Least Original Perp Statement Award Nomination Announced for Phoenix Freeway Shooter Suspect: ‘You Got the Wrong Guy!’


“All I have to say is I’m the wrong guy. I tried telling the detectives that. My gun’s been in the pawnshop the last two months. I haven’t even had access to a weapon.”

PHOENIX, Sept. 19 (UPI) — Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., the man believed to be responsible for a series of drive-by shootings on Arizona’s Interstate 10, told a judge on Saturday that authorities arrested “the wrong guy.”

“The weapon and man we believe was responsible for starting this spree is in custody. Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead said. “Are there others out there? Are there copycats? That is possible.”

— Frank Milstead. Arizona Department of Public Safety Director

Judge Lisa Roberts was unmoved, setting the 21-year-old’s bail at $1 million.

“The suspect presents a dramatic and profound threat to the community,” the prosecutor said at Merritt’s arraignment, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“All I have to say is I’m the wrong guy,” Merritt said, after the judge granted him permission to address the court. “I tried telling the detectives that. My gun’s been in the pawnshop the last two months. I haven’t even had access to a weapon.”

“The father of the accused told reporters that anyone who thinks his son is guilty is a ‘moron.’”

A SWAT team swarmed Merritt in a Walmart on Friday. Authorities announced his arrest shortly afterwards, saying the young man was “forensically linked” to the 11 highway shootings along busy I-10. Read the rest of this entry »

Now You Can Make Diamonds in a Microwave


Lab-Grown Diamonds Made In A Microwave Are Now A Thing. 

 reports: Diamonds really are forever, now that we can manufacture them.

“The man-made diamonds are starting to be sold by retailers such as Wal-Mart , although they still make up just a small fraction of total diamond sales.”

There’s a growing market for man-made jewels grown in science labs, Bloomberg reports. The diamonds are made by placing a carbon seed in a microwave chamber and superheating the substance into a plasma ball, which crystallizes into the much-desired jewels. Experts can only tell the difference between the manufactured diamonds and traditionally mined ones using a machine…(read more)

Source: Fortune

New York Times Hit With Age, Gender Discrimination Suit

Inside the New York Times

The suit claims that in September 2013, 30 employees were targeted for dismissal, mostly older and minority employees. They were replaced ‘in virtually every case by a white employee under the age of 40,’ the suit claims.

Keith J. Kelly reports: The New York Times Co. and its chief revenue officer are being sued by a former ad executive with nine years of service for “age, gender and race” discrimination after she got a new boss.

Tracy Quitasol, a 51-year-old Asian-American woman, was let go in January 2014 by Meredith Levien, who was a high-profile hire from Forbes two years ago and is now the chief revenue officer of the NYT Co.

Quitasol had been heading the Idea Lab, designed to come up with new digital ad programs, and was the executive director of product marketing and ad platform innovation.

The most explosive claim in the suit is the allegation that Levien, in a downsizing that took place in September 2013, let go predominantly older and minority employees.

A Times spokeswoman pointed out the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has passed on taking action on Quitasol’s complaints and said, “We plan to mount a vigorous defense against this suit.”

[Read the full text here, at New York Post]

On the personal front, Quitasol claims in the Manhattan federal court suit that her problems began when Levien — then the executive vice president of advertising — along with the company’s human resources department failed to curb a junior-level staffer who refused to follow her instructions.

Quitasol claims it was a case of “gender discrimination” by the male employee — who, the suit claims, would only respond to instructions from male superiors. She brought the problem to the attention of Levien and HR who, the suit alleges, failed to take action. Read the rest of this entry »

National Fried Chicken Day, Part 2: KFC, McDonald’s, Look to Go Digital in China


McDonald’s Corp. and Yum Brands Inc. are looking to add digital options in China that will make their fast-food sales even faster and win back business after a rough year in the critical Chinese market. As WSJ’s Laurie Burkitt reports:

McDonald’s will start testing mobile ordering and mobile payment in China under a pilot program in the current third quarter, said a spokeswoman. The aim is to speed payment and meet consumer demands, she said. “Given Chinese consumers being so digital—we are now preparing,” she added.


