Monthly Archives: April 2014
Although he should have been honored last week, today’s clear winner of the Jackass of the Day Award is Jeffrey Chapman, a young man awaiting trial in Great Bend, Kansas for the 2011 murder of Damon Galliart.
Galliart’s body was discovered by hunters in a wooded area southwest of Great Bend in November 2011.
Unfortunately, Chapman has a neck tattoo that both he and his counsel feel may influence the jury against him: a mirror image of the word MURDER.
Yeah, I can see how something like that might be prejudicial to Chapman if seen by the jury. Of course, Chapman asked the state to pay for its removal—and even expected to be transported “off-site” to have it done (since Kansas law only allows tattoo artists to practice in licensed tattoo facilities)—and that’s why he is my award winner today.
Clearly, Chapman should have thought of this before he got the tattoo in the first place—and definitely before he decided to murder Mr. Galliart.
Despite being the Jackass of the Day, I do give Chapman credit for referencing one of my favorite films with his misguided tattoo, the 1980 Stanley Kubrick (via Stephen King) masterpiece The Shining. What he really has is a REDRUM tattoo, but that likely wouldn’t matter to a jury. And that’s why Chapman is now planning to wear a turtleneck in court.
What’s funny to me, though, is that his trial was set to begin on April 28th, but recently got delayed until August 18th. Chapman’s attorney is trying for a change of venue, which would be cause for such a delay, but I suspect the prosecution played a role, as well.
After all, being forced to wear a turtleneck in the late summer heat of Kansas sounds like a prison sentence unto itself!
At first glance, you may think my title refers to the English saying about retaliation, as in “he refused to get into a tit-for-tat battle of pranks with his jackass friends.” You may even think the word twat is a typo, but I assure you this is not the case.
Instead, my title refers to Dallas Archer, a 19-year-old woman arrested last Monday for driving with a suspended license in Tennessee. And when you hear her story, all your doubts in my spelling abilities should be laid to rest.
Following her arrest, Archer was transported to Kingsport jail, where a female officer conducted a standard search—if you consider a body cavity search standard, I mean. During her search, the officer noticed something strange in Archer’s crotch and called another female officer over to take a look. That’s when they discovered what the “unknown object” really was: a gun!
Yes, lodged in Archer’s vagina—business end out, I hope—was a loaded, .22-caliber mini-revolver. It turns out the gun had been stolen from the automobile of 70-year-old John Souther, a retired car salesman who promised to give his “little fellow a bath in bleach” upon hearing of its recovery.
That sounds like a great idea to me, John.
In addition to the suspended license thing, Archer now faces charges of gun possession and smuggling contraband into a correctional facility—she was released on $6000 bond and will be in court sometime soon.
Of course, things could have been much worse for Archer. A similar thing happened to Oklahoma’s Christie Harris last year, only she not only had a loaded revolver in her hoochie—she had two bags of crystal meth up her butt, as well!
Yesterday, the Huffington Post shared a 1973 personal ad placed by a Reddit user’s father that resurfaced recently.
At first glance, it may seem like a husband begging his estranged wife to return home, but the last line puts the entire ad into perspective.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I just heard that Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia signed House Bill 60—or the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014—into law earlier today. Known as the “guns everywhere bill” by its opponents, HB60 specifies where residents can carry firearms and includes provisions that could allow people with concealed weapons permits to bring guns into churches, bars, government buildings, schools and even airports!
The parking lots, shops and other areas in front of security checkpoints, I mean. As far as I know, carrying guns into the airline terminals is still a no-no.
Heavily promoted by the pro-gun group GeorgiaCarry—and opposed by organizations like Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), which called the bill “extremism in action”—HB60 will go into effect on July 1st whether people like it or not. And while it doesn’t allow guns everywhere—business owners can choose whether or not to allow them in their establishments—the bill does have some people worried.
“Among its many extreme provisions, it allows guns in TSA lines at the country’s busiest airport, forces community school boards into bitter, divisive debates about whether they should allow guns in their children’s classrooms, and broadens the conceal carry eligibility to people who have previously committed crimes with guns,” Pia Carusone of ARS said recently. She also mentioned that this legislation was “opposed by Georgia law enforcement, county commissioners, municipal leaders, and the Transportation Security Administration for its potentially harmful impact on Georgians’ safety.”
Of course, the folks at the National Rifle Association could not be happier—especially since they endorsed Deal for governor and gave him an “A rating” during his 17 years in Congress. He returned the favor, so to speak, when he addressed attendees at the picnic where he first announced the bill’s passing: “The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should be at the forefront of our minds.”
