Weekly Daily Brickbats Archive 2009 October 1-31

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We'll Make Neighborliness Legal

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and state lawmakers say they support a bill that would allow friends and neighbors and relatives to watch each other's kids. This follows media reports that the state Department of Human Services had threatened Irving Township mother Lisa Snyder with legal sanctions if she continued to watch a neighbor's children for a few minutes each day as they wait for their school bus. The agency accused Snyder of running an illegal daycare center.

British Bobbies

British prosecutors have charged 11 individuals with impersonating police officers during a G20 protest earlier this year. But the 11 weren't exactly dressed in police uniforms. Leah Borromeo, for instance, was dressed in overalls rolled down to her waist, exposing her bra. Others were carrying toy machine guns. "If I'm guilty of anything, it's impersonating a stripper," said Borromeo.

Bad Signs

When his wife got a speeding ticket, Joe Gadus at first figured she deserved it. But when the retired police officer looked at the stretch of Montgomery County, Texas, road she was ticketed on, he suspected something was wrong. It was. The posted speed limit was 40 mph. It should have been 50 mph. In fact, the Texas Department of Transportation had known for at least 10 months the sign was wrong and hadn't fixed it. Gadus also found out that officers had written between 600 and 1,500 tickets on that stretch of road. Gadus' work got his wife's ticket dismissed.

And Happy Birthday to You, Too

In England, riot police wearing body armor and backed by a helicopter stormed Andrew Poole's birthday party and barbecue and shut it down. There were just 15 people at the party, and Poole says they hadn't even put any music on. But a police spokesperson said they had a right to shut down the party since it had been posted on Facebook as an all-night party.

Taking It to the Street

USA Today reports that a Dallas, Texas, ban on soliciting money in the street has hurt more than just panhandlers. The newspaper says collections by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which raises funds by approaching people in their cars, dropped from $260,000 to less than $50,000 after the ban.