Category Archives: Idiot of the Week

Idiots of the Week: WABC-TV

Oh my God! Did you hear the news on channel 7? There are mice running around the Pinkberry on the Upper East Side! How disgusting! First, it was rats. Now, it’s mice! This is out of control! We must stop this massive incoming health crisis! EVERYBODY PANIC!

mice_061707.jpgYes, there are mice running around in closed restaurants in New York City. In other news: the sky is blue, the earth is round, and the subway doesn’t always run on time. Shocking stuff! Look, I’ve seen a mouse run loose in my apartment, and it didn’t necessitate a visit from a camera crew or the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. A few mice running loose in a New York City restaurant are not worthy of any amount of time on the local news, let alone a top story.

Not to mention that this isn’t a compelling story. The Rats at Taco Bell were out of control. It was a pack of ugly, mutant rats, jumping over every square foot of floor and every piece of furniture. Meanwhile, I could count the number of mice at Pinkberry on one hand. They had to highlight the mice on the video just to distinguish them from a stain on the floor. There’s no mistaking rats. And mice are cute! They’re small and look pretty much harmless. In the unnecessarily-long story on the WABC, they interviewed patrons at Pinkberry on Sunday, and none of them said it would stop them from coming. You know why? Because it’s two fucking little mice. Hell, if they didn’t charge freaking five bucks for a little cup of frozen yogurt, I’d almost feel bad for Pinkberry.

So, congratulations, WABC. You are the Idiots of the Week! Two mice roaming around a Manhattan restaurant is not surprising, revolting, or particuarly unhealthy, no matter how much you guys want to tell us it is.

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Idiots of the Week: Christine Quinn and Mike Bloomberg

mayorandquinn.jpgYesterday, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Mike Bloomberg proudly announced together that they had reached an agreement on the city’s budget for the next fiscal year. The budget includes finding use for the city’s massive $4.4 billion tax surplus.

Some of the plans for the surplus are quite logical: provide $75 million in tax relief for small businesses. Cut property taxes for homeowners by 7%. Reopen libraries six days a week for the 47 New Yorkers who still actually use libraries.

There’s one thing in the plan that’s obviously missing: tax relief for renters. 2/3 of all New Yorkers rent their homes. Speaker Quinn had been pushing for a $300 tax rebate for renters. Since property owners are getting tax relief (many of whom don’t even live in New York City), shouldn’t renters also get a piece of this massive surplus?

No, because Speaker Quinn is just another spineless Democrat on our City Council. She’d rather cave in to Mayor Mike than take a stand for the little guy.

Instead, Quinn and Bloomberg would rather eliminate the city sales tax on items like this:

shortsfor202.jpg

These are a pair of 7 Denim shorts. They are made of such little material that it’s a wonder you can even see them. They retail for a ridiculous $202. If you buy them in New York City now, you’d pay $218.92 with tax. But thanks to Mayor Mike and Speaker Quinn, you’ll soon pay just $210.08!

That’s right. The agreement includes the elimination of the city sales tax on clothing and shoes over $110. The city sales tax on clothing and shoes under $110 was eliminated last year, and rightly so – clothing, much like groceries, are a necessity. Any piece of clothing over $110 is not a necessity – it is a luxury. If you are wealthy enough to justify paying $202 for a piece of denim that’s barely the size of my own two hands, you deserve to pay the city sales tax on it. This is a luxury tax.

So, rather than provide tax relief to cash-strapped renters who already get screwed by their landlords’ outrageous rent increases (even when the city is regulating the rent), the city would rather give more tax relief to the same people who own $2.3 million lofts, run up $400 restaurant bills at the Waverly Inn, and pay for bottle service at Marquee.

Oh, and by the way, 9% of that sales tax goes to fund the MTA. You ever hear of the MTA? That’s the agency that’s plummeting into debt. The agency that provides one of the most important services in this city. The agency that people who can afford $202 jean shorts hail a cab to avoid.

Thanks for looking out for the little guy, Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn. You guys are truly the Idiots of the Week.

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Idiot of the Week: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Congratulations to this week’s Idiot of the Week, Condoleezza Rice. She gets this week’s distinction not for political reasons, but because it appears that George W. Bush’s eloquence has rubbed off on her.