Yum said its KFC business teamed up with technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in late June to launch mobile-payment services for 700 of its 4,500-plus stores in China. Customers can pay for their in-store orders of fried chicken in a few seconds by scanning bar codes generated by Alibaba’s mobile-payment application Alipay….(read more)

Read the full story on WSJ.com

via China Real Time Report

Kevin D. Williamson: The War on the Private Mind

Dr. Bill van Bise, electrical engineer, conducting a demonstration of Soviet scientific data and schematics for beaming a magnetic field into the brain to cause visual hallucinations. Source: CNN Source: Supplied

Dr. Bill van Bise, electrical engineer, conducting a demonstration of Soviet scientific data and schematics for beaming a magnetic field into the brain to cause visual hallucinations. Source: CNN

In Indiana, in Arkansas, and in the boardroom

Kevin D. Williamsonkevin-williamson writes: There are two easy ways to get a Republican to roll over and put his paws up in the air: The first is to write him a check, which is the political version of scratching his belly, and the second is to call him a bigot. In both cases, it helps if you have a great deal of money behind you.

Tim Cook, who in his role as chief executive of the world’s most valuable company personifies precisely the sort of oppression to which gay people in America are subjected, led the hunting party when Indiana’s governor Mike Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, while Walmart, a company that cannot present its hindquarters enthusiastically enough to the progressives who hate it and everything for which it stands, dispatched its CEO, C. Douglas McMillon, to head off a similar effort in Arkansas, where Governor Asa Hutchison rolled over immediately….(read more)


“Adlai Stevenson famously offered this definition: ‘A free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.’ We do not live in that society.”

…There are three problems with rewarding those who use accusations of bigotry as a political cudgel. First, those who seek to protect religious liberties are not bigots, and going along with false accusations that they are makes one a party to a lie.

[Read the full text here, at National Review]

Second, it is an excellent way to lose political contests, since there is almost nothing — up to and including requiring algebra classes — that the Left will not denounce as bigotry. Third, and related, it rewards and encourages those who cynically deploy end-is-nearaccusations of bigotry for their own political ends.

[Kevin D. Williamson’s book  “The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome”  is available at Amazon]

An excellent illustration of this dynamic is on display in the recent pronouncements of columnist and gay-rights activist Dan Savage, who, in what seems to be an effort to resurrect every lame stereotype about the shrill, hysterical, theatrical gay man, declaimed that the efforts of those who do not wish to see butchers and bakers and wedding-bouquet makers forced by their government at gunpoint to violate their religious scruples is — you probably have guessed already — nothing less than the consecration of Jim Crow Junior. “Anti-black bigots, racist bigots, during Jim Crow and segregation made the exact same arguments that you’re hearing people make now,” Savage said. Given the dramatic difference in the social and political position of blacks in the time of Bull Connor and gays in the time of Ellen DeGeneres, this is strictly Hitler-was-a-vegetarian stuff, the elevation of trivial formal similarities over dramatic substantial differences. The choices for explaining this are a.) moral illiteracy; b.) intellectual dishonesty; c.) both a and b…(read more)

National Review

Meth Lab Found In Wal-Mart Bathroom


Muncie – Last evening, just after 11:30 p.m., members of the Pendleton District Meth Suppression Team were contacted by employees of the Wal-Mart located at 1501 E. 29th. St. in Muncie  reference a suspicious backpack in the men’s rest room.

When troopers entered the rest room located at the front of the store, they found a backpack with an active meth lab inside. Members of the team donned their protective respirators and suits and dismantled the lab, removing the chemicals from the premises.

The health department was called in for an inspection as is required by law.  They deemed that both the men’s and women’s rest rooms would have to remain closed until they could be professionally decontaminated by a company specializing in Meth decontamination. The investigation into who left the backpack is ongoing.

With warm weather approaching and outside activities increasing, so does the potential for people to encounter toxic and hazardous meth trash or a working meth lab left unattended.

