Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – August 14, 2010

WeirdNewsA federal judge overturned California’s gay marriage ban Wednesday with an unequivocal ruling that could eventually force the U.S. Supreme Court to confront the question of whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed.  ***MARLAR: Seven million Californians voted to uphold the ban.  One man says no and it’s shot down.  Welcome to the faux-democracy known as “America”.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering a crackdown on farm dust, so senators have signed a letter addressing their concerns on the possible regulations.  The letter dated July 23 to the EPA states, “If approved, would establish the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in our nation’s history.” It further states, “We respect efforts for a clean and healthy environment, but not at the expense of common sense. These identified levels will be extremely burdensome for farmers and livestock producers to attain. Whether its livestock kicking up dust, soybeans being combined on a dry day in the fall, or driving a car down the gravel road, dust is a naturally occurring event.”   ***MARLAR: This news report proudly brought to you by Endust.

At the US Embassy in London, there is a waiting list that none of the officials likes to discuss. On the list are Americans hoping to give up their citizenship, as they seek shelter from the Internal Revenue Service.  The backlog at the US Embassy, where no appointments are available until February, stems from a rise in the number of American expatriates living in the UK who have been seeking to escape paying US tax on their worldwide income and capital gains since the simplification of US tax laws in 2008.  ***MARLAR: How bad must our economy be when instead of catching people crossing the border into our country, we catch then in a truck on the way out?

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledged that it is still a “tough economy” for most Americans, and warned it’s possible the unemployment rate will go up for a couple of months before it comes down as more people enter the labor force.  ***MARLAR: So the economy is getting better, yet more people are being unemployed?

Jenny and Joey think alike. And in one instance, it almost cost them big bucks. The young couple both had the same great idea to bid on a dream vacation that was up for auction on the Internet. Unfortunately, they both did it secretly, hoping to surprise the other one with a trip to the Caribbean. Joey used the secret name Scoobydoo and Jenny used the alias Bigbanana. For four days, the two were engaged in a one-on-one battle to outbid each other. And after a record 83 bids between them, Jenny finally gave up when Joey bid $2,500 — $650 above the full price of the trip! When Joey told her the news, the two quickly realized what happened. But kindhearted auctioneers let them have the romantic vacation for a $1.50 – the price the bidding started at. ***MARLAR: It might be a good idea for them to stay together during the trip when buying souvenirs.

Would you believe that President Lincoln tried to buy slaves?  The University of Rochester is displaying an 1862 letter written by Abe Lincoln that was found in their archives. In it, he proposes that the government pay slaveholders $400 per slave and end slavery by just buying all the slaves and paying the South off. At that point, the war was costing $2 million a day, and the slave buyout would’ve cost a total of $719,200.  ***MARLAR: Best of all, the Southerners would’ve accepted Confederate money!

Police in Phoenix say they’ve arrested a woman accused of leading an armed robbery gang involving her 12- and 14-year-old sons. Police say 51-year-old Cynthia White Roberson coached some of the four boys and three men who were charged with her. The suspects are accused of at least 20 armed robberies in Phoenix and Glendale since late April.  ***MARLAR: She needed the money to pay her teens’ texting charges.

A U.S. court says a kindergartner’s mother cannot read Scripture during show and tell, even if the Bible is the boy’s favorite book. Monday’s ruling is a victory for the Marple Newtown School District in suburban Philadelphia. The mother, Donna Kay Busch, argues the students heard stories related to Passover, Christmas and other religious holidays. The appeals court says there is a “significant difference” between identifying those holidays and reading from Scripture.  ***MARLAR: So now she’s reading Peter Cottontail.

A British private school will begin offering a course on happiness.  ***MARLAR: So those that say, “Money can’t buy happiness” simply don’t know what course to take.

A Malaysian man was a bit suspicious after he received his latest telephone bill and it seemed a bit steep. He could be correct, since the bill totaled $218 TRILLION. ***MARLAR: Either a mistake, or he was calling people who were not in his Top Five Friends plan.

The Technical University of Denmark found that the smell given off by old carpets in an office can make workers dizzy, nauseous and cause some headaches. ***MARLAR: Their control group suffered the same ill effects just from going to work.

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