The Wizard of Odd

But for sheer hypocrisy, nothing can top Perez's shrill pronouncements against the violence fostered by America's gun culture. This from a man whose concealed-weapon permit allows him to pack heat at all times, which he does with relish and without apology.

Given his exceptional gift for the dark arts, it's easy to understand how Perez would shrug off his airport arrest after shoving a loaded .38-caliber revolver and four-shot derringer through the x-ray machine. And it's easy to see how he'd laugh at subsequent cries for his resignation from parents outraged at the example he set for their children.

After all, he'd learned a couple of things during his wilderness years. First, never forget this is about viejito politics, not education. And second, under no circumstances would he repeat a mistake he'd made in 1989, when a principal at one of his Lincoln-Martí schools was busted for smuggling cocaine through MIA. Upon learning of the principal's arrest, Perez suspended her without pay. "We have to preserve the image and integrity of the school," he foolishly said at the time. "A person that is in the middle of a criminal case is not the best example for a school."

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