Rather than the Meth cook blowing up or contaminating their house, they are now often leaving behind the deadly explosive chemicals in public places to return later to get the finished product. They will often times dump their trash, which includes Sudafed blister packs; Liquid Fire drain cleaner bottles, battery casings, and plastic drink bottles with white residue in the bottom, in rural or desolate areas, or in alleys or vacant lots.

The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section wants to remind citizens that these labs and meth lab trash contain chemicals that are toxic, flammable, corrosive, and acidic. The combination of these chemicals could cause an explosion, fire or burns if they come into direct contact with the skin.  The chemical fumes can cause permanent damage to organs and the nervous system. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Raising Minimum Wage Means Less Money in Your Pocket

Featured Image -- 51099

“The Affordable Care Act demonstrates the phenomenon. This landmark piece of social legislation extended free or highly subsidized health insurance to millions of additional Americans. But it also, therefore, increases the loss of benefits to low-income workers after a raise.“

Tracy Morgan Sues Wal-Mart Over Deadly Crash


Associated Press

UPDATED: The company says it is “committed to doing the right thing for all involved.”

For the Hollywood ReporterAaron Couch writes: Tracy Morgan is suing Wal-Mart over a New Jersey Turnpike accident that left one person dead and several people hospitalized, including the 30 Rock actor.

Wal-Mart driver Kevin Roper allegedly plowed into a limousine van carrying Morgan on June 7, and Morgan and others injured in the accident allege negligence on Wal-Mart’s part in a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

[Read the complaint here]

“Wal-Mart was careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle, which caused Mr. Morgan to suffer severe personal injuries,” the complaint reads. “As a direct and proximate result of said collision, Mr. Morgan was caused to sustain severe painful bodily injuries, including but not limited to multiple fractures which required multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatment and will require significant physical rehabilitation.”

Plaintiffs include Krista Millea, the wife of late comedian James McNair, who died in the accident, as well as Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Millea, and comedianArdie Fuqua. The plaintiffs are suing for negligence, and in addition, Millea is suing for loss of consortium. Read the rest of this entry »

America’s Medieval Universities

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts Photo: AP

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts Photo: AP

Universities are the least transparent of U.S. institutions, defending protocols more secretive than those of the Swiss banking system.

For National Review OnlineVictor Davis Hanson writes: Employment rates for college graduates are dismal. Aggregate student debt is staggering. But university administrative salaries are soaring. The campus climate of tolerance has utterly disappeared. Only the hard sciences and graduate schools have salvaged American universities’ international reputations.

[Order Victor Davis Hanson’s book The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost – From Ancient Greece to Iraq from Amazon.com]

For over two centuries, our superb system of American public and private higher education kept pace with radically changing times and so ensured our prosperity and reinforced democratic pluralism. But a funny thing has happened on the way to the 21st century. Colleges that were once our most enlightened and tolerant institutions became America’s dinosaurs. Read the rest of this entry »

Longview, Tx Police: Woman, 34, Arrested for Posing as Teen, Enrolling in School


LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) – Lexie Cook reports: A 31-year-old woman who posed as a sophomore at an East Texas high school is making international news, and now police say she could be older than they first thought.

“We’ve all seen her and we’ve all wondered about her because she’s always quiet and to herself, you know.”

— Roshunda Floyd, one of Charity Johnson’s co-workers

Longview police now say Charity Johnson lied to them about her age and is actually 34. She was arrested Tuesday for failure to identify herself after the woman she lived with suspected she was not who she claimed to be.

Charity Johnson, Source: Longview Police Department

Charity Johnson, Source: Longview Police Department

“When I saw that come across my Facebook page last night I was like, ‘I know that girl! I see her at the McDonalds,'” says Roshunda Floyd, one of Charity Johnson’s co-workers. Floyd works at Walmart in Longview. Charity Johnson worked at the McDonalds inside the store and asked Floyd for her help one night.  Read the rest of this entry »

Florida Family Experiences Unexpected Disruption After Eating Meat Tainted with LSD

Mommy..I understand the Universe. I am definitely not going to school tomorrow....

Authorities say a Florida woman who was 9 months pregnant and her family experienced a massive acid trip became ill after eating meat enhanced with tainted with LSD.

