Brickbats

Lookalike drugs, breached Social Security numbers, and fiendish fruit vendors

|

One morning in January, in Medford, Massachusetts, an automated telephone system made some 2,100 calls telling parents, inaccurately, that their children were not in school.

Surveillance video shows Shreveport police officer Ryan Robinson looking around to make sure other officers aren't watching before walking up behind Carnado Brown, who is talking on a cell phone outside a night club. Robinson then tases Brown. Robinson was suspended for 45 days, but there are no plans for a criminal investigation.

Two students at Pennsylvania's Waynesburg Central High School were suspended for 10 days after they made an anti-drug commercial for a TV workshop. The students crushed candy and used it to represent cocaine. That violated a school policy that bans not only drugs but things that look like drugs. At least one student also was told to undergo drug counseling.

For the third time in 13 months, the state of Wisconsin has sent out letters in which the recipients' Social Security numbers were visible from the outside of the envelope. In the latest incident, the state sent 1099-G tax forms to people who received a state income tax refund or other payment in 2007. Because of the way the forms were folded, Social Security numbers were visible in the windows of some of the envelopes. The state has offered to pay for one year of credit monitoring for all of the recipients.

European Union officials insist it's not a criminal offense to sell goods in pounds and ounces. They should tell that to the people prosecuting 63-year-old Janet Devers, who runs a fruit and vegetable stand in East London. Police seized nonmetric scales from her stand in September, and just before Christmas, authorities informed her they were charging her with 13 counts of violating laws requiring British merchants to sell in metric units. She faces a fine of up to £5,000 on each charge.

Malaysian authorities have seized copies of Christian children's books. Officials say the books contain depictions of prophets such as Abraham and Moses, and that such illustrations violate Islamic law.

The Ocoee, Florida, police department was supposed to take Anthony Johnson's driver's license. Instead, they took the license of Andrew Johnson. The two men not only have different first names but have different skin colors. Officials say Andrew Johnson will have to prove he isn't Anthony before he can get his license back.

Boston attorney Simon Glik used his cell phone to record police in the Boston Common arresting a 16-year-old boy on drug charges. Police claim he distracted them, allowing the boy to temporarily escape. A charge against Glik of aiding the escape of a criminal suspect was dismissed, but he still faces charges of wiretapping and disturbing the peace.

NEXT: White House Correspondence: The Great Forgetting

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This is a good feature, and I hope it continues. I often find that after reading one of the Brickbats on the site, I desperately want a thread in which to vent my newly-found rage.

  2. What isuldur said.

  3. Plus, now the old Suck.com illustrator has a job.

  4. Peter Bagge should do illustrations for the the hit&run articles.

  5. What isuldur said.

    Indeed.

  6. “Two students at Pennsylvania’s Waynesburg Central High School were suspended for 10 days after they made an anti-drug commercial for a TV workshop. The students crushed candy and used it to represent cocaine. That violated a school policy that bans not only drugs but things that look like drugs. At least one student also was told to undergo drug counseling.”

    Context? What’s that?

    If *Reason* wants to wage a major campaign against “censorship,” this would be a good example to cite. “Look, censors can’t even distinguish between advocates and opponents of the forbidden doctrine!” It’s like that college janitor for a few weeks back who got disciplined because they didn’t like the Ku Klux Klan insignia on his anti-Klan history book.

  7. I specifically requested this feature when they had that annoying (but now apparently useful) survey.

    /Where’s my cookie?

  8. Strangely, now that it’s here it seems kinda boring since I’ve read all of these before. The thought is there, but the execution needs work.

    Time for another survey?

  9. Danny, I made the same suggestion.

    I get half of the cookie.

    Seriously, though, there is no difference between the Daily Brickbat and 50+% of the blog posts. So why not have Charles Oliver just post his Daily Brickbats in Hit and Run, daily, where we can comment on them?

  10. Wow. Common sense has left this country.

  11. If *Reason* wants to wage a major campaign against “censorship,” this would be a good example to cite. “Look, censors can’t even distinguish between advocates and opponents of the forbidden doctrine!”

    That’s OK, censors want to be fair & even handed. The idea of censorship is not to silence one side of a controversy, but the whole subject matter itself.

  12. the innominate one,

    Seriously, though, there is no difference between the Daily Brickbat and 50+% of the blog posts.

    I disagree. The Daily Brickbats are ALL shorter than the shortest blog post. That’s what I love about ’em, they’re quick and painful.

    So why not have Charles Oliver just post his Daily Brickbats in Hit and Run, daily, where we can comment on them?

    The only drawback here would be the appearance that the Brickbats are their own feature. I think they should just enable commenting on the Brickbats, supposing it’s not that much more trouble than just posting them on H&R.

  13. Danny:

    not different in content is what I meant

    you’re right about them being their own feature, but they could be dually posted or still linked from the front page in their own special box, independent from the Hit and Run links

  14. I liked them best when Martin Morse Wooster edited them.

  15. This is a good feature,Discount Cordless Screwdriver and I hope it continues. I often find that after reading one of the Brickbats on the site, I desperately want a thread in which to vent my newly-found rage.

  16. crafted and finished by hand. Materials are selected carefully. Every elegant

  17. crafted and finished by hand. Materials are selected carefully. Every elegant

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.