Here’s a quote of hers that appeared in the newspaper this morning. I’m telling you, this quote will totally blow your mind:

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The only thing more amusing than this quote is the fact that am New York chose to highlight this quote.

Pure brilliance, Secretary Rice. Only someone with insight like that could be worthy of Idiot of the Week.

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Idiot of the Week: Governor Jon Corzine

Usually the Idiot of the Week award goes to someone who is unquestionably idiotic and does something indefensible. This week, I’m sticking the Idiot of the Week title on someone who is breathing with the help of a respirator in a hospital in Camden, New Jersey (I don’t know what’s worse: breathing with a respirator or spending more than a week in Camden, New Jersey). This week’s idiot is New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine.

corzine.jpgBut Chris! That’s not fair! You can’t possibly call someone in his condition an idiot!

Yes, I can.

This is the year 2007. I think decades of use, mounds of indisputable scientific evidence, and thousands – possibly millions – of saved lives make it pretty clear that YOU SHOULD WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT.

Maybe I hang with a smart crowd, but I don’t know a single person who doesn’t wear a seat belt, except possibly when in the back seat of a cab in New York City, where it’s considered a faux pas to get into a cab and put on a seat belt (and perhaps an insult to the driver ability to navigate the city streets safely? I don’t understand this logic, because 50% of the time that I’m in a cab, I need to hold on to something as my life flashes before my eyes). My first instinct whenever I get into a car is to put on my seat belt. This is how I was raised. And any parent who didn’t drive that home to their child in the age of seat belts is… just a terrible parent.

Now, it was a little different to not put on your seat belt back in the 80s, before mandatory restraint laws really started to take off. But today, in 49 states, if you don’t wear your seat belt, YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW.

Which brings us back to Governor Corzine, the highest-ranking official in state government in one of those 49 states, who was conducting official state business in an official state vehicle, and, at the same time, was breaking the law. That’s some real leadership he was showing.

I used to think that seat belts were a means of natural selection: small children aside, people who died in an accident because they were too stupid to understand the benefits of wearing a seat belt were probably doing society a favor, because they couldn’t have been that bright to begin with. But when I learn that a man who holds an M.B.A. from University of Chicago, goes on to make millions as a bond trader, and serves in two prestigious public offices in state and Federal government voluntarily chooses not to wear a seat belt, it messes with my perception of just who exactly is an idiot. Now, I’m left to wonder how many other well-educated, highly-respected public officials don’t wear a seat belt.

So, Governor Corzine, I honestly wish you a speedy recovery, as I wouldn’t wish death upon anyone. But I hope you take your Idiot of the Week award to heart when you strap on your seat belt for the trip back to the state house, and wonder why a full week in intensive care had to be your “wake up call.”

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Idiot of the Week: Mother Nature

It’s been a while since I’ve dubbed someone the Idiot of the Week, but this woman really deserves it. After the drubbing that she’s given us over the past few weeks, I think that Mother Nature is very much deserving of the honor of this week’s Idiot of the Week award.

easterbasketgirl.jpgFirst of all, have you looked at a calendar lately? Because I’m pretty sure Mother Nature hasn’t. I don’t know if she can even read a goddamn calendar, because it was warmer on Christmas than it was on Easter. It was warmer for most of March than it’s been in April. I don’t want someone who can’t read a calendar to be responsible for controlling the weather! Seriously, I figure she’s gotta be pretty old. Maybe someone should get her a new pair of glasses. Mother Nature is probably one of those stubborn old ladies who won’t let her children put her in a nursing home when she really shouldn’t be sitting around at home on her own.

indians.jpgMaybe Mother Nature isn’t a big Cleveland Indians fan. Baseball season started, and an entire series of games was snowed out in Cleveland. Hell, they moved the Indians games to Milwaukee this week, and guess what? It snowed in Milwaukee! Seriously, who can’t love that ragtag group of misfits who have gone back to their old “potential-subject-for-a-movie-about-a-disasterously-mismanaged-baseball-team” ways? There’s always the potential that Mother Nature is a Yankees fan. After all, it was about 35 degrees during a Red Sox-Rangers game in Texas last week! Yeah, she could’ve helped the Yankees out in terms of gametime temperatures last week, but there’s only so much you can do when the league is stupid enough to schedule six home games in New York City in the first week of April.

soreloser.jpgThen there’s my other theory: Mother Nature is a Republican. After all, she’s a spirit, and a lot of Republicans claim that they’re “spiritual people.” So, she must be fucking with Al Gore. She’s throwing him a curveball, so the next time he debates a Global Warming skeptics, all they have to do is fire back with, “well, it snowed in April! How can you explain that, Mr. The-World-is-Ending?”