Tampa police say doctors induced labor and the woman had a healthy baby boy. The entire family was eventually released from the hospital in good condition.

[Note: Though I take some liberties with the headline, the photo-illustration (not the real family) and some strikethroughs, this news story is not fiction or satire, it’s a real news story. See the source item here.]

Tampa police say the family of four ate the tainted meat Monday. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office reported Friday that the meat had been enriched contaminated with the hallucinogenic drug.

Read the rest of this entry »

What to Do When ObamaCare Unravels

Health insurance should be individual, portable across jobs, states and providers, and lifelong and renewable.

David Gothard

David Gothard

John H. Cochrane  writes:  The unraveling of the Affordable Care Act presents a historic opportunity for change. Its proponents call it “settled law,” but as Prohibition taught us, not even a constitutional amendment is settled law—if it is dysfunctional enough, and if Americans can see a clear alternative.

This fall’s website fiasco and policy cancellations are only the beginning. Next spring the individual mandate is likely to unravel when we see how sick the people are who signed up on exchanges, and if our government really is going to penalize voters for not buying health insurance. The employer mandate and “accountable care organizations” will take their turns in the news. There will be scandals. There will be fraud. This will go on for years.

Yet opponents should not sit back and revel in dysfunction. The Affordable Care Act was enacted in response to genuine problems. Without a clear alternative, we will simply patch more, subsidize more, and ignore frauds and scandals, as we do in Medicare and other programs.

There is an alternative. A much freer market in health care and health insurance can work, can deliver high quality, technically innovative care at much lower cost, and solve the pathologies of the pre-existing system.

Read the rest of this entry »

Staged Theater: Black Friday Protests at Walmart Staffed by Professional Activists

Only three protesters had actual ties to Walmart

A police offer speaks to protesters outside of the Walmart department store after they blocked traffic in Secaucus, N.J., on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.  The activists rallied to protest the wages paid to Walmart workers and to urge the company to improve labor standards. (AP Photo/The Jersey Journal,  Reena Rose Sibayan)

A police offer speaks to protesters outside of the Walmart department store after they blocked traffic in Secaucus, N.J., on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/The Jersey Journal, Reena Rose Sibayan)

 writes:  The Black Friday protests at a Walmart in Washington state featured more paid union activists than actual employees, according to a new report.

“They don’t have the support of real workers, so they rely on the support of paid actors and stand-ins with union affiliations,” he said. “They’re protests held by professional protesters, oftentimes paid and given media training, to cause a scene for publicity.”

The Freedom Foundation, a Washington free market think tank, found that the majority of protesters in the Evergreen state were “paid union activists” and that few Walmart employees participated in the protests.

“OUR Wal-Mart, a subsidiary of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), mounted a series of Black Friday protests targeting Wal-Mart locations around the country, including the Wal-Mart in the Factoria Mall south of Bellevue,” the report says. “The Bellevue protest drew around 100 people, according to press reports. Bellevue police arrested 15 demonstrators for ‘failure to disperse’—a misdemeanor crime.”

The Freedom Foundation revealed that only three of the 15 arrestees were actual employees. The rest were union activists with ties to the UFCW, public employee unions, and other far left organizations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Inflation Fixes Nothing


But it’s easier than acting like responsible adults

I saw this article yesterday, and thought it looked suspicious. Rather than go blind with despair over the NYT’s familiar habit going into battle facing the wrong way, I hoped Kevin Williamson might be scanning skies above Gotham, see the Bat signal, and make an appearance. My wish is granted:

Kevin D. Williamson writes: The New York Times has published a very interesting article forwarding a number of familiar arguments that the Federal Reserve should try to increase inflation in order to encourage economic growth. Without going too deeply into the fallacies behind the idea that higher inflation is a means to strong and sustained economic growth, it is worthwhile to examine the wishful thinking and euphemisms that inform the Times’s account.

Item 1: “Rising prices help companies increase profits; rising wages help borrowers repay debts. Inflation also encourages people and businesses to borrow money and spend it more quickly.”

Let’s take a look at these claims in order. Read the rest of this entry »