Not content to settle for defeat in his fight against excessively large sodas, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has found a new target for his war on all things unhealthy: donuts. The mayor’s latest proposal would make it illegal for donuts and bagels to be sold in packages containing more than seven. The proposed ban would affect chain shops like Dunkin’ Donuts as well as indie shops. Grocery stores and gas stations would also be barred from selling large packages of either treat.
“The time for us to get the obesity epidemic in this country under control has long since come and gone,” Bloomberg told reporters today. “Bagels and donuts are every bit as unhealthy and destructive as a 17-ounce cup of soda, and high-capacity boxes of donuts and bagels help contribute to the millions of deaths each year from heart disease, cancer, and complications from diabetes.”
Shops are still free to use any high-capacity packaging they currently have on hand, but they would be required by law to only fill those packages with no more than seven donuts.
Asked the reason for the seemingly arbitrary cap at seven, Bloomberg replied, “It’s just the right thing to do. It’s about making it less convenient. If someone wants to eat more than seven, then he would have to buy two boxes.”
The proposal also takes measures to deal with the millions of existing high-capacity donut and bagel packages that are in circulation and ready to be filled with the tasty treats.
“Shops are still free to use any high-capacity packaging they currently have on hand, but they would be required by law to only fill those packages with no more than seven donuts,” he explained.
The production of new packaging would be limited to a capacity of seven donuts or bagels.
The proposal met with support and opposition from the expected circles, with progressive groups and health advocates calling the proposed ban visionary on the mayor’s part. Freedom advocates see the ban as yet another attack on liberty.
“This is nothing but the latest display of nannyism by an overzealous mayor who wants everyone to believe that he knows what’s best for us all,” said Barton Martell spokesman for the National Pastry Chefs Association. “He’s out of control.”
In response to critics of the ban, Bloomberg stated, “We’ve been through this before. It’s not about limiting choice. It’s about promoting a healthy community.”
In response to the shocking cannibalistic attack that occurred in Miami on Saturday afternoon, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made some shocking waves himself when he suggested the victim of the attack should feel lucky it did not occur in New York City, or he may have been fined.
Ronald Poppo, the 65-year-old homeless victim of the savage attack, suffered extensive damage to his face with much of his mouth and nose torn off and apparently eaten by his attacker, Rudy Eugene. Miami police believe that Poppo was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when Eugene found him.
According to Mayor Bloomberg, that wrong place would have been much worse for Poppo had the attack occurred in New York City instead of Miami. Bloomberg has of late been engaged in a campaign against the obesity epidemic plaguing the country, using various bans on trans fats, salt, and sugar as his weapons of choice.
His latest salvo came this week with a proposed ban on sugary drinks sold in container sizes greater than 16 ounces. The move has received reactions ranging from agreement to ridicule and nannyism to charges of encroachment on personal freedoms.
Some other regulations Bloomberg has put in place require food preparers to make available to the city samples to test the nutritional value of the food offerings. This has caused many charities to stop accepting some food donations to the homeless because they are unable to conform to the regulations.
[H]e should feel lucky he wasn’t in this city when he was assaulted.
Bloomberg insists that Poppo would have fallen under the purview of those regulations since he did not submit samples of his facial tissues to the city for validation. As such, there was no way for the city to determine its salt, fat, and fiber content. In addition, Poppo did not post dietary information, such as calories per serving and total calories, in accordance with other New York City regulations.
“It was a grotesque attack, and my heart goes out to the victim, but I must say he should feel lucky he wasn’t in this city when he was assaulted,” Bloomberg told reporters at a press conference this afternoon.
“He would be facing some serious fines if he was serving food in this city without the proper licensing.”
The comments came as light was shed on a New York City connection to the attacker.
Poppo remains in critical condition.
Just a day after news broke that a father in Falls Church, Virginia, ran afoul of local government after building a treehouse in his yard, President Obama today announced the appointment of the first ever treehouse czar.
Mark Grapin learned the hard way about government red tape and bureaucracy when he decided to build a treehouse for his two sons. Grapin even cleared the project with a Fairfax County official who, he claims, laughed that Grapin was concerned about building codes for treehouses. It turned out, however, to be no laughing matter.
After building the treehouse, county officials received an anonymous complaint about the structure, and Grapin is now faced with the possibility of having to tear the treehouse down.
