Chuck Shepherd Sunday, February 23, 2014 0

Ask Americans how they stand compared to their fellow countrymen, and in survey after survey, the vast majority rank themselves “above average” in such areas as driving skill, sexual prowess and honesty. A recent study of English prisoners, published in the British Journal of Social Psychology, revealed that those miscreants think they, too, are in the upper half. They rate themselves above average (whether compared to Britons in prison or in society at large) in compassion, generosity, dependability, trustworthiness and honesty. In fact, the only trait on the University of Southampton survey on which the criminals failed to rank themselves as better than the typical Brit was “law-abidingness.” On that trait, the inmates rated themselves merely as “average.”


Compelling Explanations

— Pastor Ray Scott Teets, 66, of Fallen Timbers Community Chapel in Springhill Township, Pa., was arrested for alleged “inappropriate contact” with an 11-year-old girl (a daughter of parishioners) on at least three occasions. He denied to police the meetings were inappropriate. The girl, he said, requested counseling with him and suggested that the sessions take place in the storage shed in back of the chapel. (The girl said there were six meetings, lasting about 15 minutes each, and denied initiating them.)

— Robert Bourque, 55, was convicted of DUI in Sarnia, Ontario, but continued to deny the charge. He admitted he had four beers on the day of the traffic stop, but said the Breathalyzer result was misleading because he had recently poured alcohol into his ears to test a theory about how Jesus healed the sick. Bourque was acting as his own lawyer.

— The mother and other relatives of William Medina, 24, said they felt hurt by public comments suggesting Medina and his partner in a Reading, Pa., armed robbery were “thugs.” William was a “family man” — “no big hard criminal,” his mother said. The two robbers, who were armed and wearing masks, were gunned down by a Krick’s Korner customer who said he feared the worst when he saw the robbers leading a store employee at gunpoint into a back room. A Medina cousin said he deplored people’s taking the law into their own hands.



— A California appeals court endorsed actor Tippi Hedren’s victorious suit against the lawyer who failed to win compensation for her from a 2006 studio accident. In Hedren’s most famous movie role, she was attacked by birds in Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic film. In the 2006 injury, she had been clobbered by scenery that fell on her when birds nested in an attic over a stage.

— A man who won a Hollywood raffle to watch the finale of Breaking Bad with cast members was arrested in Fort Myers, Fla., and faces intent-to-sell drug charges.

— Arvind Kejriwal, fresh from his electoral victory as chief minister of the state of New Delhi, India, was to report to work to begin fulfilling his promise of an anti-corruption administration that would provide unprecedented “transparency” to make government visible to constituents. The transparency of his first public announcement was perhaps over-the-top. He said he was taking the day off because of a bout of diarrhea. Said a colleague, “When the chief minister gives you a minute-by-minute update on his bowel movements, hail democracy!”

— Officials in Taiji, Japan, announced they would build a tourist attraction to publicize a nearby annual dolphin cull in which thousands of dolphins are killed. Park planners hope to attract visitors to swim and cavort in pools among the captured dolphins, and to dine on dolphin meat (and rare whale meat) scored from the culls. Conservationists are, of course, disgusted by the project.


Fine Points Of The Law

— Michael Robertson, 31, argued via a lawyer before Massachusetts’ highest court that his arrest for taking “upskirt” photographs of a woman on the subway should be tossed out. He asserted he has a constitutional right to take pictures of anything that’s not covered up in public. His lawyer (a woman), noted that the victim’s skirt provided only partial covering, “If a clothed person reveals a body part, whether it was intentional or unintentional, he or she cannot expect privacy.” Robertson’s case has been suspended at the trial court while he seeks a ruling on his legal interpretation.

— The federal court decision by Judge William Pauley that dismissed a challenge to the National Security Agency’s phone surveillance program suggested that even if a citizen proved his constitutional right to privacy was being violated, that person could never know it was being violated in the first place, and thus could never challenge the matter. In fact, wrote Pauley, the alleged constitutional violation that created the current lawsuit only came to light because of the unauthorized leaks by Edward Snowden. Therefore, if Congress never amends its law that the NSA’s activities be done in secret, citizens will never get to find out whether their rights are being violated.


Least Competent Criminals

According to a police report, when Tevin Monroe, 31, walked into a McDonald’s in Norfolk, Va., to inquire about a job, he was told that the job application was available online and that he should go download it. Dissatisfied with this information, Monroe lifted his shirt to show the manager the gun in his waistband. The manager quickly located a paper application for Monroe. He also discreetly summoned police, who arrived and arrested Monroe while he was still filling out the form.



For nearly 30 years, the U.S. national symbol, the bald eagle, was endangered and protected. But now the birds are considered so common that the government is willing to allow dozens of them to be chopped to death in the blades of “clean energy” wind turbines. An Associated Press investigation revealed that the federal government is purposely ignoring the eagles’ attrition out of fear that outraged conservationists’ campaigns will hinder development of wind power as an alternative to coal-produced electricity. Another recent AP investigation revealed a similar painful choice in the commitment to ethanol as a clean alternative fuel. Its cleanliness is being increasingly questioned. Ethanol production requires the massive diversion of corn that could inexpensively feed millions of hungry people worldwide.


Suspicions Confirmed

University of Alabama football fan Adrian Briskey, 28, was charged with the fatal shooting of a 36-year-old woman who was also a Bama fan at a gathering in Hoover, Ala., held after the team’s last-second loss to arch-rival Auburn. According to the victim’s sister, Briskey was angry at the woman because he felt she wasn’t sufficiently distraught at the game’s outcome.