Saturday, 17 May 2008

Aliens: Approved by the Pope

This week....a rather odd story came out which might shock true catholics. Apparently....the chief astronomer for the Vatican.....the Rev Jose Funes....a Jesuit (which is almost a Catholic but not quiet).....spoke for the Pope and said that belief in God and aliens was ok.

Yep....you can now be Catholic and believe in aliens. I realize most of you Catholics had other worries on your mind....but the Pope is thinking in your best interest.

Indeed, Jose even said that aliens could be perceived as "our brothers". You could say "hey" and "howdy", and it'd be ok with God. I'm pretty sure the Baptist guys are meeting in some church basement right now....contemplating how to twist this around and be as anti-Catholic as possible. The natural Baptist comment would be "would Jesus approve of aliens?".

Me? I'm thinking Jesus would probably not worry much about aliens....and just chill out mostly....sipping spring water and eating some saltine crackers off the front porch table. We've probably got better things to worry about....but we also probably need to find something for those Jesuit folks to worry about at the same time. They seem to have too much time on their hands.

Just a Fake, But a Real Fake

So, this is what we know. In the town of Gerald, in the midst of Franklin County, Missouri....a guy shows up. He says with complete authority....that he is a federal drug agent, and he is on loan to the town. The guy spends the next couple of months....actually helping them conduct drug busts.

The best we can say about this fake DEA agent...is that he is truly a 36-year old man from Washington, MO. They are fairly sure he is married. We absolutely know that he never ever has been a DEA agent. And that he has been arrested now for impersonating a federal law agent. So far, the prosecutors are a bit laid back on charging the guy.....because he didn't do anything much wrong and actually did bust a couple of meth dudes.
The fake agent seemed to know the ins and outs of law enforcement, according to investigators and those who worked with him.

The guy even had a cream-colored Ford Crown Victoria with a siren bar and police radio. You can't fault a dude who drives a Crown Victoria....they are in the style you need for law enforcement. The guy walked around with a black T-shirt with "Police" written across across the chest and even wore dark tactical pants with pockets down the sides. He carried a gun in a side holster. He even had a federal-looking ID card and a federal-looking badge. Locals even admit that he was sturdily built and clean-cut (unlike your typical local cop who was 40 pounds overweight and always with sideburns).

"He was everything that you'd think a federal office would be," Mayor Otis Schulte said.

The locals all fell for the act when the guy arrived.....believing the talk that DEA was footing his bill, and that he would leave his Crown Victoria there when the operation was finished.

Somewhere in the midst of this.....he even gave a telephone number for them to call and verify everything. One of the folks even called once and got a woman who answered, and right away....she piped up "multi-jurisdictional task force."

So the game kinda fell apart when some folks started pointing out to the local newspaper that these searches that he was making.....didn't involve any search warrants. Naturally, the reporter for the paper started to ask additional questions.

The amusing part about this story....is that he has told various stories about himself over the past few months while claiming to be the DEA agent. He said at one point that he was a Iraq War veteran, then he mentioned that he was a retired Air Force chaplain and a father of two. He claimed at one point to have worked briefly at the Treasury Department in St. Louis. He has claimed that he worked for police departments around the state (from Kinloch, to East St. Louis and even Sauget). Folks are checking on all of these stories, but believe none are true.

So the county stepped in last Friday, grabbing the fake DEA guy. Later this week....the mayor got around to firing the town police chief and two of his officers because of the compromise in law enforcement.

The county guys now believe that all of the arrests made in the past couple of months that involved this guy....are going to be questioned and likely thrown out.

The sad thing here....is that if this guy had merely shown up at the police station and wanted to do some volunteer time to help them out....they would have accepted him in the front door and likely used his services in various ways. In a year or two....he might have been qualified enough to go on stake-outs and authorized to conduct arrests.

I'm guessing the guy will likely get some local county jail time, but less than a month. After that....I'm guessing he will retire from "police" interests.....but you never can tell.

Smart and Smarter and Smartest

There is a fascinating project going on in Florida....where some kind-hearted folks settled on this idea of saving the Everglades....or maybe just restoring the Everglades.....or maybe doing nothing for the Everglades....depending on your point of view.

Somewhere in the midst of this....is the South Florida Water Management District. They went out and got the $250 million to build this manificent 25-square-mile reservoir....largest damn reservoir in the world. Some folks think the final cost will be around $800 million by the end (2010, maybe).

There is another organization out there....by the name of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Naturally, they are defensive in nature....otherwise, they couldn't exist.

These folks from the NRDC say that the state just isn't committed to restoring the Everglades and this is all a bogus project. Goodness....truly bogus? When the state started....they said 80 percent of this reservoir would be for the Everglades and twenty percent for agriculture or development. The thing is....no one actually wrote a legal document saying anything.

I almost wept when I read that. To be so dang involved in a $800 million dollar project and not have a single legal document to guarantee how the water is used at the end....just makes my eyes puff right up. Brilliant....just absolutely brilliant. Not even Karl Rove could have dreamed of such a episode. Getting the $800 million and proudly talking about saving the Everglades must have gotten everyone's attention and made this a legit operation. But now? Those NRDC guys must have suddenly awaken and realized that things just aren't what folks say they are.

What happens next? If I were on the water commission....I'd write a powerful 400 page document and guarantee the Everglades water eternal....everlasting....and permanent. And around 2015, when you need this water...you pull out the document and change it. I'm guessing the NRDC guys are smarter than that though, and maybe there has to be a legislative effort here. I'm guessing also....that the state will run up a quick "fix" here and vote it quickly in. And in 2015, when you need that water....you just have a quick "fix" wrote up, vote it in, and then you steal the water back.

Those NRDC dudes may be smart.....but they aren't "Karl Rove-smart".