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Odd news is good news

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By James Roberts

Few things appeal to me more than the “odd” news stories of the world, tales of stupid criminals, odd feats or simply bizarre behavior.
Here are just a few of the more recent offbeat news stories that have grabbed my attention.

The death row inmate’s last meal just got a little bland in Texas. The state has put a stop to the extravagant last meal requests by inmates before they are executed.
It was a white supremacist’s extreme request that pushed prison officials over the edge.
Lawrence Brewer, who was convicted of murdering James Byrd Jr., a black man, requested a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, a meat-lover’s pizza, a bowl of okra with ketchup, a pound of barbecue, a half a loaf of bread, peanut butter fudge, a pint of ice cream and two chicken-fried steaks, according to Reuters.
However, when the food arrived, Brewer declined his meal, telling guards that he wasn’t hungry.
From now on, the last meal will simply be whatever was served in the mess hall that day.
For those wondering why Texas was the first state to put a stop to this practice, keep in mind that the Lone Star state executes four times as many inmates as any other state.
You just don’t mess with Texas, I guess.
New York City is grappling with a different kind of problem. Diplomats visiting the city owe a collective $17 million in parking tickets. Diplomats from Egypt are the biggest offenders, owing nearly $2 million.
To fight the problem, legislation has been introduced that would require the U.S. State Department to deny the renewal of diplomatic licenses to any country with outstanding parking fines.
New York City is home to 289 foreign missions and consulates, so it’s easy to see how this could escalate to the level that it did.
Speaking of congress (and stupid criminals, for that matter), U.S. lawmakers have narrowly avoided a government shutdown. The agreement reached earlier this week would keep the government running…until mid-November.
It boggles my mind that anyone would ever have to mention the phrase “government shutdown” when we have hundreds of well-paid elected officials supposedly serving the public interest. Could we have been duped? Are they there simply to line their own pockets?
Suddenly, I wonder who the stupid ones are. Us or them?