2009 Roundup, Part Four: The Bill That Changed “No” to “Yes”

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I guess we are now a full week into 2010, so I'll just do one more of these.

  • "Woman Says Boss Made Penis Puppets," read this headline.  She alleged the puppetry involved, among other things, animal shapes including a goat and some type of bat.  Thankfully, the complaint did not go into detail about how these were contrived, but it did list no fewer than 102 other items of alleged harassment.
  • Two Germans were hospitalized in December after a supermarket brawl over a shopping cart (or "trolley" as they say there).  Police said a rush of shoppers "depleted the supermarket's trolley reserves," and a 74-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman both grabbed the last one.  The man wrestled it away, but the woman's younger brother knocked him down.  The victors and their mother rolled away with the prize.  But the older man got up, followed them into the store, and cornered them at the deli counter.  According to the report, the elderly gentleman "clubbed the younger man with a salami as [the] mother tried to fend him off with a sharp 4lb piece of Parmesan," but he deflected the cheese dagger and banged her head into the counter.  Fortunately, "the trolley was undamaged."
  • Photo from the Post, which refers to this as the "Nap Flap" Sleeping on the job (right) is rarely a good idea, especially if you are a prison guard, even more so if your colleague has a cell phone with a camera, and especially even more so if he lets an inmate pose next to you and then the picture somehow gets to the New York Post.  A spokesman for the correction officers' union said he would not rush to condemn the snoozer, because the circumstances were unclear.  "She may have been sick," he speculated.
  • In June, a committee of the Oregon Legislature stuck some language into a bill that would (I think) have briefly redefined "no" as "yes."  Allegedly, Democrats were trying to head off an initiative they feared Republicans would later put on the ballot, asking voters to reject a spending measure. The bill provided that a vote to reject the measure would be counted as a vote to adopt it:

    A measure referred to the people by referendum petition may not be adopted unless it receives an affirmative majority of the total votes cast on the measure rejecting the measure.  For purposes of this subsection, a measure is considered adopted if it is rejected by the people.

    The bill was amended again a few days later to remove the controversial language, after it became public.

I'll do a "Best of 2009" list on Monday, and then normal operations will resume.