MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 The week begins with the fifth anniversary of 9/11, that dark day of history-altering tragedy that brought the deaths of 2,973 people in Manhattan, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania, and commenced five-years-and-counting of international horror, not least of which is the U.S. government's brazen exploitation of the instigating tragedy to justify a thousand and one injustices against those unconnected to the events of the day. In commemoration, President George W. Bush took to the airwaves, "to discuss the nature of the threat still before us, what we are doing to protect our nation, and the building of a more hopeful Middle East that holds the key to peace for America." The speech had moments of promise, such as when Bush willingly addressed the lie behind the war. "I am often asked why we are in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks," said Dubya, with his mouth. "The answer is that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat... and after 9/11, Saddam's regime posed a risk that the world could not afford to take. The world is safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power." Following this dose of because-I-say-so logic, Dubya dished out more intelligence-insulting cartoon bullshit: "The terrorists fear freedom as much as they do our firepower. They are thrown into panic at the sight of an old man pulling the election lever, girls enrolling in schools, or families worshiping God in their own traditions." Then things got really scary: "The attacks were meant to bring us to our knees. They did, but not in the way the terrorists intended. Americans united in prayer... The spirit of our people is the source of America's strength. And we go forward with trust in that spirit, confidence in our purpose—and faith in a loving God who made us to be free."

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Speaking of ludicrous attempts at ostensible freedom: Today brings a story from Florida, where a father's attempt to free his daughter from her fear of heights ended in tragedy, or at least broken bones. Details come from the Associated Press, which reports the dad's would-be cure involved a single step: jumping off a 15-foot bridge. Last evening, while holding hands, 31-year-old Troy Stewart and his 10-year-old daughter Meagan leapt from the bridge into the Intracoastal Waterway, and while Meagan made the plunge without incident, her doofus of a dad broke his leg. After the girl rode her bike half a mile to get help, authorities found the crappy dad waiting near Lantana Bicentennial Park; as Meagan had jumped willingly, the father faces no criminal charges. "This is an example of what not to do as a parent," said police Captain Andy Rundle to the AP, warning all others who might be tempted to cure their daughter's fear of heights by jumping off a 15-foot bridge: "Somebody's tried it, and it's not a good idea."

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 The week continues with a deeply impressive story from Portland, Oregon, where this evening Susan Kuhnhausen, a 51-year-old emergency-room nurse at Providence Portland Medical Center, returned home from work to find a nightmare: an intruder armed with a claw hammer. Lucky for all but the hammer-wielding freak, Kuhnhausen rose to the challenge, ultimately strangling the intruder to death with her bare hands. According to the AP, Kuhnhausen then fled to a neighbor's house and called police, who arrived to find the body of Edward Dalton Haffey, a 59-year-old convicted felon, on the floor of Kuhnhausen's home. An autopsy confirmed the cause of death to be strangulation, which homicide detectives have since determined to be self-defense on Kuhnhausen's part. Tomorrow the story will get 50 times crazier, with the arrest of Nurse Kuhnhausen's estranged husband, 58-year-old Michael Kuhnhausen, whom police believe hired Haffey to execute a "hit" on his divorce-seeking wife. Stay tuned for updates on Mr. Kuhnhausen, who's been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder, and best wishes to Nurse Kuhnhausen, who may find herself in the mindfucky role of would-be murder victim turned manslaughteress.

•• Speaking of noteworthy women: Today also brings the story of Leslye Creighton, the Pennsylvania woman arrested in February after placing an artificial penis in a convenience store's microwave. Details, as ever, come from the AP, which reports the February 23 incident began when 31-year-old Vincent Bostic filled a lifelike artificial penis with his urine, for the purpose of helping 41-year-old Creighton pass a drug test. At a GetGo convenience store, the pair wrapped the urine-filled fake penis in a paper towel, then asked the store clerk to heat it in a microwave, presumably to bring the trick urine to some approximation of body temperature. The clerk, however, believed he was being handed an actual severed penis, and after placing it in the microwave (!), he called the cops. Today in court, Creighton pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct (for which she faces a maximum punishment of $300 and 90 days in jail), while authorities dropped the same charge against Bostic, who agreed to help pay $425 to replace the store's sullied oven.

•• Meanwhile in Montreal, some Columbine-obsessed psycho shot up the cafeteria of Dawson College, wounding at least 20 people—six of them critically, one of them, 18-year-old Anastasia De Sousa, fatally—before being killed by police.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 Today brought an amazingly seedy crime bust to the streets of downtown Seattle, details of which come from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The scene of the alleged crimes: A variety of small Seattle businesses—including numerous department stores and art galleries—where thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was allegedly jacked for resale at Liberty Jewelry and Loan, the well-known pawn shop at 116 Pike Street. The alleged criminals: Martin D. Levy, the 69-year-old owner of Liberty Loan; his 38-year-old daughter, Leslie Calvo, who helped run the shop; and Leslie's 37-year-old husband, Richard Calvo, a Burien dentist who allegedly aided his wife and father-in-law in a "massive fencing operation," wherein a stable of homeless drug addicts allegedly delivered stolen goods—suits from Nordstrom, glass art from William Traver—to Liberty Loan for resale in the shop and on eBay. The charges: trafficking in stolen property, possession of stolen property, solicitation of theft, leading organized crime, and money laundering. If convicted, Levy and his daughter could get life in prison, while Richard Calvo faces 20 years. Stay tuned.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 Nothing happened today, unless you count news reports about Mark R. Downs Jr., the 29-year-old Little League baseball coach found guilty of corrupting minors and criminal solicitation to commit simple assault after offering an 8-year-old $25 to hit his mildly retarded teammate with a baseball during pregame warm-ups, thus knocking the genetically inferior player out of the game. For his exceedingly creepy crimes, Mark Downs faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, but as a first-time offender, will likely receive only probation.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 Nothing happened today, unless you count the birthdays of Lollard-suppressing English King Henry V, '80s pop-rocker Richard Marx, and blond actor Ed Begley Jr.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 The week ends, most unfortunately, with another gun-wielding psycho shooting up a college campus, this one in Pittsburgh, where early this morning five students at Duquesne University, all members of the basketball team, were shot and nonfatally wounded by an unaffiliated gunman who fled the scene. Last Days understands that the high-school gunmen of yesterday are the university gunmen of tomorrow; nevertheless, in times of war, college is where you go to avoid getting shot, and this shit needs to stop.

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