So, thanks, Mother Nature, for being my Idiot of the Week. And thanks for letting my spring wardrobe sit in the back of my closet for another month. Oh, and you can be sure that I’ll be bitching about you again when it’s 105 degrees with 90% humidity in July.

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Idiots of the Week: Everyone Responsible for the Conviction of Julie Amero

idiot1.jpgThis week, I’m going to bestow the honor of Idiot of the Week to a countless number of people who have ruined a Connecticut substitute teacher’s life. Among them, the parents of the students in her classroom, the administration of the middle school she was working at, the Norwich Police detective (pictured) who conducted a faulty investigation, the judge at her trial, the heartless prosecutor, the jury that found her guilty, many others who have propagated this travesty.

Some background: Julie Amero, a 40-year-old substitute teacher in Norwich, Connecticut, was looking over a class in October 2004. There was a computer at the front of the classroom.  Poronographic material appeared on the screen while she was present in the room.

GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY! She must clearly be guilty! She showed porn to children! That’s disgusting!

That’s the kneejerk reaction one might have without any of the facts of the case. So, here’s the evidence that essentially got ignored by the judge, the jury, and the so-called “prosecution expert” (a corrupt police detective who has no formal training in information technology, used the results of a computer scanning program that doesn’t detect spyware as evidence, and had previously been charged with misconduct for drinking on the job and creating his own pornography): the administrators did not have any anti-virus or anti-spyware protection on the school’s computers, which ran an old version of Windows and Internet Explorer. The “pornographic material” was a bevy of malicious pop-up ads. The more Amero closed the pop-up windows, the more the ads popped up.

popups.jpgI could go on, but even my computer-illiterate AARP-card-carrying father understands why she’s innocent, so I won’t waste my breath.

The prosecution claimed that she purposely pulled up these images and displayed them to her class. They said nothing about her mental state and emotional reaction once the images appeared, nor her efforts to turn the computer away from the classroom, nor the fact that students had been using the computer unsupervised at the time. They blocked a defense expert from testifying based on a clerical error, and they called no witnesses who were actually versed in information technology.

Unfortunately, that initial kneejerk reaction seems to be as deep as any of this week’s Idiots of the Week were willing to go during her trial. The only thing she did wrong was not turn off the computer – because she was told not to by school staff. That’s a mistake that’s not worth a night in jail, let alone the 40 years in prison she now faces. The case goes to sentencing later this month.

So, congratulations, Idiots of the Week! You ruined a woman’s good name, put her under stress that led to the miscarriage of her child, and reaffirmed the constant miscarriage of justice that takes place in American courts.

Oh, you also reaffirmed the fact that Connecticut sucks.

What, you thought I could get through that rant without mentioning my distaste for that state?

Idiot of the Week runner-up: Former Hampton Bays Elementary School Principal Andrew Albano, who fired a teacher because he thought she was a witch. No, seriously. I wish I was making that up. The American education system is brimming with idiots. And I’m not just talking about the students.

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Idiots of the Week: National Federation of the Blind

“Oh god, he’s clearly gone insane,” you’re probably saying. “He’s going after the blind?”

No, I’m not going after the blind. I’m just going after an organization that represents them: the National Federation of the Blind, who came out this week against hybrid cars.

Why? Because they’re too quiet.

From the article:

“We generally couldn’t sense that it was there right in front of us, which of course, if we had been standing in the road, would have been running right over us,” [Chris Danielsen, a 36-year-old NFB member] said.

“By the time anybody detected it, if we had actually been standing in the road, it would have taken out three or four people.”

Standing in the road, emphasis obviously mine, is something I always find those damn blind people doing. Just standing out there, in the middle of the road. Hanging out in groups of three or four people, always getting in the way. Those rascally packs of blind people are a dangerous bunch.

In other news, the National Federation of the Deaf has come out against reducing light pollution, because that would make it too dark.

[Runners-up this week: JetBlueTim Hardaway, and the American Public for not accepting the dollar coin as a legitimate form of currency, even though it will save our government $500 millon a year.]

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