Sunday, April 1, 2012

Year-Round Fools

In honor of April's Fool day, I've decided to feature a site that reports on fools year-round,'s Daily Brickbat. For those unfamiliar with the site, the Daily Brickbat is a mini blog where they post a very brief summary of something particularly ridiculous that someone in power has done on that particular day. Links are always provided to more conventional coverage so you can share the tale with friends. Highly recommended for those times when you want a laugh, a reason to bang your head against the wall, an opportunity for a double facepalm... or a site you can share with friends who desperately need a wake-up call about the abuse of authority.

A sampling of a half-dozen recent posts:

Officer Leatherface: Judy Sanchez says she heard someone pounding on the door of her Fitchburg, Massachusetts, apartment, and almost immediately after that someone started cutting through the door with a chainsaw. Several armed people rushed through the door forcing her and her family to the floor. It was a team of FBI agents who figured out about a half hour later they were supposed to raid the apartment next door.

Gun Control: New York City's Consumer Affairs office fined Jamal Ahmad $30,000 after they found a 99 cent store he owned carried toy sheriff's sets with fake handguns. Although the guns had bright orange tips, officials say they violate a city ordinance barring the sale of realistic-looking toy guns.

Getting Plowed: Ottawa resident Doug Rochow noticed the city hadn't plowed the snow away from a couple of well-used footpaths near his home. So he went out and removed the snow himself, as he has done for years. City officials found out about that and visited his home to tell him to stop. Official say the paths are unsafe for the elderly or handicapped to use in the winter, so they don't want anyone on them at all. Rochow says people are still using the paths and it's even more dangerous when there's snow on them.

Now Breathe Out: Under department policy and the manufacturer's guidelines, San Francisco police are supposed to test the accuracy of their breathalyzer devices every 10 days. But the public defender's office has found that the department hasn't tested those devices in six years. The district attorney's office has now joined in the investigation, and officials say they may have to void hundreds, possibly thousands, of DUI convictions.

Bad Dad: England's Nigel Robinson was trying to download some music when he came across images he believed to be child pornography. So he alerted local police. Shortly afterwards, local child services ordered that Robinson, who has been charged with no crime, should have no unsupervised contact with children, including his own. "It makes you feel as though you shouldn't have reported it in the first place," Robinson said.

Let's Go to the Video: Seattle Attorney James Egan says dashboard camera videos in two cases he handled showed police misconduct. He wanted to see if there were any other issues involving those officers, so he asked for 36 other dashboard videos involving them. The city sued him. City officials argue they don't have to release any videos for three years, which just happens to after the limit expires on suing the city for police misconduct. It also just happens to be when the city routinely erases those videos.

That half-dozen should give you a reasonable idea of what to expect. Prepare to be alternatively amused, amazed, and disgusted, but always entertained. The Daily Brickbat is highly recommended. It's on this Tireless Agorist's daily visit list.

...and that's all I have to say about that.

image copyright Paramount Pictures

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