While I agree that Americans’ constitutional rights are important, I still have trouble understanding how more guns in public places will make things better. One argument I always hear in support of guns is that if criminals have them, then so should their potential victims—to even the playing field, you know? I also hear people mention how concealed weapons permits are only issued to citizens who first pass background checks and psychological exams, implying that they are stable and well-adjusted enough to handle this potentially deadly responsibility.
This may be true for some, but how many times have we heard post-tragedy interviews where people say things like “he was always so quiet and friendly” or “I never suspected she was capable of hurting others”? ALL THE TIME!
Don’t get me wrong. I grew up with guns, enjoy shooting them and keep several in my home for protection. Does this mean I’m incapable of losing it, arming myself to the teeth and popping caps in everyone I see? I consider myself to be a fairly sane person—aside from a handful of psychoses, which we all possess to some degree—but even I can’t say with absolute certainty that I would never snap and do something horrible… with or without a gun. We all have a dark side. And no matter how hard we try, it will make the occasional appearance during the course of our lives. Of that you can be sure.
So kudos, Georgia, for ensuring more of your residents will be strapped in public places—especially in bars and other so-called watering holes. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 43 years, it’s that few things mix better than alcohol and firearms!
It’s been awhile since I recognized someone as the Jackass of the Day—despite there being no shortage of daily candidates—but today I read about someone who clearly earned this honor: 33-year-old Rachael Rapraeger, a former hospital technician at Perry Hospital in Georgia.
In 2010, Rapraeger accepted a deal and pleaded guilty to 10 counts of reckless conduct and one count of felony computer forgery—all because she got caught manipulating the mammogram records of nearly 1,300 patients. Basically, Rapraeger told ten patients their results were negative when, in actuality, she never had them verified by a physician. And now, two of those women are dead.
One of Rapraeger’s victims who lived—Sharon Holmes—had a mammogram in December 2009 and was told that her results were negative. Two months later, however, she learned that she not only had breast cancer, but that it had also spread to her lymph nodes. Fortunately, her cancer has been in remission for three years, but she still had some harsh words for Rapraeger.
“I’m not a name on a piece of paper,” Holmes told local news station WMAZ. “I’m a person.”
Houston County Superior Judge Katherine Lumsden echoed this sentiment in court when she told Rapraeger that she “played Russian roulette with the lives of essentially a thousand women in [her] community.”
Because of her negligence—and laziness, for that matter—Rapraeger could spend up to six months in prison. She also received ten years of probation and a $12,500 fine—and she can’t work in the health care field for at least ten years, either.
Personally, this seems like a small price to pay for doing something so careless—and for doing something that ultimately resulted in the deaths of several patients. After all, being given accurate results could have identified the cancer early enough to begin treatment faster, which obviously could have changed things for these poor women. Instead, they’re dead while Rapraeger lives.
So congratulations, Rachael Rapraeger. You are the Jackass of the Day and likely have been for a long, long time. Sorry it’s taken me so long to recognize you for it.
I also want to offer runner-up awards to the individuals from the West End of Henrico, Virginia who decided to celebrate Easter in racist fashion this year. For whatever reason, they decided to leave Easter eggs on people’s lawns with ridiculous messages attached. One read “Diversity = White Genocide” and claimed that “immigration and forced assimilation of non-Whites into our lands is genocide.” A few even included links to different, and presumably racist, websites, although I have no idea what they were.
Nevertheless, these folks certainly seem to qualify as jackasses, so congratulations to you idiots, too! Enjoy your all-white celebration!
Last week and over the weekend, I ran across a number of news stories worthy of mention on Gnostic Bent. Granted, I could probably drag each of these out as individual posts, but in the name of efficiency, I instead present them in whip-a-round form. Some of them are funny while others are disturbing, but one thing is certain: they are all interesting in their own way. I hope you enjoy them despite their subject matter… or perhaps even learn something along the way. I know that I did.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: The Lunchbox Laboratory in Seattle came under fire recently for an advertisement depicting Jesus Christ with a blunt in his hand. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, a blunt is basically a marijuana joint rolled in cigar paper—the so-called “weapon of choice” for Snoop Lion and countless others. The ad was designed to promote a two-for-one Easter special on the restaurant’s signature dish, the Burger of the Gods. Since Easter fell on April 20th this year—or 420, as it is known and celebrated by potheads all over the world—the restaurant added the blunt and has gotten all sorts of publicity as a result. Of course, Easter falls on April 5th next year, so the odds of Jesus reappearing with a blunt are relatively slim… unless these dates converge again!
