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For some readers, stuffed dead squirrels were a little too real, and a tea-party protester was a little too fake 

FEATURE, AUGUST 13, 2009
HORRID HOBBY
Squirrel away the sick humor: Absolutely disgusting ["Mount My Squirrel!" Aimee Levitt]. I'm pretty sure not all parties involved in this would call it "fun." What's funny about these "little buddies" being dead and their bodies abused?! Seriously, some people need to look for better "hobbies."
Anonymous, via the Internet

DAILY RFT, AUGUST 11, 2009
PHONY BALONEY
Nothing but a fake: Let me tell you something: I've seen a lot of guys stomped at political events for misrepresenting the opposition, dude, and this guy is a fake ["Injured St. Louis Tea Party Protester Has No Health Insurance, Asking For Donations for Medical Bills," Chad Garrison]. He's a fucking goldbricker.
Matt, via the Internet

GUT CHECK, AUGUST 10, 2009
NOT A STUNT
And no hillbilly picnic: To all who are ripping on this event, get some facts correct first: There wasn't one hillbilly to be found, and if there were, they wouldn't be as judgmental as the idiots posting to this event ["Photos: Making the World's Longest BLT at Iron Barley, 8.9.09," Nick Lucchesi]. This was not a publicity stunt for the restaurant; it was a means to support a great cause — the Lift for Life Academy — which helps inner-city kids. This project was to draw attention to the cause and to have some fun and to bring the neighborhood together, which it did. You would have to have been there to feel the energy of people helping people.
Anon, via the Internet

FEATURE, AUGUST 6, 2009
OTHER CHILD ALSO MIGHT HAVE DIED
She's still being victimized: As a former investigator — for fifteen years — of child death and serious injury, I can say with experience this story occurs every day in hospitals across America ["Münchausen, She Wrote," Kristen Hinman]. These parents enjoy the rush of attention that comes from a child having severe symptoms. They get excited by the presence of IV drips, nurses, specialists and other medical equipment being rushed into the room because the child's condition has worsened.

Thank God hospitals have become more electronically advanced and put in cameras and other monitoring devices. This woman is mentally ill, and Münchausen syndrome — as I knew it to be called in the '90s — is accurate. She killed her child, and the daughter would've died, too, if Mrs. Judy Pickens had not been removed from the room and personnel started paying attention to what she had been doing.

It is extraordinarily tragic that the surviving child still has contact with her. I hope she becomes old enough to stop enduring these visits. To continue being victimized by the woman who tried to kill you? Unbelievable!
Bobbi, Minneapolis, via the Internet

FEATURE, JULY 16, 2009
WASH 'N WEIR
Then send him to his country club: These types of stories always raise interesting questions as to what we should do with criminals like Mr. Don Weir ["Plot of Gold," Nicholas Phillips]. On one hand, it would appear that he lost his family, his position in the community, his career and probably his self-respect. Isn't that enough punishment? On the other hand, we have prisons for these types of criminals. It begs the question: Does the prison system actually serve as a "shelter" for the Weirs and Madoffs of the world? Or does prison protect citizens from this kind of swindler? I think the best sentence that Madoff or Weir could get would be one week at their country clubs! It would be unlikely that they'd survive the retribution from their fellow members whom they cheated.
Darlene Blalock, Webster Groves, via the Internet

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