Brickbats

Brickbats: December 2019

News of politicians, police, and bureaucrats behaving badly from around the world

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In Colorado, officials at Loveland High School barred Nathan Myers from classes after someone used an anonymous tip service run by the state attorney general's office to report he was planning to attack the school. Myers had posted a video to Snapchat before a family trip to a gun range; it showed some of his mother's firearms and was captioned "Finna be lit," slang meaning that he was going to have a good time. Police were summoned, and while they quickly determined nothing was amiss, the school did not allow Myers back until it had conducted a threat assessment.

Police in Ipswich, England, arrested Lindsey Webb for putting out her recycling in the wrong color bags. Prosecutors say the change from black to orange and clear bags had been clearly publicized. But Webb says she was never given any of the new bags by the local council, even after asking for them. A judge gave her a six-month conditional release and ordered her to pay the Ipswich council 50 pounds (about $61).

An audit has found nearly 60 former municipal employees in Sacramento, California, including 18 former police officers, continued to use their government IDs to get free gasoline after leaving city employment. All told, they took some 10,000 gallons of fuel. The fleet management division was informed the employees had retired, resigned, or been fired, but it did not revoke their access to city fuel pumps.

When Saluda County, South Carolina, sheriff's deputies pulled Shai Werts over for speeding, they noticed a white substance on the hood of his car. Werts, the starting quarterback for Georgia Southern University, told them it was "bird poop." But a drug field test said it was cocaine, so they arrested Werts for possession. A little over a week later, a lab test came back negative for cocaine or any other controlled substance.

The owner of the Victoria Saloon in Sparks, Nevada, says the city is trying to force him to raise prices on drinks during some events, undercutting his competitiveness with the nearby Nugget Casino Resort. Johnny Eastwick leases the space for his sidewalk patio from the city, and he says officials offered to renew his lease only if he agreed to match the Nugget's prices on drinks during special city events, a requirement he says would force him to double or, in some cases, nearly triple his prices. He refused, and the city confiscated his patio furniture.

The Leicester Royal Infirmary, a National Health Service hospital in England, has agreed to pay Terry Brazier 20,000 pounds (about $24,300) for mistakenly circumcising him. Brazier, 70, had gone to the hospital to have Botox injected into his bladder, a treatment for incontinence.

Federal prosecutors have charged Robert Morris Levy—a pathologist at the Veterans Affairs clinic in Fayetteville, Arkansas—with three counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deaths of veterans whose diagnoses he got wrong. The V.A. says he improperly diagnosed at least 15 patients who later died and at least 15 others whose health was seriously harmed. Records show Levy frequently showed up for work under the influence of alcohol. He was repeatedly suspended, but he didn't get fired until he was arrested for DUI.

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  1. Police in Ipswich, England, arrested Lindsey Webb for putting out her recycling in the wrong color bags. Prosecutors say the change from black to orange and clear bags had been clearly publicized. But Webb says she was never given any of the new bags by the local council, even after asking for them. A judge gave her a six-month conditional release and ordered her to pay the Ipswich council 50 pounds (about $61).

    That’s nothing. I knew a guy that was playing “boogie woogie” music in a little alleyway Just off of Wardour Street in Soho. He got off with a caution and a year’s conditional discharge…

    1. I heard of a guy getting arrested and a fifty dollar fine for littering, but they had twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence so there wasn’t much arguing the case.

      1. It was definitely a case of blind justice.

      2. littering AND creating a public nuisance.

  2. Something about the People getting it good and hard?

  3. “SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 25, 2019 — Almost a year to the day after Santa Ana College enforced unconstitutional speech codes against three students hosting a “free speech ball” event on campus, newly-enacted district-wide reforms will help protect the First Amendment rights of approximately 53,000 students….

    “Former students Andrew Rivas, Boston Bolles, and Jocabed Torres didn’t ask for this fight. Last November, their chapter of the nationwide organization Young Americans for Liberty set up a “free speech ball” — an oversized beach ball upon which passing students are invited to write messages of their choice — on Santa Ana’s campus. But after an hour, an administrator and uniformed campus police officer demanded that the ball be deflated.”

    https://www.thefire.org/victory-at-santa-ana-college-deflated-free-speech-ball-spurs-critical-speech-code-reforms-after-pressure-from-students-fire/

    For expressing views with brevity
    You surely must confess
    That having a free speech ball
    Is the thing that works the best

    Your pen is always welcome
    To write upon the ball
    But when it gets deflated
    That isn’t cool at all

    1. We can use our free-speech beach ball
      To draw, discourse, or preach
      Then we’ll take our free-speech beach ball
      And put it on some beach.

      1. The censors and the haters
        They don’t know who they’re screwin’
        We’ll put our beach ball on them
        Like they were Patrick Mcgoohan

        1. Respect our free-speech beach ball
          Don’t mutilate or puncture
          But a pen is always walcome
          On our beach ball at this juncture.

          1. It’s a First Amendment beach ball
            And so you can’t arrest me
            Don’t mess with my free-speech ball
            Or I’ll get really testy.

            1. Academic freedom rules
              Within these campus walls
              And hence we are entitled
              To have fun with our balls.

              1. You can search the Reason archives
                With search term “free speech ball”
                And find a couple campuses
                That weren’t amused at all

                To have these balls thrust at them
                Because they say this tended
                To violate their safety
                Also, they were offended.

                1. Roses are red
                  Violets are blue
                  Shut up and do as you are told.

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