Canadian Democracy Survives Cinnamon-Bun Scandal
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
5d ago
The second-place candidate … alleges that the victor … breached the Local Government Act through vote buying and voter intimidation, and seeks an order requring a fresh election…. I find that, absent special circumstances, no reasonable voter would be induced to vote differently by the mere provision of a cup of [coffee] or a cinnamon bun. Michetti v. Veach, 2023 BCSC 43 (Jan. 10, 2023). Democracy (such as it is) in the United States seems to have temporarily survived a violent attack on its legislature. This story reminds us that democracy is vulnerable everywhere, but maybe less so in pla ..read more
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UPDATE: Auto Insurer May Not Have to Pay for Back-Seat Transmission
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
2w ago
Last summer, the Missouri Court of Appeals held that GEICO might be required to pay $5.2 million to a woman who claims she caught an STD from her former boyfriend, GEICO being the insurer of the vehicle in which said injury was incurred. See “Auto Insurer May Have to Pay for Transmission That Allegedly Occurred in Back Seat” (June 10, 2022) (using slightly different words in the headline to express the identical joke). Last week, the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously reversed that decision. The earlier decision did not mean, as virtually every other source suggested, that GEICO would have to ..read more
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Congratulations on Not Catching Jack the Ripper
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
3w ago
The people at the UK’s College of Policing announced last week that they had managed to locate a walking cane that has “the only reported facial composite” of Jack the Ripper carved into its handle, eight years after the artifact disappeared from a local staff college. Too bad they were never able to locate Jack the Ripper himself, but at least they’ve solved this mystery. According to the report, this cane was originally given to Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline by his staff in 1888, “at the conclusion of his most infamous case, the Whitechapel murders, which were committed by Jack the Ri ..read more
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Surveillance-Camera Thief Captures Complete Record of His Crime
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
1M ago
As technology evolves, so do the ways in which people can and do use it to incriminate themselves. See, e.g., “Man Arrested After Bragging About Unsolved Robbery on Talk-Radio Show” (Feb. 25, 2005); “Police Rapidly Crack the Case of the Stolen GPS Devices” (Jan. 20, 2007); “Facebook: Bad News for Bigamists” (Mar. 29, 2011); “Rapper Who Rapped About Committing Fraud Arrested for Fraud” (Oct. 19, 2020). People have certainly used cameras to do this before, but this is the first case I’ve seen where the person managed to film his entire crime from the theft itself all the way through the recover ..read more
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Assorted Stupidity #153
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
1M ago
Why was the marketing director of a hospital stockpiling weapons at work? That’s not the first line of what would surely be a terrible joke, he was actually doing that. Police found the weapons while searching the hospital after a bomb threat. There was no bomb, but there was a marketing director with 39 guns in his closet. The report says police “declined to provide details” as to “what he might have planned to do” with the guns. One potential answer to that question, “shoot somebody,” seems less likely to me given the number of guns involved, just because in my experience it’s hard to shoo ..read more
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French Court Recognizes Basic Human Right Not to Be “Fun”
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
2M ago
On November 9, France’s highest court (the Court of Cassation) struck a blow for introverts everywhere when it held that refusing to participate in allegedly “fun” social activities involves the exercise of a “fundamental freedom,” and therefore is not grounds for termination. The complaining party—to whom the opinion refers only as “Mr. T,” but try to put that out of your mind—was fired in 2015 after refusing to take part in various seminars and weekend social events that his employer claimed were examples of its “fun” professional values. Mr. T argued that, in fact, these events tended to i ..read more
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Lawsuit Claims Mac & Cheese May Take Seconds Longer to Make Than Promised
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
2M ago
I probably drone on too long in most of these articles, but this time I don’t think I have to say very much. This is one of those complaints that speaks for itself. And what it says is stupid. In this lawsuit, Florida woman Amanda Ramirez accuses Kraft Heinz Foods Company of misleading her and other consumers in Florida (and 10 other states apparently chosen at random) as to the time it would take them to make one (1) serving of Velveeta Shells & Cheese. As you can see above, according to the package, the product can be “READY IN 3 1/2 MINUTES.” But according to Ramirez, that is a dirty l ..read more
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Suspect Claiming Mistaken Identity Says Someone Tattooed Him Without His Knowledge
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
2M ago
A Scottish court has found there is reason to believe that a man calling himself “Arthur Knight” is, in fact, U.S. fugitive Nicholas Rossi. The court rejected the alleged Knight’s many arguments to the contrary, including his claim that the reason he has distinctive tattoos identical to Rossi’s is that someone snuck into his hospital room and put them there while he was unconscious. U.S. authorities have been looking for Nicholas Rossi for some time. He is wanted in Utah for a rape committed in 2008, and faces charges in other states as well. According to the BBC, for years Rossi had been liv ..read more
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Geoffrey Chaucer Cleared of Rape Allegation
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
2M ago
So about a month ago I had to go to New York to argue a motion. The hearing was before a judge who, though very smart, doesn’t seem to have heard of Zoom, an innovation that arguably makes it unnecessary to do things like spend five hours flying 2,500 miles to argue a motion, but I understand it’s not for everyone. In any event, the hearing was at the federal courthouse in Manhattan, and when we left there was a throng of photographers and reporters waiting. I knew they weren’t waiting for me, but I wasn’t sure they knew that. They were waiting for someone, and most likely someone in a suit ..read more
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Death at Shotgun Willie’s Delays Trial About Death at Shotgun Willie’s
Lowering the Bar
by Kevin
3M ago
That’s the headline in the Denver Post article about this incident, which happened at a Denver-area strip club, but I feel justified in using it because I would very likely have arrived at the same result independently. Cf. “Plaintiff Who Visited ‘Pissed Off Pete’s’ Alleges Beating by Pete” (Jan. 20, 2008). There’s a Fourth Amendment doctrine that says basically the same thing, and while I can’t remember what it’s called right now I think my argument is pretty solid here. Of course there is nothing inherently funny about any death, depending on who died and, in extremely rare cases, how, but ..read more
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