Judge Michael Gates Is A Boot-Licking Idiot

Some quick (and not so quick) takes on the morning papers:

Wanda DeMarzo tells us of the outrageous ruling by Circuit Judge Michael Gates in the trial of former BSO deputy Christian Zapata, the first public hearing of the crime stats scandal. Gates -- remember that name -- ruled that Sheriff Ken Jenne didn't have to testify after a BSO attorney wrote in a "protective order" that Jenne didn't know anything and would only be embarrassed. That's right, if you're sheriff you're basically above the law. DeMarzo also tells us that Gates had previously ruled that Zapata couldn't argue that he was following orders -- basically his entire defense. Unbelievable. Congratulations to Gates, though, for making himself Broward County's No. 1 douche bag.

Bush Desecrates Flag

But who are we to question authority? Just ask the Sun-Sentinel's resident flag nazi, Ann Carter. She writes in a column on the editorial page today that she noticed a tattered flag in the post-Hurricane Wilma debris. "I was stunned, not wanting to believe that someone who had cared enough to show love of country by flying the flag would shove a wornout banner, still attached to a short plastic pole, into the trash." Gee, Ann, maybe they were too busy with other things after the hurricane -- like trying to find food, gas, and water and fix the leaks in their roof -- to have a proper flag funeral. Few of us can be as heroic as Carter, who routinely puts her life at stake to protect the sanctity of the flag. How? She picks them up after they fall in traffic. "I've picked up maybe a dozen flags this way, risking my life most of the time. I think the flag is worth it." What an eagle eye this woman has for flags in distress. And finally she reminds us that there is only one good way to dispose of a flag: Burning. So, kids, listen to Ann Carter and go out and burn those flags! Seriously, you have to read this column. It's absolutely fanatical.

The Palm Beach Post's sagely scribe Frank Cerabino nails the Jeb Bush/NFL commissioner thing to a tee in his blog. Great stuff.

From the Palm Beach Post, some young men in Deerfield Beach have apparently done the unthinkable: Beating ducklings to death. I don't really have anything to say about that, but I had to mention it.

And lastly the Miami Herald's Jennifer Lebovich gives us a brief story about the Deerfield Beach teenager who vandalized a Jewish book store (as the commentator mentions, more thorough versions come Sofia Santana in the Post and, I've since noticed, Chrystian Tejedor in the Sentinel). The kid wrote: "Bun The Jews." This could either mean that the young bigot is such an idiot that he managed to misspell "burn," or that he has a novel new approach to anti-semitism that perhaps also involves mustard, ketchup, pickles, onions, and sesame seeds. Connor Thomas Ranieri was charged with, among other things, "criminal mischief evidencing prejudice." Put him away for vandalizing a business, but that last part touches my First Amendment button. Either way, Connor Thomas has earned himself a spot on that list, right under Gates.

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