HOMOSASSA, FLORIDA: Last Thursday, deputies in Citrus County, Florida arrested 24-year-old Cody Eugene Wygant after receiving a report that his 16-month-old son Daymeon had stopped breathing. Wygant was charged with third-degree murder and child neglect since his son was pronounced dead at Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center a short time later. And during his confession, Wygant explained exactly why he killed his young son: so he could concentrate on playing video games! Apparently, Daymeon was crying uncontrollably while Wygant was playing his Xbox, so he covered the boy’s nose and mouth for 3-4 minutes, put him in his playpen and covered him with blankets and other bedding to ensure he would never breathe fresh air again. When deputies found the child, he was blue and unresponsive—Wygant spent five hours playing games and watching reruns of the Fox television show “Fringe” before finally contacting the authorities. If nothing else, this reminds me of something I heard a long time ago: anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. Obviously, Wygant belongs in this first group—not to mention jail!
OAK CREEK, WISCONSIN: Another guy who reached his breaking point and responded violently was 77-year-old Jack Lang of Oak Creek. The same day that Cody Eugene Wygant murdered his infant son, Lang used a .22-caliber pistol to kill his blind wife of 56 years, June Lang. As I understand it, she had been nagging him incessantly for weeks and “wouldn’t shut up,” so he approached her in the bedroom and told her he had a gun. Unfortunately, this had no effect and she continued to complain, so he shot her in the face and killed her. Police found her lifeless body near the bed and arrested Lang, who has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and could face life in prison if convicted. Of course, he is 77 years old, so life may only be a few more years. At any rate, I hope this convinces spouses to stop nagging each other so much. Even decades of marriage may not be enough to save them otherwise.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: Back to Seattle we go for 20-year-old Gabriel Galan Navarro, a young man charged with first-degree murder on Wednesday for killing his 20-year-old “live-in” girlfriend, Allison Leedy. According to the latest reports, Leedy was planning to end their three-year relationship and to attend college in California—and Navarro was “determined to prevent Allison and her family from realizing her dreams.” So Wednesday morning, he strangled Leedy to death and then sent a text to her family that read “She’s dead. I have the last laugh.” Navarro then phoned the police to confess—even lying and saying he had a booby trap of exploding gas in his apartment (which he didn’t)—and surrendered after officers broke windows to release the alleged gas. Now he sits in jail under $2 million bail, alive and well while the Leedy family mourns their tragic loss. I don’t know if Washington has the death penalty or not, but “an eye for an eye” seems perfectly suited to this case, at least in my opinion.
STOCKTON, IOWA: In order to end on a more positive note, we now travel to Scott County, Iowa and the farm of Bryan Sievers, a sixth-generation farmer who deals primarily with cattle. Beginning in September 2013—and after investing $7 million in the necessary technology—Sievers started converting cow manure into clean power for Alliant Energy. Basically, the poop from each cow falls through a slot in the floor, gets transferred to something called a digester, and then emits methane gas as it travels through a series of tanks and pipes. Each cow eats roughly 40 pounds of feed daily and, collectively, the cows produce enough methane to power 1,000 homes. Sievers uses the energy to power his farm and sells the rest back to the grid—a service that nets him roughly $24,000 a month from the energy company. Not bad for someone who shovels cow shit all day, huh?
This concludes today’s edition of the Reality Round-Up, but I’m sure it won’t be long until the next edition drops. After all, the news never stops, so why should I?
Thanks for reading and, as always, be good to each other…
Here comes the story of the Hurricane,
The man the authorities came to blame
For something that he never done,
Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world.
– Bob Dylan, “Hurricane”
Farewell to Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the former boxer declared one of the best middleweight contenders by Ring magazine in 1963 and wrongly convicted three years later for a triple murder in New Jersey.
Carter spent 19 years in prison before his conviction was overturned by a federal judge in 1985 and he was released. And early Sunday morning, the 76-year-old passed away in Toronto of complications related to prostate cancer.
Like many of my American contemporaries, I likely heard of Rubin Carter in the 1975 Bob Dylan song “Hurricane,” but since I was only four years old at the time, it didn’t really register. This changed in 1999 with the release of the Denzel Washington film Hurricane, and from that point on I was a Rubin Carter fan.
