How many Philadelphians does it take to change a light bulb? Well, at Philadelphia International Airport civil-service rules require three: a building mechanic to remove the light panel, an electrician to actually change the bulb, and a custodian to sweep up the dust.
The latest plank in the animal-rights platform: cat control. Animal lovers want to make it illegal for people to let their kitties out of the house. It seems that animal-rights activists have discovered that cats have a nasty tendency to kill birds, rabbits, frogs, and other cute creatures. "A housecat hunts for fun," says Merritt Clifton, former editor of The Animal's Agenda. "It gets all its calories indoors, and then it goes out to devastate whatever there is to devastate."
Meanwhile, a battle between animal-rights types and clean-energy advocates may be shaping up in California. Unable to see the rapidly turning blades, thousands of birds each year crash into the state's windmill farms and die.
More bad news for environmentalists. The Southern California Air Quality Management District has identified tree resin and sap as major causes of smog. Seems Reagan may have been right about those killer trees.
John Tanner, the state prosecutor in Daytona Beach, Florida, has made a name for himself with a string of unsuccessful criminal prosecutions of local video stores that rent adult tapes. Now, Tanner is trying a new tack. He recently demanded that two stores turn over the names and addresses of everyone who had rented specific adult titles. Tanner says he wants to interview the people so he can better prepare future cases. When asked by Privacy Journal if he knew his request violated the federal Video Privacy Protection Act, Tanner admitted he'd never even heard of that law.
House Sergeant at Arms Jack Russ resigned in March amid speculation that Congress was going to discipline him for his role in the House bank scandal. Now comes word that Rep. Mervyn M. Dymally (D–Calif.) has hired Russ as a part-time consultant, paying him with public funds. Russ, who was just short of 25 years of government service, will be eligible for a full pension after working in Dymally's office for a few months.
Richard Roberts, executive director of Chicago's Christian Industrial League, has learned a few things about people who listen to National Public Radio. On July 4, the league threw a barbecue for the city's homeless. Roberts did an interview publicizing the event on Chicago public-radio station WBEZ and mentioned that the picnic would include the launching of red, white, and blue balloons. The league's office was flooded with phone calls…protesting the balloon launch. Callers feared that birds might try to eat the balloons and choke on them. Not one caller volunteered to help with the event. Asks Roberts, "Where were these 'concerned' people last winter when we ran out of food at the shelters and were in desperate need for help?" They were probably trying to teach their cats not to kill birds.
When Sen. Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) heard Ted Bundy say that pornography made him kill, he introduced a bill to let sex-crime victims sue the publishers whose books supposedly inspired their attackers. One wonders what he'll do when he hears about Daniel Blomquist. The Santa Clara, California, resident has been charged with beating his 11-year-old son almost to death. The child suffers from an adrenal disorder that makes him lethargic. But Blomquist thought the boy was just lazy and beat him daily for four weeks because "that's what the Bible says to do."
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Brickbats".