“I don’t have the heart for it,” he says. “I’m gonna go pay some day laborers and hide in the house while they take a saw to it.”
Upon hearing the news, President Obama quickly made moves to create an Office of Treehouse Licensing and Safety, and named former bird house inspector Brian Barthausen as its director. This new tree house czar, Obama claims, will standardize rules and codes surrounding the building of treehouses and ensure that safety requirements are adhered to stringently.
“This new Office of Treehouse Licensing and Safety will not only create thousands of new jobs for out of work building inspectors and architects,” Obama stated in a press conference this morning, “it will, more importantly, save the lives of countless children across the country.”
Grapin offered no comment on the creation of a new treehouse czar, stating only that he’s focusing on his Nov. 30 appeal.
In addition to the media frenzy surrounding the increasingly erratic actor, Charlie Sheen now has one more thing to worry about: a civil suit filed against him.
The wrongful death suit, brought against Sheen by Julius Vincetti, claims that his wife, Marina, overdosed on the actor, resulting in Marina’s untimely death. But, Vincetti claims, the story is much more disturbing.
“Last week, my wife and I had gone on our monthly date night at the Palm,” Vincetti explained, “and we just happened to bump into Charlie Sheen.”
Vincetti goes on to relay the story of how his wife and Sheen had a brief conversation in which Sheen was obviously flirting with Marina.
“They talked for maybe a minute, if that, and then my wife and I ate our meal. She was fine at first, but then starting feeling strange by the end of the meal.”
After dinner, the Vincettis went home to their three children. Marina quickly began feeling worse, and develop a dangerously high fever of 104 degrees. Vincetti immediately called an ambulance, but it was too late. What occurred next, Vincetti claims, will haunt his dreams for the rest of his life.
“I had just hung up with 911 when my wife just started screaming. Then the kids started yelling and screaming, too. I rushed to my wife and saw her face literally melting away from her skull.”
I’ve never seen anything like it. The victim’s skin and muscle tissue around her face seems to have just spontaneously liquefied.
Court and medical records obtained by Land of the Pigs corroborate Vincetti’s bizarre claim.
Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, Russell Branna, was at a loss to explain the condition.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. The victim’s skin and muscle tissue around her face seems to have just spontaneously liquefied.”
But Marina’s death was far more disturbing still.
“She was dead before the ambulance even arrived,” Russell Vincetti continued, choking on the words. “After her face disappeared, she died immediately. But, it wasn’t over. Her body… her chest… it just popped open.”
This will scar them forever. This is something that I can’t imagine they will ever be able to deal with. I know that I won’t be able to.
After taking a moment to collect himself, Vincetti told us that the worst part about the whole thing was that it all happened right in front of the couple’s three children, Maya, 12, Leonard, 9, and Rosa, 5.
“They saw it all. They saw their mother’s face just disappear. They saw her body just pop open. They saw it all, and just stood there crying over their mother’s exploded body. This will scar them forever. This is something that I can’t imagine they will ever be able to deal with. I know that I won’t be able to.”
The Medical Examiner could offer no explanation for the bursting open of Marina’s body either.
“Again, I quite honestly have no explanation.” Branna stated. “There was nothing apparent in the autopsy that would explain any of the violent conditions that ultimately caused Mrs. Vincetti’s death. We are still investigating, but I have to say at this point I’m not very hopeful.”
It was not until the interview with Charlie Sheen aired on ABC’s 20/20 last night that Vincetti was able to piece together the events.
Among the many strange and borderline incoherent statements made during the interview, when asked if he was still using drugs, Sheen answered:
I’m on a drug. It’s called ‘Charlie Sheen.’ It’s not available. If you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.
As incredible as it may have seemed, an explanation for Marina’s extraordinarily unusual death had finally presented itself.
“That son of a bitch killed my wife!” Russell Vincetti, clearly emotional, shouted. “He said something to her that night, and he killed her!”
Look, I can’t help how people react to me, and I really don’t care. When my tiger blood gets going, I’m addictive. I’m deadly. And, I am like a drug.
Sheen’s lawyers issued a statement this morning stating that Vincetti’s claim was outrageous and unsubstantiated.