Whether or not you believe Carter to be innocent or guilty, the fact is that he and his friend John Artis—who was with Carter on the night of the shootings and during his final moments alive—never got a fair trial. They accepted their sentences, however unjust, and Carter even served as executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Accused (AIDWYC) after being given his freedom.
Does that sound like something a guilty man would do? I don’t think so.
Carter went on to work as a motivational speaker and received two honorary Doctorates of Law—one from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and the other from York University in Toronto. Both degrees recognized his work with the Innocence Project—an organization focusing on the exoneration of wrongly convicted people, primarily through DNA testing—as well as the AIDWYC. He even won the Abolition Award from the Death Penalty Focus group in 1996.
In other words, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter took whatever life threw at him—no matter how negative and unfair—and came out the other side to affect positive change and to help others. And for that he deserves our gratitude.
Rest easy, Rubin. And know that I will always replace could-a been with was in Bob Dylan’s song because you were a champion of the world… just not in boxing.
I realize this may sound terrible, but I read a few news stories today that were pretty disturbing—one involving someone who attempted suicide (in a very bizarre and painful way) and another involving someone who should probably give it a try soon. You may find that last bit rather harsh and unsettling, but I assure I only use it because I find this person’s actions so utterly reprehensible.
And who knows? In a moment, you might just agree with me.
First, however, I want to mention the poor bastard who attempted suicide, failed—thankfully—and now faces a host of other issues. He is none other than Andre Johnson (a.k.a. Christ Bearer), a rapper with the Wu-Tang affiliated group Northstar. Ever heard of him? Me neither, but his recent suicide attempt did make headlines… totally horrifying headlines, actually.
You see, Andre not only tried to take his own life by jumping out the second floor window of his North Hollywood apartment on Wednesday—which in retrospect doesn’t seem as if it would be all that effective. I mean, how high could it be? Seriously? Of course, this isn’t the disturbing part. What he did before he jumped is what had me cringing on the floor in the fetal position.
For no discernible reason, Andre cut off his own penis and then leaped out the window.
Police arrived a short time later to find the emasculated rapper lying facedown on the sidewalk with critical injuries. He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and I can only assume that’s where he currently resides. Not many details have been released, but I do know he’s alive.
Other rappers on the scene assured police that drugs were not present and played no role in the penis-less diving incident, but many suspect that mental illness may have. Either way, Andre is lucky to be alive. His rap career may be over—Wu-Tang was quick to distance themselves from him… and I don’t know of many successful soprano rappers—but at least he’ll live to see another day.
Another person who’ll live to see another day—and perhaps shouldn’t—is 21-year-old Kimberley Davis of Port Fairy, Australia. She may be young and beautiful, but she’s also a living example of the expression what a waste.
On Monday, Davis pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and had to pay a hefty fine—punishment for an automobile collision she caused last September. Davis—an obviously spoiled brat with little to no regard for others—was driving and texting when she suddenly slammed into a bicyclist.
He suffered a spinal fracture, was told he may be paraplegic, underwent surgery and spent three months recovering in a spinal cage at Austin Hospital in Melbourne; she had her license suspended and had to cough up $4500, which to me seems like a small price to pay for such gross negligence. Of course, you will never convince Queen Davis of that. Just days after she ran this poor guy down, she had this to say to one of the responding officers:
I just don’t care because I’ve already been through a lot of bullshit and my car is, like, pretty expensive and now I have to fix it. I’m kind of pissed off that the cyclist has hit the side of my car. I don’t agree that people texting and driving could hit a cyclist. I wasn’t on my phone when I hit the cyclist.
Actually, police checked her phone records and discovered Davis used it 44 times before colliding with the cyclist. 44 times!
Can you feel me now?
I know that I’m a little behind since this news broke last month, but I want to give a quick “shout out” to the cast, writers and crew of arguably the best sitcom on television: The Big Bang Theory.
In March, CBS announced that it had renewed the popular comedy for three more years, effectively extending its life until 2017. Doing so actually made television history since TBBT became the first modern scripted program to be renewed for this length of time.
Granted, Comedy Central did the same for Tosh.0—which I suppose qualifies as a cable show rather than one on a major network—but let’s face it: Tosh.0 is no Big Bang Theory. I enjoy it, mind you, but I never wait for new episodes with the same excitement and anticipation as I do for Sheldon, Leonard, Penny and the rest of the Big Bang crowd.
So kudos, Big Bang, for making television history and—more importantly—thanks for providing us all with hilarious and intelligent entertainment. I know that I’ll be watching for the next three years… and perhaps even longer.