The BEAST - Buffalo's Best 59 9/30/04--10/14/04


Buffalo in Briefs

Frigging in the Rigging - If you thought local authorities were honest, hard working individuals this story should set you straight. Seems employees at the Board of Elections like to spend their time combing through nominating petitions searching for disqualifying errors. Nothing wrong with that, except for the fact they're whoring themselves out for certain political candidates who keep them employed. Oh, and it's a highly illegal form of election fraud, but that's becoming almost trendy these days. When an employee was recently caught red-handed working to disqualify Francina Cartonia's petition in the race against Louise Slaughter on county time, they came up with a doozy of an excuse to cover their sorry asses: the employee was actually on lunch, only he wrote down the wrong time on his time card because a clock hadn't been adjusted for daylight savings time. Yeah, right. That shit didn't work in high school, but apparently it's an effective excuse in the "real" world of county government. No wonder rational, honest, intelligent people don't run for elected office; they get hammered from the get-go, before they're even valid candidates for office. The Board of Elections is supposed to be a nonpartisan body, even if it's completely staffed by Democrats, but these jackasses spend their time screwing over potential political candidates before they even get on the ballot. If it were Haiti this sort of election fraud would be reported far and wide and cause an international uproar, but since it's Buffalo this is probably the last you'll hear of it.

Baby Thrown Out, Bathwater Retained - After rendering its verdict on September 15, Judge Tim Drury informed the jury that they were the last group ever to decide a case in his courtroom on the second floor of Erie County Hall. It was the first courtroom in the county, established in 1825, now abandoned as local politicians, businessmen, and developers build (and furnish) brand new courtrooms in their civic-minded efficacy. The defendant laid his head down on the table, not because a chapter in the pages of history had come to a close, but because the 31-year-old man had just been convicted of raping an 11-year-old girl in his house last December 20. It could have been worse, the kid forgot exactly which day in October it was when he first lured her to his house and raped her, so it's only one conviction for first-degree rape, not two. Facing a maximum sentence of 25 years isn't too bad- oh wait, for a pedophile going to Attica, that is bad; he might last a week if he's lucky, maybe longer if he's particularly "pretty". Too bad about the courtroom, though.

No CSI for Little Guy - A West Avenue man was recently convicted of first-degree burglary after a three day trial in which DNA evidence linked him to the robbery of a Buffalo Police Lieutenant's house on Richmond Avenue. It seems the individual helped himself to some orange juice in the fridge during the crime and CSI types managed to get a saliva sample from the carton and track him down like rabid wolfhounds. A while back we were the victims of a vicious vehicle break-in; the thief couldn't manage to steal the stereo (next time bring a screwdriver, idiot), but they did rip the entire dashboard apart using a Bic pen, leaving plenty of blood smears behind. When we called the police and they took a report we mentioned the blood evidence, we were told it wasn't the "crime of the century" (no shit) and therefore not worthy of even a rudimentary investigation. Guess you have to be a cop to get any justice around here, and that applies to all the unsolved murder cases gathering dust in the Major Crimes Unit office. Maybe if the victims were cops or their close friends or family, detectives might manage to solve more than half of them, especially since everyone's running up overtime in order to pad their retirements. Oh well, that's Buffalo, suckers, you lock your shit up tight, you still take your chances.

Feel Like (killing) Yourself Again - Do you take happy pills? Do you pump them into your rambunctious little brats? Well, either way, it's good news for the gene pool. Government scientists have concluded people who take antidepressants, especially children and teenagers, have a tendency towards suicidal behavior. And homicidal (think Columbine), although you won't see that on the nightly news, it might tick off their drug company sponsors. In fact, this is old news to the drug companies-the info comes from studies they commissioned, but chose not to make public.

America is the undisputed home of the quick fix; people actually believe compassionate pharmaceutical conglomerates can cure all ails with a pill, even if the "disease" is merely the natural biological impulse of a seven-year-old kid who can't sit still while some miserable ass shoves his head down into some textbook. We've got whole generations popping Prozac, living their lives in a surreal, slow dream, missing out on the whole reality of living a life of free will. Years from now, if we're still around, it'll all be exposed as a genocidal scam designed by drug companies to rake in billions. In a related and even freakier development, Prozac has turned up in British drinking water-apparently so many people are on it over there that their collective "overflow" builds up in the water, surviving the sewage treatment process. What are the chances it's not happening here, too? Time to start avoiding drinking tap water altogether. Meanwhile pot is illegal. Don't expect anything to change, because politicians get rich on the PAC money from drug companies. More progress in the war against all things natural.

