Weekly Daily Brickbats Archive 2009 March 8-31

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I Sell the Morning Papers, Sir

In England, the Cambridgeshire County Council used powers given it by a British anti-terrorism law to spy secretly on local newsboys. Council officials believed the boys were delivering newspapers without required permits. They later used evidence gathered by the spies to prosecute one shop owner for using five of the paperboys.

Childish Laws

Have Internet access? Well, if you live in Iowa, a proposed law could allow you to be found guilty of child abuse and placed on a state register if your child sneaks a peak at online porn. The law bars parents and guardians from allowing children direct or indirect access to obscene material. Supporters say it will only be used in the worst of cases.

A Snowball's Chance

Katina Mitchell drives a bus for the Loudon County, Virginia, school system. She reportedly got upset with two boys arguing on the bus, so she offered other students $20 to throw snowballs at one of the boys and put snow down his shirt. Seven riders accepted her offer and pelted him with snowballs when the got off the bus. Mitchell has been charged with seven counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

A Woman's Worth

An Iranian court has found a man identified as Majid guilty of blinding Ameneh Bahrami by throwing acid in her face after she after she spurned his advances. Under the nation's Islamic law, Majid will himself be blinded, but because the law says a woman is not worth as much as a man, he will be blinded only in one eye. However, if Bahrami pays $25,110, the court will allow him to be blinded in both eyes.

Philadelphia Freedom

Ralph Silvestro works as a legal clerk in the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For several months he had an American flag and a pirate's skull-and-crossbones flag taped to his computer. But when Keith Smith took over as director of justice center's Active Criminal Records division, he ordered Silvestro's supervisor to make him take down the flags. He reportedly said the flags were not appropriate for a workplace.