Civil Disobedience

Brickbats

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Marnina Norys was trying to board a plane at Canada's Kelowna Airport when security guards noticed her necklace, which had a 1.75-inch silver replica of a Colt .45 on it. An agent told her she couldn't board the plane with it on. She noted that the pendant couldn't actually shoot anyone. "It's what it represents," came the reply. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority is unapologetic about the incident. "How do you know it wasn't a real gun?" one agent said.

When Victor Abrahams decided to sell his car, he did what a lot of people do: He stuck a "For Sale" sign in the window. One day he drove to his office in the London, England, borough of Barnet and parked on the street. He emerged from his office to find he'd been ticketed for "offering goods for sale in a parking place."

A Melissa, Texas, cop pulled Mark Robinson over for failing to use his turn signal. Then he arrested him, took him to jail, stripsearched him, and held him for three hours. Police Chief Duane Smith admits he's never heard of anyone being arrested for a turn signal violation but says he stands by his officer.

Police in Rock Hill, South Carolina, arrested seven people at two different high school graduations for disorderly conduct. Their crime: shouting when students' names were called out. They face up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Anne Hartridge and Matt George take environmentalism seriously. They often bike to work, they have installed solar panels on their Sacramento home, they dry their clothes on a clothesline, and with California in a drought, they decided to stop watering their lawn. Then a neighbor complained about their brown lawn, and the city cited them for violating an ordinance requiring lawns to be "irrigated, landscaped and maintained."

More than 100 Northern Ireland pubs, about 7 percent of the total, have closed since the government banned smoking in them a little more than a year ago. The Federation of Retail Licensed Trade predicts another 100 will close within the year. "The much-promoted view that nonsmokers would be rushing to premises has not materialized," says federation chief Stephen Kelly.

Police in Yorkshire, England, have ordered pubs to ban customers wearing hats from their premises. Apparently hats make it harder to identify people on surveillance cameras.

The good news is that the police arrived very quickly when Max Foster of Coleford, England, called to report that three youths were riding his moped late one night. The bad news is that the officers just watched the thieves speed away on the moped. The police department says it couldn't chase the bandits because they weren't wearing helmets, and the government could have been held liable if one crashed and hurt himself.