January 6th, 2007

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I smell lawsuit

Texas Child Hangs Self After Seeing Saddam Video

POSTED: 8:16 am CST January 5, 2007

WEBSTER, Texas -- Police and family members said a 10-year-old boy who died by hanging himself from a bunk bed was apparently mimicking the execution of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Sergio Pelico was found dead Sunday in his apartment bedroom, said Webster police Lt. Tom Claunch. Pelico's mother told police he had previously watched a Spanish television station's news report on Saddam's death.

"It appears to be accidental," Claunch said. "Our gut reaction is that he was experimenting."

An autopsy of the fifth-grader's body was pending.

Julio Gustavo, Sergio's uncle, said the boy was a happy and curious child.

He said Sergio had watched TV news with another uncle on Saturday and asked the uncle about Saddam's death.

"His uncle told him it was because Saddam was real bad," Gustavo said. "He (Sergio) said, 'OK.' And that was it."

Sergio's mother, Sara Pelico DeLeon, was at work Sunday while Sergio and other children were under the care of an uncle, Gustavo said. One of the children found Sergio's body in his bedroom.

Police said the boy had tied a slipknot around his neck while on a bunk bed. Police investigators learned that Sergio had been upset about not getting a Christmas gift from his father, but they don't believe the boy intentionally killed himself.

Clinical psychologist Edward Bischof, of California, said children Sergio's age mimic risky behaviors they see on TV -- such as wrestling or extreme sports -- without realizing the dangers. He said TV appeared to be the stimulant in Sergio's case.

"I would think maybe this kid is trying something that he thinks fun to act out without having the emotional and psychological maturity to think the thing through before he acts on it," Bischof said.

"I don't think he thought it was real," Gustavo said of Saddam's hanging. "They showed them putting the noose around his neck and everything. Why show that on TV?"

Sergio's father urged other parents to warn their children not to do what they see on TV. The parents said they believe the media outlets that chose to repeatedly air the video of Saddam's execution were irresponsible.

Family members held a memorial for the boy Wednesday in the apartment complex activity center.

This reminds me of the simpsons episode where they go to the hospital to try to scare Bart straight and keep him from mimicing daredevils on tv. "I won't even subject you to the horrors of our Three Stooges ward."

We can't know for a fact that the kid hung himself because he saw Saddam bite it on Telemundo. Maybe he was taking his first baby steps into the world of autoerotic asphyxiation and slipped. Regardless, it'll be case in point for those who put up those warnings about graphic material that mock26 was bitching about.

As for the father's urging that parents should warn their children....I figure it's a moot point for the vast majority of children who with a fully developed sense of self-preservation know not to hang themselves. This kid was just a Darwin Award waiting to happen. Unfortunately, I don't think you can qualify for a darwin award until you hit 16. Poor kid. Just a little too precocious there.
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These are Men, America's best

Army asks dead to sign up for another hitch

POSTED: 9:39 p.m. EST, January 5, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army said Friday it would apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

The letters were sent a few days after Christmas to more than 5,100 Army officers who had recently left the service. Included were letters to about 75 officers killed in action and about 200 wounded in action.

"Army personnel officials are contacting those officers' families now to personally apologize for erroneously sending the letters," the Army said in a brief news release issued Friday night.

The Army did not say how or when the mistake was discovered. It said the database normally used for such correspondence with former officers had been "thoroughly reviewed" to remove the names of wounded or dead soldiers.

"But an earlier list was used inadvertently for the December mailings," the Army statement said, adding that the Army is apologizing to those officers and families affected and "regrets any confusion."

Man, I should just go to bed before I stumble over any more insanely stupid news stories. I can just see the pitch on this one....

'Now that the worst has already happened, why not re-up for our all new zombie corps. Fresh brains served daily and all you can eat.'

This sorta reminds me of that scene in Full Metal Jacket.

If your killer instincts are not clean and strong you will hesitate at the moment of truth. You will not kill. You will become dead marines and then you will be in a world of shit because marines are not allowed to die without permission. Do you maggots understand?

You'd think that someone would pay more attention to crap like this but I can see how these bureacratic slipups happen.