We feel for Mr. Vincetti in this clearly and understandably difficult time, but it is incredulous in the extreme to believe that our client was involved in any way in Mrs. Vincetti’s untimely death. We offer our sincerest condolences to the Vincetti family and hope that they are somehow able to find solace and comfort during this ordeal.
Charlie Sheen, on the other hand, ignoring the advice of his attorney’s to remain silent about the case, told reporters today that “it’s just part of being me.”
“Look, I can’t help how people react to me, and I really don’t care. When my tiger blood gets going, I’m addictive. I’m deadly. And, I am like a drug. A very dangerous drug from… from another dimension–another realm. And neither you nor I can predict what will happen from that.”
Vincetti is seeking $10 million in punitive damages and $50 million for pain and suffering.
Sheen showed little concern, however.
“Look, I’m gonna win this ridiculous case because that’s what I do. I’m a winner, which this guy’s wife clearly was not. That’s not my fault.”
The trial is scheduled to begin sometime in May.
Riley Publishing, the publishing house behind the popular For Idiots line of books, was served notice today informing the company that it was named as the defendant in a civil suit brought against it. The reason: their books are too confusing, therefore the well-known brand constitutes false advertising.
It was just so confusing. It had all sorts of jibberish in it.
Jedediah Westmore, of Huntington, Arkansas, decided to file suit against Riley Publishing after being found guilty last month at a trial in which he defended himself using techniques learned from one of Riley Publishing’s titles, Criminal Law for Idiots. Westmore, 43, was sentenced to 11 months in the Sebastion County Jail for indecent exposure and molesting a coin operated vending machine.
“I bought that book in good faith that it would teach me how to represent myself good,” stated Westmore. “I couldn’t afford the $40 fee for no public defender, so I figured $12.99 for the book would be just as good.”
Westmore became concerned once he opened and began reading the book.
“It was just so confusing. It had all sorts of jibberish in it,” he said, referring to the Latin terms and phrases typical in law, “and even though it explained what all that jibberish meant, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.”
In a press release issued shortly after receiving notice of the suit, Riley Publishing stated that Mr. Westmore has no legal standing and that the lawsuit was “as frivolous as can be imagined.”
Riley Publishing does not, nor has it ever, offered any guarantee as to the effectiveness of our For Idiots titles with regard to teaching our readers at anything more than a beginner’s level. We cannot, and fully expect that we will not, be held responsible for Mr. Westmore’s imprudent choice to represent himself at trial while having no formal education or background in law–let alone after not fully understanding the contents of our title, Criminal Law for Idiots.
Westmore, however, disagrees and is seeking $3 million in damages and an extra $2 million for pain and suffering.
Some trial lawyers with knowledge of the circumstances of the case and false advertising suits in particular, believe that Riley Publishing may be a bit overconfident.
How must Mr. Westmore feel knowing that he couldn’t understand a book that its publisher claims is meant ‘for idiots?’
Robert Edward Davis, a civil attorney who specializes in false advertising claims, explained that the titles of the For Idiots books alone are offensive, but doubly so for someone who was unable to glean anything from the material.
“How must Mr. Westmore feel knowing that he couldn’t understand a book that its publisher claims is meant ‘for idiots?’” asked Davis.
In addition to the civil suit against Riley Publishing, Westmore is diligently working on an appeal of his conviction. He plans to represent himself again in both the civil trial and appeal. When asked if that was a wise idea given his previous experience, Westmore simply smiled and pulled two books from under the mattress in his cell.
Civil Law for Idiots and Appeals for Idiots.
Two separate bombing plots in as many weeks ended badly for the would-be bombers when the radio detonators attached to their explosives fired ahead of schedule, killing both of the Islamist extremists behind the attempts.
The first incident occurred in Kandahār Province, Afghanistan on January 9th at around 9:00AM local time. Witnesses say the cab of a small pickup truck heading toward the main city of Kandahār exploded outside the city, safely away from any populated areas. The driver, a Pakistani man later identified by security forces as Omar Rehman Tariq, was killed in the blast; however, in a miraculous investigative twist, the cell phone used to detonate the bomb was left largely undamaged.
It’s just one of those strange coincidences. I can’t explain it.
Afghan police were able to use the phone’s internal memory, as well as records from the service provider, to ascertain not only the identity of the bomber, but the last number received by the phone at the time of the blast. After interrogating the caller, investigators determined that the call placed to Tariq’s cell phone was made in error when the caller dialed the wrong number while attempting to contact his brother.
