Wednesday 30 September 2009

Stupid Statements (Part X)

We are all prone to making stupid statements during our lives but some statements made by people make you wonder if they really know what they are saying. Here is Part X of my series on stupid statements. Enjoy. And remember, you too can make stupid statements.

Stalin's grandson, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, is seeking 9.5 million rubles ($327,000) from the Novaya Gazeta newspaper and 500,000 rubles ($17,225) from the author of an article published last April claiming that Stalin personally signed death orders. Dzhugashvili said, “We want to rehabilitate Stalin. He turned populations into peoples. He presided over a golden era in literature and the arts. He was a real leader." Millions of Soviets perished in Gulag labour camps and from famine during Stalin's regime. He also ordered the executions of hundreds of his generals, men he sorely needed after Germany attacked Russia in 1941. He also gave his approval for the execution of 20,000 Polish soldiers and officers. Was that all in the name of art and literature?

In 2006, eighteen home-grown terrorists in Ontario were arrested after the authorities discovered that they intended to plant explosives in vans in downtown Toronto and also at an armed forces base. One of the terrorists said to an undercover agent that the bombings would be the 'Battle of Toronto' and he described how glass would be shattered on the streets, cars would be flipped over and streets would be damaged. He said that there would be blood, glass and debris everywhere. They had plans to attack the parliament buildings in Ottawa and behead the prime minister. One of the terrorists recently convicted during his trial said, “I was not motivated by a hate of Canada, Canadians, democracy or Canadian values of freedom, civil liberties and women’s rights.” He was however prepared to murder innocent people because he didn’t like Canada’s role in Afghanistan. I shudder to think what he intended to do if he really hated Canada and Canadians. He was sentenced to 14 years but given some credit for the time he spent in custody while waiting for his trial.

Lottery retailers in Ontario will be forbidden from buying tickets from their own stores as of November 2009. That comes two years after Ontario Ombudsman André Marin exposed dishonest wins and the results of a forensic audit last winter that found that employees of the stores selling the tickets had won $198 million in prizes dating back to 1996. One of them actually defrauded the actual winner of his winnings. Lotto sellers can still play the games if they buy their tickets at other outlets. A cashier whose name is Rose He and who works at The Kitchen Table on Front Street in Toronto said that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation should clean its own house first and stop targeting store clerks and other sellers. She added, "It just doesn't seem fair to pick on us." Then she said, "The move will definitely make me buy less tickets." Am I to understand that this stupid woman is too lazy to go to another outlet like everyone else does and buy her tickets there?

A guilty plea with respect to fraud charges came about in a New York courtroom in September 2009, eleven years after Arthur Kissel, an American citizen who is also known as Arthur Froom, was indicted alongside his Canadian wife, Sonia LaFrontaine by U. S. authorities. Kissel and LaFontaine ran Lafontaine-Riche Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Care Centre in Toronto and other affiliated clinics in the United States, including one in New York City. Although health insurance investigators had raised suspicions about the clinic's billings, significantly more attention came in 1998 when a woman died after undergoing liposuction at their New York clinic. In one case, a mole was removed with a pair of scissors against a patient's will. Investigators found that LaFontaine did not have a medical licence and was not acting under a physician's supervision. LaFontaine was emphatic about her medical calling when she told a reporter that she dedicated her life to making people look better after she had a nose job herself at the age of 17. She also said, "I guess God gave me a gift, that I can see the way that a person could change for the better." At her trial in 2000, however, patients complained of having procedures done with instruments that looked like soldering irons and scissors after high-pressure sales tactics and even after demands by her patients that the procedure not be done. I guess the gift she claims she passed onto her patients were unwelcome gifts. She was found guilty of fraud charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Quebec lieutenant-governor Lise Thibault of Quebec, Canada, had been charged with fraud and breach of trust after a report alleged that she misused public funds while in office. She faced six criminal counts in all. Thibault was charged with two counts of breach of trust, two of fraud and two charges related to submitting false or counterfeit documents. A report written by Lachance and his federal counterpart; Sheila Fraser, alleges that Thibault was reimbursed $700,000 between 1997 and 2007 for expenses unrelated to her official duties. The report states that Thibault shouldn't have been reimbursed for many of her expenses, including vacations, golf lessons and meals with friends. Thibault said in response to the publication of the report; “I did my job properly and honestly.” Yeah, sure. And cows also fly.

Libyan dictator, Moammar Gaddafi addressed the United Nations Assembly on September 23, 2009 and during his 100-minute speech (the limit is supposed to be only 15 minutes) he rambled on and on but one of his most stupidest comments he made was (brace yourself, here it comes) “Islam is not racist. We only hate non-Muslims.” If he had kept his mouth shut during the entire 100 minutes he chose to speak, perhaps we never would have known just how really stupid that man is.

Riccardo Gattuso was charged and convicted in Italy of two counts of possessing weapons and ammunition in 1991 and in 1992, he was convicted of receiving stolen goods and being associated with the Mafia. In late 1998, the Italian police issued a warrant for his arrest for failing to comply with his release conditions but they couldn’t find him. That is because he skipped to Canada by using a fraudulent passport. In 2005, the government issued an exclusion order making him ineligible to live in Canada. Somehow, he managed to return to Italy and come back to Canada unscathed before but recently, he was stopped at the American border when he tried to enter Canada again and he was subsequently placed in solitary confinement in a detention centre in Toronto, Ontario. The ground for his detention is that he didn’t disclose that he has a criminal record in Italy which he was supposed to do when trying to cross our border and he is suspected of having Mafia ties. He is married and he and his wife have two children. He said, “I want to bring my family back to live here. We are better living in Canada.” His lawyer, Mendal Green said, “He has had a total rehabilitation of his past character.” That doesn’t matter. Canada doesn’t accept convicted criminals from other countries and especially when they come into Canada with a fraudulent passport and have outstanding warrants against them. Gattuso said, “Canada, being such a democratic country; I came to Canada with a smile on my face and they do this to me? They have me in solitary confinement. I can’t believe it.” What did he expect; a neighbourhood welcoming party?

Terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi was arrested by FBI agents in Aurora, Colorado on Saturday, September 19, 2009. The 24-year-old Denver airport shuttle driver has been the only alleged terrorist identified so far. But authorities have said three people travelled from New York City to suburban Denver this summer and used stolen credit cards to help Zazi stockpile products containing hydrogen peroxide and acetone – common ingredients for homemade bombs. His lawyer, Michael Dowling told the reporters afterward, "You get the impression he's a nice guy, don't you?" Dowling admitted that his client visited Pakistan last year, and made purchases earlier this year at a beauty supply shop in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado. But he added, "Those acts are not illegal." An act isn’t illegal when you buy a small amount of ammonium nitrate fertilizer when you are a farmer but when you are not a farmer and you buy a ton of it, it’s obvious it is to be used as an explosive and such a purchase is illegal. The same applies when you buy hydrogen peroxide and acetone and you have no justifiable reason for purchasing a large quantity of it.

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