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Postman caught destroying priceless Native American artifacts

Postman accused of artifact destruction - Yahoo! News
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A Postal Service driver destroyed American Indian artifacts when he tried to cover up damage to a package by burning it, according to a federal indictment. ADVERTISEMENT Donald Ring III, 36, said he did not know the origin or significance of the Iroquois artifacts, which included two sacred masks from the 1830s meant to be repatriated from England. Ring pleaded not guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to theft of mail, a felony, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Eurenius. He was released on his own recognizance. Ring, who no longer works for the Postal Service, is accused of burning the package Dec. 29 after it was crushed and torn by loose equipment in his truck. Ring told investigators that he was afraid of losing his job, so he destroyed the package in his backyard, a judge said at his arraignment. The package contained two "false face" masks and eight beaded picture frames, some holding antique photos, according to the U.S. attorney's office. The masks are used in healing ceremonies and are not meant for public display, said Tony Gonyea, a member of the Onondaga Nation.

Warren Ellis at the Comicon

SuicideGirls > News > Culture > The Sunday Hangover With Warren Ellis
All I've seen of San Diego this time is the view from my hotel room. The Convention Center itself, which looks like it was made by two architects and a kid with a bucket of Lego while spending an afternoon ripped to the gizzard on Ritalin. And the bay, which has featured military vessels from time to time. I may have occasionally stood at the window with a small drink in my hand exhorting them to turn their guns on the con center. Because you can't trust those furries. Any one of them could be Osama. Open up the big cannons on the fuckers and let their yiffy god sort them out. They always worry me when they pass wherever I'm signing. They never bring books -- I guess I don't appeal to that crowd. But I still get a little shudder. An actress acquaintance of mine once got shot by a costumed fan. He was a mass of fur, a human-sized Tribble from Star Trek. He asked the actress to pose for a photo with him, which she duly did. And as she put an arm around his hairy bulk, an air pistol nosed out of his side, and fired a pellet into her ribs. Turned her black with bruising all up her side. Obviously, an actual gun would have killed her instantly. The guy apparently leapt back and yelled "you've been morphed!" before he was brought down. So I always have armed security to hand at converntion signings. And I give the furries a wide berth. My actress acquaintance would come off the convention floor of an evening, go straight to the hotel bar, do a shot in one, look at her hand to see if it was steady, and go up to her room to "wash them off me." She did several cons a year, selling signed photos.

Two-Fisted Library Tales: We call them movies

library_mofo: aphasia or stupidity? you decide True library story:
Patron: Can you tell me where your books on videotape would be? Me: So you're looking for books about videotape? Patron: No, books on videotape. Videos of books. Me: ...you mean movies? Patron: Yeah

The court's war against witness intimidation

Fearful Witness Now Faces Trial for a Murder Seen, Then Unseen - New York Times
. . . when the case came to trial, with a phalanx of gang members . glaring at him in open court, Mr. Roe changed his story, testifying that he had heard the shots but never saw who fired them. The two suspects were acquitted. Now Mr. Roe is the criminal defendant, facing up to three years in prison for the sin of being scared silent. Charged with making a false statement, he is Exhibit A in law enforcement’s increasingly desperate war on witness intimidation in cities plagued by gang violence. His is one of a small but growing cadre of cases nationally in which angry and frustrated prosecutors are turning the tables on witnesses who recant. “Without reliable witnesses, a criminal justice system just can’t function,” said Paula Dow, the Essex County prosecutor. “So the public has to know that for us to help them, they have to be willing to testify. And if they testify untruthfully, there will be consequences.”