The Pencil Today:


“Of course I’ve got lawyers. They are like nuclear weapons. I’ve got ’em because everyone else has. But as soon as you use them, they screw everything up.” — Danny DeVito


How long should a man who commits a random dismemberment murder be locked away from society?

Robert Lee will be coming back to town this week, according to a story today in the Herald Times.

Lee in 1986 killed a young woman named Ellie Marks in her home, cut her up, and stuffed the body parts into Hefty bags, which he buried in soil mere yards away. Lee, who had a lengthy police record, kept a notebook in his home with instructions on how to kill, dismember, and dispose of a young woman.

The Shanty Where Ellen Marks Lived And Was Murdered

Judge Kenneth Todd sentenced Lee to 60 years (the max non-death penalty sentence for the crime at the time) after a two-week trial. The crime was described as “barbaric.” At Lee’s sentencing hearing Todd said, “Atrocities were committed.”

Go here for more information on the crime. It’s a video done up in a Hallowe’en motif, so it takes away from the gravity of the whole thing, but it’s informative nonetheless.

Lee behaved well in prison and earned some college degrees, both of which merited sentence reduction. After 25 years in stir, Lee will be sprung from Pendleton Thursday. He’ll live for a while at the Backstreet Mission until he finds a permanent home.

He’ll be walking the streets by this time next weekend.

Can we ever forget? Can he?


Bloomingtom, like every other municipality in this holy land — big, small, and in-between, needs dough. One way to rake in some of the quarters city budgeteers crave is to install parking meters, which our town is considering for the entire downtown area.

A Few Tens Of Millions Of These Ought To Do It

Here’s a precis of the situation, sent to the Electron Pencil by a city official familiar with the proposal.

“The current system is a 2-hour limit on free parking that is monitored (and ticketed) by City parking enforcement staff. The new proposal is to place meters everywhere to replace the two-hour free parking spots, allegedly to solve the problems of the “two-hour shuffle” when downtown employees have to move their cars every two hours or be ticketed.

“Patron/customer turnover is needed for vibrant downtown commerce, and so they (city staff) want to incentivize more use of the downtown parking garages, which they claim are underutilized.

Coming Soon To A Parking Spot Near You?

“They also want to de-incentivize car usage in the downtown encouraging more to walk, bike and take public transportation. Noble goals, but not always practical for folks with physical limitations and creaky bones…, families with children, and people who need to shop conveniently and/or transport goods. I’m fine with the current two-hour limit on parking as it also prevents long term parking — [e.g.] students in the downtown rentals who are looking for spots to warehouse their cars at the expense of the downtown turnover.

“I believe the downtown merchants have not been properly informed or surveyed about what their needs actually are in improving the foot traffic and patron support for their businesses. I also am mindful of all residents who come downtown to transact business at the Courthouse and Justice Building, not all are of independent means. Also, downtown employees in low-paying service jobs will be negatively impacted with fewer choices for free or reasonably priced parking options.

Courthouse Square Eateries May Be Affected

“These meters could also extend into the evening hours, having an impact on the arts district and dining establishments. Those in Public Works currently supporting the idea say it isn’t about generating revenue, but about ‘changing behaviors.'”

Big Mike’s Wisdom alert: City big shots and drones always claim the installation of parking meters has nothing to do with the generation of revenue. It’s like the country that throws huge amounts of resources into its nuclear “research” program. Oh, god forbid, it protests, we have no intention of building a nuclear weapon.

And the next thing you know, seismographs all over the planet are recording that country’s initial nuclear test.

Aw, We Just Had Some Enriched Uranium Lying Around….


From Indexed:


From I Fucking Love Science

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