittal nullified by a third Italian court. Last year, in yet another courtroom, she was once again convicted, this time in absentia. However, that verdict won't become official until a fifth panel of judges rules it so.

It has been a dizzying ride for Ms. Knox, who, depending on your point of view, is either a martyr in the making, or a savage psychopath running loose on the streets. She claims she'll have to be dragged kicking and screaming back to Italy to do her 28 years if the conviction is upheld. At the moment, she's working as a journalist, because, after all, in the 21st century, everyone is.

Meanwhile, Thursday was a bad day for many of us betting on the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Those rubes from Iowa State lost to Alabama Birmingham because they either forgot how to jump, or felt rebounding was simply too tiresome. Iowa State was the dark horse choice of many to reach the Final Four  They looked to be the hottest team out of the Big 12 after winning the conference championship. I had them getting to the Sweet 16, but losing there, so, personally, the damage was considerable, but not fatal.

Shortly afterward, Baylor, another three seed and Big 12 team, choked against Georgia State, which for those of you wondering, is located in downtown Atlanta. Luckily, unlike Iowa State,  I had the Bears losing today. Indeed, when you drop five out of 16 on the first day of the tournament you're in trouble, but utter disaster can be averted if four of those gangs of bozos are teams you picked to lose in the next round. As in most dire situations, you must stop the bleeding as quickly as possible.

Yesterday things went as well as they possibly could. I was 16-0 and as predicted, one of the winners was that crafty bunch from Dayton. The hope here is now their legs are gone from having played too many games during the past week and they'll fall short against Oklahoma.

So despite the rugged start, the big money is still within reach. Even the Dukies came through for me in fine fashion, although I shudder to think what will happen when they play San Diego State tomorrow.

And there we have it. In a world which Islamic State has graciously accepted the fealty of Boko Haram, tourists are gunned down in Tunisia because--well--they were there, and North Korea brags it has the capability to launch nuclear weapons, can there be any question why an escape is needed every so often?

I didn't think so.

sic vita est


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