Some People Never Learn

Back in 2005, a woman named Anna Ayala claimed to have found a severed human finger in her bowl of fast food chili.

happy and smiling fingers

Turned out to be a criminal hoax, a scam thought up in order to extort money from the fast food chain through a frivolous lawsuit.   It seems that the finger had been frozen for most of a year, stored in the freezer after an industrial accident was suffered by a friend of the family.  The idea was that the payout from the lawsuit would be shared by all when the money was awarded.

Ms. Ayala was sentenced to 4 years in prison for a bevy of felony charges, one of which was giving a false police report.  I have no idea how much time she actually served, if any.

Now Ms. Ayala is back in the news.  Her son shot himself in the ankle, and she lied to the police yet again.  This time she said some mysterious men had done the fell deed.

Why would she lie about this?  Her son is a convicted felon, and as such is barred by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.  Claim someone else had pulled the trigger, and maybe her offspring would be able to avoid more jail time.

Didn’t work, obviously.

Ms. Ayala pleaded no contest to more felony charges this time around.  She is facing 2 more years behind bars, although it is not known how much time she will actually spend in jail.

This is a clear case of someone who really needs to learn to shut the hell up.

Made Of Very Flimsy Stuff

A man living in California found a cardboard box sitting on his front porch, with his name and address on the label.  When he and his “dog sitter”  opened the package, they found 11 pounds (5 kilos) of marijuana.

marijuana leaves and cigarette

Okay, so some drug dealers were using the home of some random schmuck as a dead drop.  The presence of the dog sitter indicates that the regular residents were not around much lately.  Bad luck for the wannabee drug kingpins that there were people about when the package was delivered, and the contents of the shipment was discovered before they could spirit it away all unseen.

The reaction of the random schmuck who was being used as a cutout is over the top, though.  He turned the leafy drugs over to the cops, which is certainly something I would have done.  But then he took his fiancee and abandoned his house for a time, which is certainly something I would not have done!

Why run away?  Seems he is worried about grumpy drug dealers showing up at his door, upset that the weed is in the possession of the police!


The criminals have no chance at selling the drugs now that the stash was turned over to the authorities, so there is no profit motive for them to visit mayhem upon our quaking protagonist.  And the main reason why they send drug laden boxes to vacant homes, to remain anonymous and unknown, would be for naught if they were seen by the spineless dog owner and his fiancee.  (Or the neighbors, or the mail carrier, or if the license of their car was caught on a surveillance camera, etc etc.)  If the drug dealers staged a home invasion to exact revenge, they would have to murder everyone they found in the house or passed on the street to make sure that their identities remained a mystery.

Isn’t murder a much greater crime than receiving 11 pounds of pot, and one with punishment that is extremely dire?  I’m not a lawyer, but it is rumored to be such.

So this guy is worried that the criminals will hurt or kill him and his lady love, for some drugs that they will never be able to recover, with a much greater chance of being caught by the police, and with a greater jail sentence waiting for them if they are apprehended?  Something tells me he doesn’t have much to worry about.

If this scaredy-cat sad sack had his wits about him, he would have looked up and down the street when he first collected the box from his porch.  There is little doubt in my mind that a  ne’er-do-well was keeping an eye on the goods, waiting until the coast was clear before collecting the prize.  All he would have had to do was write down the license number of any car that started up and drove away when he picked up the box, or a car that had someone just sitting it it with no apparent purpose, and he would have given the police something solid to go on.

Old Soldiers Just Fade Away …

It was nigh 20 years ago, and I remember a great deal of ink being spilled in the newspapers back then about a military scandal.

A bombing campaign by NATO had turned up some alarming facts.  It seems that the US military was so advanced, so far ahead most of the rest of the world, that allied forces from other countries had a very hard time working with the Americans.

f-15 strike eagle launching flare

The biggest problem seemed to be with communications.  The US had invested a great deal in computerized aids for air traffic control, as well as simply speaking to the pilot.  Although this was hardly ground breaking technology by the time 1995 rolled around, the majority of Western countries had simply never bothered to spend the money.

How was it resolved?  If memory serves (and it might very well be faulty), the US paid to upgrade NATO communication systems to the new standard.

Why am I mentioning this old news?  Because I just saw some brand new news in a UK publication.  According to the UK Telegraph, defense budget cuts are eroding the ability for UK forces to operate alongside the US military.

This isn’t anything we haven’t seen before.