Daily Brickbat


Banning Video Violence (1/10)

Crime is skyrocketing in Honduras—so lawmakers there want to ban violent video games. A new law forbids the sale of Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil, Turck, the House of the Dead, Duke Nukem, Shadowman, Quake, Instinct Killer, Doom, the Legacy of Kain, Street Fighter, and Perfect Dark, along with any toy resembling a gun, knife, or other weapon.

Dial M for Murder (1/9)

Margie Strike said she was driving north on California's Pasadena Freeway when a man in another vehicle threatened her with a gun. She dialed 911 from her cell phone but got no answer, so she called the police. But the Pasadena police operator was not sympathetic to her plight. The operator told her she had the wrong number, refused to listen to her, and refused to connect her to the California highway patrol. Fortunately, Strike wasn't harmed.

Rude Wake-Up (1/8)

One of Nina Morrison's sixth grade students kept dozing off in class. So the Florence, South Carolina, teacher threw a Koosh Ball, a light rubber ball, onto the girl's desk to wake her up. The girl's mother found out and pressed assault and battery charges against Morrison, who now faces up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

What Got Under Their Kilts (1/7)

Scotsmen such as David Hume and Adam Smith pondered the origins of civil society and the limits of reason. Modern Scotsmen, or at least Scottish police, are devoting a great deal of mental effort to a more mundane question: When does underwear cease to be simply a functional piece of clothing and become something "intended for use in connection with, or for the purpose of, stimulating or encouraging sexual activity"? It's no joke: The law bans the latter. The police, who are fully prepared to bust shops selling sexy knickers, stockings, and garters, simply want the government to draw the line between sexy and utilitarian.

Rapist Gets Slapped on Wrist (1/6)

Jackie Pascoe Jamilmira, an Australian Aboriginal, allegedly traded a portion of his government checks to a couple for their 14-year-old daughter. When the girl resisted his advances, he reportedly punched her, put his foot on her neck, and raped her. He fired a gun into the air when she complained about it. Police arrested him and he was brought to trial, but according to Womensenews, the man received only a nominal 24-hour sentence. The judge had ruled that the rape was part of aboriginal custom.

Soldier Boy (1/3)

Mehmet Emre Gul, son of Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, has received his draft notice to serve in that nation's military. But the younger Gul is just 11 years old, seven years below the minimum age for the draft.

All Pigs Are Equal (1/2)

There's no room in Canada for private health clinics, according to a new report from the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada. Growing reliance on private diagnostic service, in particular, "is eroding the equal access principle at the heart of medicare," the commission reports. Supporters of private clinics say they ease the burden on overtaxed public facilities. But former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow, the head of the commission, says, "Direct health care services should be delivered in public and not-for-profit health care facilities."