Spicy Meatball - Six people were busted recently for smuggling $14 million dollars worth of ephedrine from Europe into the country, including Sandra Jacobi, co-owner of the Italian restaurant bearing her surname (what's with these crazy Mediterranean restaurant moguls?). Ephedrine is a neat upper all on it's own, but it's also the main ingredient in crystal meth, a nasty, addictive drug burning people out like cheap candles nationwide which was, naturally, hatched in some drug company lab. Why a successful owner of a pizza establishment has to resort to organized crime and drug dealing is beyond us; the markup on a large cheese and pepperoni alone is like 93% or something, not to mention the soda. Anyway, Jacobi and company are looking down the barrel of an eight-count indictment executed by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and will definitely need some good lawyers. Could the seized shipment be the real reason the Bills have lost two straight games?

Albany Dysfunction - The circus is back in session after a well deserved summer break and it began with the usual histrionics when the state Assembly failed to override Governor Pataki's $1.3 billion in budget vetoes after vowing to do so. Sheldon Silver, the Majority Leader of the Assembly, had egg all over his face after three Democrats defected on the vote. See, Silver and his cronies control the Assembly with an iron fist, nothing gets done unless he wants it to. It's the same way in the Senate under Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. Thank God the cracks are showing, because that's why nothing but bullshit gets done. Consider the law taking all the speeding fine money away from municipalities which we were banking on using to wreak havoc with the system. First they pass it in secret like imperious bean counters, then they repeal the law in under a month when they realize just how big a can of worms they opened up. Can't pass a budget on time to save their lives, but this gets passed and repealed in the blink of an eye.

Good Game, Bad Move - We thoroughly enjoyed watching the Bills lose their first game of the season, at least the part where we drank nineteen Budweisers in front of a 36-inch television screen, puffing weed and stuffing ourselves with pizza and chicken wings before stumbling home. Besides that it sucked, until we heard about some drunken fool from Lackawanna who tried outwitting the Erie County Sheriff's patrolling outside the Ralph after the game. When Chief Brian Doyle spotted a car driving "erratically" out of the stadium he tried to pull Roman Deyoe over for a chat but Deyoe took off, racing through a residential area chock full of children at play before abandoning his vehicle and fleeing on foot. Chief Doyle chased him down, suffering minor injuries in the scuffle. The list of charges was mind boggling: felony DWI, felony driving while impaired by drugs, felony aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, possession of marijuana, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, speeding, and driving without registration or insurance. We think he'll need a lawyer or something to straighten the mess out. It's a good lesson for BEAST readers: The Bills aren't worth ruining your life over, not until they win a playoff game or two.

Blind Zebras - Speaking of which, it turns out officials did such a bad job calling the second Bills game that the NFL has actually apologized to the Bills. If you were watching, you probably already know the crucial plays that were called wrong: a holding call that should have been a safety, another bogus holding call that cancelled out a 63-yard punt return, and worst of all, Travis Henry's fourth-and-goal run apparently actually was a touchdown, not a failed attempt as it was called. Even if we wouldn't have scored after the long punt return, the two scores we were robbed of put us up on the Raiders by six points. Sounds like a conspiracy to us. This one'll be fun to remember when we're edged out of playoff competition by one game.

NHL Lockout - Guess which professional sport decided to shoot itself in the head? Yeah, the NHL, which can hardly afford to lose the revenue. Outside the Northeast, hockey is mostly a funny sport people understand a little bit better than curling. Icing? How do you explain that to some landlocked simp from Missouri? Needless to say, yokels would rather watch Nascar and Iron Man competition reruns than the Stanley Cup Finals. Why lock out the players a month before the season begins? Because the players union refuses to accept a salary cap, despite the fact their salaries eat up 75% of league revenues. Nobody held a gun to anyone's head in offering ridiculous salaries to toothless French-Canadians and Slavs. An inflated market was created under the last collective bargaining agreement, but that agreement has ended and league officials are adamant about correcting the system. Both sides are dug in and their positions are understandable, but the future of professional hockey will suffer badly. The salary cap in the NFL leveled the playing field, making for a lot more competition, close games and excitement, where many playoff spots aren't decided until the final game of the season and anyone can win the Super Bowl (except the Bills, of course). The NHL's made great strides in making the game more mainstream, but this debacle could set the whole thing back half a decade or more. Judging by the way things stand the season ain't gonna happen, meaning Sabres fans need another excuse to swill warm, foamy keg beer, drive drunk and be bitter.

2004 The Beast