The 10 Stupid Internet News Stories I Keep Reading

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The news of the world as brought to me via the Internet tends to be a roundup of humans doing seriously stupid things. And you know what? As I read through the stories that such forums as Gawker, Jezebel, Philly.com and the Huffington Post see fit to dish up to me, I’m beginning to feel an inescapable sense of been there, read that.

Didn’t I just see this same story a few days ago, in some other publication? Isn’t this the third time this month I read that same damn thing? I mean, how many times are you people going to drop shit off subway platforms and then jump down onto the tracks to get them? When another one of you does that, it isn’t news. It’s just déjà vu all over again.

And for this, I’m paying $460 a month to keep every member of my nuclear family tied to the Internet at every waking moment? Think of all the fun stuff I could do with $460 a month if I weren’t giving it to Comcast and Verizon.

Which gave me an idea.

The following is a brief list of Stupid Stuff You People Keep On Doing. If you stop doing these stupid things, there won’t be any news, and the Internet will close down, and I can use my $460 a month to go to Tahiti. So hey, what do you say?

1. Stop punishing women for breastfeeding in public. Oh, no, you didn’t actually do this again, did you? At a country music concert? Oh yes you did. Read more »

Alleged Main Line Drug Leader Waives Hearing

Nineteen-year-old Timothy Brooks, the last alleged member of the “Main Line Takeover Project,” has waived a preliminary hearing and will be arraigned on August 27th.

The Inky’s Carolyn Davis reports:

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DUI Arrests Are Going Down in Philadelphia, Especially for Millennials

Computer wonk Nate Good recently released a few infographics about DUIs in Philly. Here’s the trend: From April 2013 to the end of the year, DUIs declined 11 percent. Looking at Good’s charts, DUIs have been trending downward for the last few years.

Anecdotally, this makes sense. First, the obvious: Mass transit ridership is way up — SEPTA had its highest ridership in 57 years in 2013 — and fewer people driving means fewer DUIs. But even if a side effect of fewer people driving is a reduction in DUIs, that’s a nice side effect.

Good is from Pittsburgh; there, he’s a proponent of (sigh) “e-hailing” services like Uber and Lyft. They were both recently banned in that city by the state’s Public Utilities Commission. He believes the drop in Philadelphia is partially due the ubiquity and availability of these apps. In Philadelphia, unlike Pittsburgh, the PPA regulates taxis — and only Sidecar was kicked out of Philly. (UberX, the company’s lower-cost option, only operates in South Jersey; Lyft doesn’t operate here.)

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Indicted State Senator Wants Case Moved to Philadelphia

A lawyer for a state senator accused of felony public corruption asked a Montgomery County judge to move the case to Philadelphia. The lawyer for State Sen. LeAnna Washington says all of the corruption his client is charged with happened inside the city.

Washington was charged in March with using state employees to throw her birthday parties that doubled as political fundraisers at the Belmont Mansion in Fairmount Park. She proclaims her innocence.

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Here’s the Woman Who Locked 5 Kids in Her SUV in a ShopRite Parking Lot

woman-locked-5-kids-in-car-philadelphia-karin-thompsonPolice have released this photo of Karin Thompson, the woman charged with leaving five children locked in her SUV in a ShopRite parking lot on Tuesday morning.

According to police, a 46-year-old woman discovered the children in the locked car when she heard them crying. She told store security, and the owner was paged over ShopRite’s intercom. After 20 minutes without a response, police showed up and found Thompson shopping inside the Aramingo Avenue grocery store.

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I Don’t Really Care if Michael Nutter Did or Did Not Fix Traffic Tickets

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When I first heard the (now disputed) news that then-Councilman Mike Nutter had (allegedly) tried to fix tickets at Traffic Court, my first thought wasn’t about hypocrisy or injustice or anything like that.

Instead, it was: So what?

This isn’t the right reaction, I know, but mostly because of all the institutional signals involved. State officials disbanded Traffic Court because it was a beehive of corrupt officials making sure their friends never had to pay a speeding fine, and right now they’re prosecuting nine former judges from the court for their participation in the whole mess.

And this is normally the kind of thing I’d hate: One class of justice for the well-connected and another, harsher version for the 99 percent? Let’s go Occupy Wall Street!

Instead I’m … shrugging. And worried. What will Helen Ubiñas think of me?

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Guy Who Allegedly Stabbed 71-Year-Old Woman 20 Times Looks Like He’s 12

Stabbed-71-year-old-woman-hoarder-philadelphiaOn Wednesday morning, Philadelphia police found a 71-year-old woman lying in front of her Olney home with 15 to 20 stab wounds on her body. Then they found a 54-year-old man inside the porch area, also with stab wounds. And on Thursday, police announced that this guy, 18-year-old Anthony Waters, has been charged in the crime.

According to police, Waters was in the house in an attempt to get the woman’s car keys so that he could steal her car. Police say that the man and woman surprised Waters, so he stabbed them. Because you really need to stab a 71-year-old woman 20 times to get away from her.

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“No Body Talk” Summer Camps: Is This a Good Thing?

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Last week the New York Times ran an article on a couple of summer camps that enforce a “no body talk” rule. As one such camp’s founder, Vivian Stadlin, explains it, this means that while at camp, kids and counselors “take a break from mentioning physical appearance, including clothing. And it’s about myself or others, be it negative, neutral or even positive.”

My first reaction to the article was, “What a great idea!” At Stadlin’s camp, Eden Village, campers are taught to give compliments like “Your soul shines” or “I feel so happy to be with you.” Signs on bathroom mirrors read, “Don’t check your appearance, check your soul.” Another chain of camps, Rosie’s Girls, takes this a step further and covers mirrors completely, so that campers won’t even be tempted to judge themselves. Read more »

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