MONDAY, MARCH 23 This week of Indiana idiocy, suicidal pilots, and the international emancipation of Amanda Knox kicked off in the state of Virginia, where today Texas senator and Tea Party action figure Ted Cruz stood before a captive audience at Liberty University (where students faced $10 fines if they failed to attend) to announce his bid for the US presidency. "Cruz is the first Republican out of the starting gate, campaigning as a hard-core conservative and champion of the Christian right," reported SeattlePI.com. "The Texas Republican is a hero to the Tea Party but has made himself unpopular in the Senate, decrying GOP colleagues as sellouts and boldly flirting with carrying the repeal of health care reform to the extreme of shutting down the federal government." Repelling the left with his stances against net neutrality, marriage equality, and the existence of science while repelling the right with his habit of denigrating Republican war heroes and capriciously shutting down the government, Ted Cruz has no chance in hell of becoming president. So let's focus instead on what will be his lasting contribution to American culture: his big, weird head. Containing the brain responsible for such gems of comprehension as "Net neutrality is Obamacare for the internet," the head of Ted Cruz is dominated by his face, a thoroughly unnerving conglomeration of puffy shine, waxy droop, and general WTF?-ery, which adds up to Cruz being the rare three-dimensional human who resides in the Uncanny Valley of CGI. For the final word on this lightly inappropriate topic, we turn to Twitter prophet Louis Virtel: "Let's give Ted Cruz credit for one thing: being easy to picture in clown makeup holding a deflated balloon."
TUESDAY, MARCH 24 In worse news, the week continued in the French Alps, where today Andreas Lubitz, a 27-year-old pilot who had a history of depression, is believed to have locked his copilot out of the cockpit of the Germanwings passenger plane the two had been flying and crashed the plane into a mountain. All 144 passengers and six crew members (including Lubitz) were killed, and a billion nervous fliers got a concrete new scenario to fear. (Helpful fact: In response to today's tragedy, numerous countries will implement new regulations requiring two authorized personnel remain in the cockpit at all times.)
•• Meanwhile in Seattle, a semitruck loaded with salmon overturned on Highway 99 just south of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, paralyzing traffic and making mincemeat of notions of how long it takes to get from one place to another because it took authorities nine fucking hours to rectify the situation. No one died.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25 The week continued in Arizona, where a yoga instructor stands accused of illicitly turning a young man's bar mitzvah into a day to remember and perhaps process with a therapist. Details come from Reuters, which identified the yoga instructor as 32-year-old Lindsey Radomski, who last weekend attended a bar mitzvah in Scottsdale, where she allegedly let seven young boys between the ages of 11 and 15 fondle her new fake breasts before giving a 15-year-old a blowjob. Yesterday, Radomski was arrested on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor, sexual abuse, and indecent exposure. "[Sergeant Ben Hoster] said Radomski had admitted to detectives that she exposed her breasts, but he said she told them that she did not remember any other encounters 'due to her intoxicated state,'" reported Reuters.
THURSDAY, MARCH 26 Speaking of dangerous idiots, the week continued in Indiana, where today Governor Mike Pence signed Indiana Senate Bill 101 into law and instantly transformed his state into the despised laughingstock of the nation. Titled the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," SB 101 aims to protect the rights of citizens to follow their religious beliefs, and is believed to be a tool to keep antigay Christians from having to "support" same-sex marriage. (Among the attendees at today's closed-door signing were representatives from the American Family Association, the "Christian" organization with such virulently antigay views, it's been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.) Still, Indiana's law is so broadly written, it seemingly enables discrimination against anyone who runs afoul of one's "religious beliefs," from gays and divorcées to consumers of pork and Scientologically identified "suppressive persons." Hearteningly, Governor Pence's signing of the law was blasted by sane people the world over, from the CEO of the recommendation site Angie's List (who halted his company's planned expansion in the state) to Seattle mayor Ed Murray, who announced a civic boycott of Indiana, banning all city-funded travel to the state by city employees.
FRIDAY, MARCH 27 In better news, the week continued in Rome, where today Italy's supreme court overturned the murder conviction of Seattle's Amanda Knox, ending a sordid saga that saw the death of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher and required Knox to spend four years in Italian prisons before gaining her freedom on appeal and today being fully exonerated. Congratulations, Amanda Knox. Hope you had a good weekend.
SATURDAY, MARCH 28 In worse news, the week continued in Seattle, where the early morning brought another awful attack on Capitol Hill. The scene: Pike and Boylston, where just after 2 a.m. a man attempted to defend his female friends from aggravated street harassment and wound up in the Harborview ICU. "There was five to eight guys that were aggressively coming after the girls that I was with, trying to touch and feel them," the victim told KIRO. "All I remember is one punch to the face, and after that I basically lost consciousness." After being treated for brain hemorrhage, the man was released from Harborview, while the search for the perpetrators continues. And, oh yeah: "According to Seattle police reports, in the last week there have been eight other reports of assault within two blocks of Pike and Boylston—where this attack happened," reported KIRO.
SUNDAY, MARCH 29 Nothing happened today, unless you count the HBO broadcast of Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Alex Gibney's documentary cataloging the insanity and vast abuses of the Church of Scientology. Chief among the film's allegations: John Travolta would flee the church if he could, but he is being "held hostage" by the file of deeply personal information the church is ready to release on him should he ever try. Dear John Travolta: As a representative for all humanity, Last Days promises you that the people of earth will ignore countless weird personal flaws of a man willing to stand up against a church known for abusing and exploiting its members. Do it, and we will love you.
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