They say that life is full of lessons, and many of us find that we are going from one lesson to the next. At times, they are relatively easy to learn but at other times, they can be a hard lesson, indeed. That was the case for some thieves who were trying to make a hasty retreat with some gas in Australia.
Apparently, they felt that they needed gas enough that they would go to a tour bus in the middle of the night and siphon out the tank. That’s exactly what they did, but when they started sucking on the siphon hose, they got more than what they bargained for.
It turns out, they put the siphon hose in the wrong place and instead of siphoning gas, they were siphoning straight out of the sewage tank!
An investigating police Sgt. had this to say.
“We can infer they [made] a very hasty retreat, with a somewhat bitter taste in their mouth.”
The police are still trying to track them down but they are probably not trying too hard. After all, they have already been punished enough!
California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday he pardoned three former prisoners facing the threat of deportation to Cambodia, including one who became a youth pastor after serving six years in the 1990s for murdering a rival gang member.
The three were among 36 pardons granted by Brown within the past week. He’s also commuted the sentences of 31 current inmates who can now seek speedier paroles.
Among the pardons are Cambodian refugee Vanna In, who entered the United States at age 3. He served six years for the murder of a fellow gang member at age 17 but was released in 2001.
He subsequently started Jobs of Hope for former gang members, which Brown’s pardon says has “helped dozens of individuals to turn away from gangs and become law abiding, productive citizens.” He also became a youth minister at a Mennonite Brethren church and hundreds wrote to the governor attesting to his rehabilitation.
“While the seriousness of the crime can never be minimized,” Brown wrote, “I believe that Mr. In should be permitted to have the chance at remaining in a community to which he has devoted a life of service.”
He is currently under a deportation order after living in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, Brown wrote.
Phal Sok served 15 years for a Los Angeles County armed robbery and now works for criminal justice reform. He was three years old when he came to the United States as a Cambodian refugee and has lived here as a lawful permanent resident for 37 years but is currently under removal proceedings, Brown’s pardon said.
Los Angeles-area businessman Heng Lao served two years for assault with a deadly weapon. Lao is also a Cambodian facing deportation, Brown’s office said, although his circumstances are not outlined in his pardon.
“Those granted pardons all completed their sentences years ago and the majority were convicted of drug-related or other nonviolent crimes,” Brown’s office said in a statement. “Pardons are not granted unless they are earned.”
Brown has granted 1,186 pardons since returning to the governor’s office in 2011 and granted 404 during his first two terms as governor from 1975 to 1983.
Brown’s father, Edmund G. “Pat” Brown had 467 pardons and 55 commutations, but there have been long stretches of very few. From 1991 through 2010, former Govs. Pete Wilson and Gray Davis issued no pardons while Arnold Schwarzenegger handed out just 15.
Brown has commuted 82 sentences in his most recent two terms, compared to 10 by Schwarzenegger, none by Davis and four by Wilson.
Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, both 29, last year quit their office jobs in Washington, DC, to embark on the journey. Austin, who worked for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Geoghegan, who worked in the Georgetown University admissions office, decided that they’re were wasting their lives working.
“I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige,” Austin wrote on his blog before he quit. “I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed.”
The couple documented their year-long journey on Instagram and on a joint blog. As The New York Times put it, they shared “the openheartedness they wanted to embody and the acts of kindness reciprocated by strangers.”
“You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” Austin wrote.
“People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil.”
“I don’t buy it,” he continued. “Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own… By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”
However, Austin and Geoghegan’s dream trip came to a tragic and gruesome end when they got to Tajikistan, a weak state with a known terrorist threat that shares a border with Afghanistan, where ISIS and other terrorist groups are highly active. They were riding their bikes through the country on July 29 when a car rammed them, according to CBS News. Five men got out of the car and stabbed the couple to death along with two other cyclists, one from Switzerland and the other from the Netherlands.
Two days later, ISIS released a video showing the same men sitting in front of the group’s black flag. They looked at the camera and vowed to kill “disbelievers,” according to The New York Times.
Some conservatives have framed the tragedy as a cautionary tale about not just the perils of travel but also naivete in general. In their telling, an overly generous understanding of human nature is behind much of today’s progressive movement, including calls to radically scale back immigration enforcement and policing and support for socialism.
I HAVE NO DOUBT THESE TWO PEOPLE WERE GOOD WELL-INTENTIONED PEOPLE, BUT SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO BE MORE REALISTIC THAN IDEALISTIC.