A former police official and current aggressive, respected Wellington, New Zealand, litigator, Rob Moodie, 67, said in July that he is tired of the old-boy network of male lawyers and judges, and that henceforth he will show his disdain by dressing in women’s clothes in court. The worse the “corruption” he senses, the frillier will be his outfits, said the married father of three, who also said he happens to like women’s clothes, but that it took the pervasive male courthouse culture to bring that into the open. Moodie said already he has enjoyed giving “a flash of lace at the urinal” but said he would keep his trademark moustache.
CAN’T POSSIBLY BE TRUE
An analysis of government records by The Washington Post revealed in July that a federal agriculture subsidy program to compensate farmers for market-losing crops has evolved, through regulatory interpretation and lax enforcement, into a program that since 2000 has paid $1.3 billion to people who don’t even farm at all. Although pre-tax income of all farming was a near-record $72 billion in 2005, federal subsidies actually grew to $25 billion, a sum considerably more than that paid to families receiving welfare.
THE DISTRICT OF CALAMITY
In June, the D.C. inspector general reported that the mugging death of a former New York Times reporter involved “complacency and indifference” by almost all police and rescue personnel involved, from ambulance crew to investigating officers to hospital doctors, resulting in the victim, who was severely beaten, being treated merely as a street drunk.
LEAST COMPETENT ANIMALS
Houdini—a 12-foot-long Burmese python in Ketchum, Idaho, that accidentally swallowed a large electric blanket in July and electrical cord, after pulling it from the wall. Veterinary surgeons managed to remove the whole thing, leaving Houdini in good condition; Crash—a pelican that smashed into a car in Malibu, Calif., and had undergone a month’s rehabilitation only, when finally released in July, to collide beak-first with some rocks, before successfully lifting off. Wildlife officials said Crash may have been disoriented from eating toxic algae; Barney—a Doberman pinscher guarding a children’s museum near Wells, England who lost control and chewed up almost $1 million worth of rare teddy bears in August, including one once belonging to Elvis Presley.
FETISHES ON PARADE
Police in Groningen, Netherlands, announced that a 40-year-old man whom they had previously counseled had once again resumed his compulsion to rummage through garbage seeking discarded tampons and leaving notes for the discarders (July). And Paul Zakszewski, 54, was arrested in Salem, Mass., for having allegedly made audio recordings from women’s restroom stalls (July).
At commencement this year at Gallatin High School in Nashville, Tenn., the principal had the valedictorian arrested for trying to make a speech that was reserved for the senior class president. And The Buffalo News in New York reported skyrocketing absentee rates at local high schools this spring because of a new district policy that the lowest possible semester grade would be 50, even for those missing every class—meaning that a grade as low as 80 for one semester could be averaged with a no-show 50 to reach the minimum-passing grade of 65. MTW