“It’s just one of those strange coincidences,” one Afghan officer said. “I can’t explain it.”
Still, the investigators were stunned by the amateur aspects of the plot, such as the Tariq’s use of his personal cell phone to trigger the bomb, and believe that Tariq operated on his own.
In a separate incident in Kabul that occurred midday Friday, Ibrahim Saeed bin Jamal Al-Aden was also killed when a bomb he intended to plant was detonated prematurely by its cell phone detonator. No one aside from Al-Aden was killed in the blast, though five people were reported to have suffered minor injuries from the shrapnel.
In this case Afghan police were not able to recover the cell phone used as the detonator, but it quickly became clear that the plot Al-Aden was meant to carry out was more professionally planned and that he had ties to terrorist groups in the area.
Shortly after the blast, Al-Aden’s wife placed a call to Afghan police in Kabul and informed investigators that she was the reason the bomb exploded ahead of schedule. The bomber’s wife, Fatimah bint Khalid Al-Fulan, told police that a month before, Al Aden had nearly killed her in an “honor beating” as punishment for wearing a burqa that Al-Aden claimed exposed too much of his wife’s face.
Al-Fulan later learned of her husband’s part in the plot to detonate the bomb inside Kabul City Center, the capital’s first shopping mall.
If he truly believed in the cause, he would have strapped the bomb onto himself instead of planning to blow it up while he was safely out of the way.
“I hated him,” she cried. “I wanted him dead. Then I found out what he was up to.”
Al-Fulan explained to investigators that she was able to discover the number to the cell phone her husband intended to use to detonate the bomb, and called it when she knew he would not yet have placed it.
“I wanted only him to die,” she continued. “He was a coward. He had no courage. No commitment. If he truly believed in the cause, he would have strapped the bomb onto himself instead of planning to blow it up while he was safely out of the way.”
Police have arrested and are currently holding Al-Fulan for her part in the blast.
Coming just one week off of President Obama’s press conference during which he unexpectedly left former President Clinton to field questions from reporters, the administration announced today a new program that it hopes will curry favor with not only the independent voters that were instrumental in his 2008 electoral victory, but also his liberal Democrat base which has undeniably been dwindling as of late.
The new program, called Guest President of the Week, will begin on Monday and run for the next two to six years, offered one administration official who asked not to be named because he was not cleared to divulge details of the program.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, however, confirmed the statement.
Our hope is that he can bring about the same change in attitude among the broader American public as he does the patients on his show.
While addressing the White House Press Pool during the daily briefing, Gibbs explained that the program was meant to allow President Obama more time for personal pursuits such as rounds of golf, games of one-on-one, and attending parties with the First Lady.
Gibbs then announced that the first Guest President of the Week would be Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer.
“We feel that Mr. Millan is perfectly suited to getting to the root of this country’s stubbornness and resistance to our policies,” stated Gibbs. “Our hope is that he can bring about the same change in attitude among the broader American public as he does the patients on his show.”
I think it’s a fair trade, given what the country gets in return.
As expected Republicans and Independents were up in arms over the administration’s comparison of them to untrained dogs, though the prospect of having guest presidents for the remainder of Obama’s term was appealing to some.
“Of course I resent the comparison,” a staffer to Senator Coburn said, “but I think it’s a fair trade, given what the country gets in return.”
Others voiced concerns of the constitutionality of the program.
“Our lawyers have looked over that issue and see no problem,” assured Gibbs. “Despite the name of the program, the guest ‘presidents’ should be considered more along the lines of short-term executive czars, essentially no different than any of the other numerous czars appointed by the president while in office.”
When asked if Cesar Millan was the administration’s first choice for the program, Gibbs replied that he was not.
“We initially offered the position to Morgan Freeman. He has experience, albeit on screen, playing both the president and God. What better person to be a vicar of President Obama? He unfortunately declined; however, we are certain that Mr. Millan will more than meet the expectations of the position.”
Before ending the presser, Mr. Gibbs directed the press pool to the whitehouse.gov website to see the current list of people that have agreed to be guest presidents.
“Of particular interest, to us anyway, is the second guest president: Samuel L. Jackson,” Gibbs added with a chuckle. “We might finally rid ourselves of the snake problem on Air Force One.”