The Hitler mini-series aired on CBS across the nation -- except for Corpus Christi and Laredo, Texas, where station owners said they feared it would incite white supremacists and "disturbed young people." "The Nazi concept is still very real," said Dale Remy, general manager of KZTV in Corpus Christi. "I think anything we do to give that particular thinking a venue, a format, is a mistake." As we all know, south Texas has been a hotbed of activity for skinheads who paint swastikas on tortillas.
Federal officials warned that Mexican drug cartels are growing marijuana in California's Sequoia National Park, where one of the recently confiscated plants was so large they had cut a highway through its trunk.
Hezbollah introduced its new video game, "Special Force," in which the player tries to destroy the Israeli military and eventually put a bullet through the forehead of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Popular with teens in the Shiite neighborhoods of Beirut, "Special Force" is harder than it looks. For example, if you fail to accomplish your mission, your entire village disappears.
Seniors at Gulf Shores High School in Alabama were given beer mugs and shot glasses as graduation presents, upsetting some of the teetotalers in town, who were told to have a belt and shut up.
The Sheriff's Office of Lincoln County, New Mexico, opened an investigation into Billy the Kid's escape from the county jail in 1881. Pat Garrett, sheriff at the time, never investigated whether William Bonney had an accomplice who brought him a gun, or simply took a gun from a lawman. Bonney was waiting to be hanged for the murder of Sheriff William Brady, so Garrett didn't need to investigate the escape -- he already had a death warrant for him when he set out to track him down and kill him. If it turns out that Bonney had an accomplice, he'll be hunted down, dug up, and executed.
The Los Angeles City Council drafted a law requiring all companies doing business with the city to report whether they ever earned profits from slavery. Companies like McDonald's would be exempted, because their slave labor is ongoing.
The dollar continued to take a beating worldwide as investors switched into euros, yen and even gold, which spiked up to $370 an ounce when the United States closed its embassies in Saudi Arabia and announced a level-orange terror alert. Dinar-hoarding was unchanged.
The little town of Washington Park, Ill., 5 miles east of St. Louis, has balanced its budget by encouraging strip clubs to locate there. The town collects $30,000 a year for an adult entertainment license and $1 admission for each customer passing through the doors. Larry Flynt's Hustler Club, one of five in the village, is now the leading corporate citizen, representing a perfect civics lesson in using G-string to generate G's.
New York City police officers busted down the door of Alberta Spruill, threw a concussion grenade into her apartment, and slapped handcuffs on her as they searched for guns and drugs. There were no guns, and no drugs, but the woman died of a heart attack. The cops were acting on the tip of an informant, who said, "Uh, maybe it was another apartment."
Greenwich Village artists are petitioning New York Governor George Pataki to issue a pardon for comedian Lenny Bruce, who was convicted in 1964 on obscenity charges for three performances at Cafe au Go Go and, according to friends, could never get another
job and died as a result two years later. If the pardon goes through, it will be legal to laugh at his old tapes, even the gross ones.
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt placed a time capsule in the Lewis and Clark Monument in Portland, Ore. Exactly 100 years later, it's time to ... locate it. Nobody bothered to write down which part of the monument it was placed in, so stonemasons, psychics and treasure-hunting companies are all prowling around the base trying to figure out how to crack the sucker open without damaging the monument. Obviously they're going to have to tread heavily, to figure out where to dig, but carry a small stick.
A 23-year-old California college student known only as Michel raised $4,500 through give-boobs.com, the Web site she established to raise money for her breast implants. She has 34As but has just enough cash to eventually fill out the Victoria's Secret Spandex Laser Zebra Bra.
Journalism students at the University of Illinois pored through 16,000 pages of Watergate documents and concluded that "Deep Throat," the famous source of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, was none other than Nixon White House lawyer Fred Fielding. Fielding declined comment, but was known to have seen the movie several times.
Cops at New York's La Guardia Airport busted 11 men for allegedly stealing 400,000 mini-bottles of booze from American Airlines, then selling them to delis and grocery stores. When they appear in court, the men will be required to sit in narrow chairs at the defense table with a tray table pressing against their knees.
Ron Roberts dropped dead while exercising at 24-Hour Fitness in Parker, Colo., but it didn't interrupt anyone's workout. Employees covered the body and called police, but the Stairmasters continued to hum, and in fact you could get a kind of nice buzz from Ron's laid-back karma.
Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine, England's top legal official, wants to eliminate the yellow horsehair wigs that judges have worn since the 17th century, as well as their knee breeches, stockings, buckled shoes, and frilly laced shirts. Of course, traditionalists oppose the changes, arguing that if judges became less formal, there would be no stopping it, and members of the bar would take advantage, leading ultimately to Rumpole appearing at the Old Bailey in worn sneakers.
Scenes from our secure republic:
U.S. marshals and immigration agents busted down the door of Nadir Khan, a legal Pakistani resident, and arrested him on heroin trafficking charges, even though their warrant read "Nadar Kahn" (with an "a" in his first name). Their warrant also showed
a date of birth that was four years off, and their identifying description said he was supposed to have a mole on his forehead. (He doesn't.) For seven months he languished in a Houston prison, losing $21,000 in salary as a truck driver, losing his credit rating, losing his car, and causing his son to drop out of high school in Pakistan because he could no longer afford his books. One reason he stayed in jail so long is that one of the marshals told a judge that there were "a lot of Arabic tapes" in Khan's bedroom. Actually Khan doesn't speak Arabic. The tapes were in Urdu, and, as Gaiutra Bahadur of the Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out, they were soundtracks from Bollywood musicals. And
you know how the feds hate musicals.
Scenes from domestic life: Stephen and Chilin Leung of New York didn't approve when their 17-year-old daughter Connie started dating a black man, Eric Loussaint. So according to police, Loussaint surprised the father in his room and strangled him with a belt, then the two lovers sat with his body for three hours, waiting for her mom to come home. When the mother entered the apartment, the boyfriend threw a towel around mom's feet, tackling her and strangling her with the belt as Connie sat on her. The lovers then stacked mom's body on top of dad's, stole money from mom's wallet to eat out at restaurants, and left the bodies there for four days. Then they bought laundry bags and a shopping cart, rolled mom's body across the FDR Expressway, and threw the body into the East River. They tried to do the same thing with dad, but he was apparently too heavy and broke the shopping cart. So they used a large piece of luggage to dump his body in the river. After all that work, the relationship didn't work out after all. Loussaint pled guilty to murder, and Connie is on trial learning the new meaning of "heavy."
Joe Bob Briggs writes several columns for UPI. Contact him at email@example.com or through his Web site, joebobbriggs.com. Snail mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.