Assorted Stupidity #147

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  • Someone is calling law libraries around the country, asking librarians to read Brady v. Maryland to them over the phone, and doing what while they read it? And Brady v. Maryland? I mean, Gibbons v. Ogden, okay. That’s kind of hot. But Brady?

  • Well, Lenin and Stalin never got along all that well, and it turns out they’ve been fighting again. According to ABC News, one of the Lenin impersonators working near Red Square has been squabbling with one of the Stalin impersonators. Lenin reportedly accused Stalin of working with a different Lenin (they apparently have some sort of joint act), which made Stalin mad enough to hit Lenin with an umbrella. But Lenin later said the problem was that Stalin owed him money. For his part, Stalin denied everything, saying other Stalins had made up the whole story in an effort to sabotage him. So it looks like he hasn’t gotten any less paranoid, but on the bright side, he didn’t just have them all shot, so that’s an improvement.

  • In July, one member of the mob that stormed Congress turned out to be dumb enough that a judge agreed to let him out of jail pending trial. Noting that a widely shared video showed Douglas Jensen exclaiming amazement that he was “touching the f*#&ing White House” when he was in fact touching the Capitol building, Judge Timothy Kelly suggested this showed he was not a leader of the movement in any sense. It was hard to believe Jensen could have coordinated with others or helped plan the attack, the judge said, “when he had no basic understanding of where he even was that day.”

  • But Jensen also turned out to have no basic understanding of his bail conditions, or just didn’t care, because he was found violating them last month and now is back in jail as a result. One of the conditions was that Jensen not use the internet, meant to keep him away from the QAnon idiocy he said had prompted him to attack the Capitol, and which he said he had renounced. But on court officials’ very first (unannounced) visit to check on him during house arrest, they found he was not following the rules. Jensen also admitted he used the internet to stream that conspiracy-fest run by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, which the judge decided shows “he has not experienced the transformation that his lawyer previously described.”

  • According to McBroken, the website that tells you whether the ice cream machine at any given McDonald’s is currently broken, about ten percent of all such machines in the U.S. are broken right now (including 26.53% of those in New York). A third-party company’s effort to address (and presumably profit from) this long-standing problem is now the subject of a legal battle between that company (Kytch) and the one that supplies the machines, according to Food & Wine magazine. Kytch won the most recent round, obtaining a TRO against the defendant to prevent it from acquiring and reverse-engineering one of Kytch’s devices. The battle continues.

  • As you know, an effort to flee from police by plunging into water is usually doomed to fail, partly because your options then become very limited. There might be a similar problem with trying to flee by plunging into the Nullarbor Plain, a largely empty region of southern Australia. According to this report, a 47-year-old woman sped through a checkpoint there on August 23, driving a Volvo and towing a camper. A chase ensued, during which she ran into a police car, tried to run over an officer, and then “threw a large jar of petrol at an officer before trying to light it on fire.” She was, of course, apprehended. And as the person who submitted this item pointed out, her effort to flee was pointless anyway. “Where did she think she was going to go?” he wondered. “It’s all flat nothing for more than a thousand kilometres!” It’s true. According to Wikipedia, indigenous Australians called that area “Oondiri,” which means “The Waterless,” and its English name, “Nullarbor,” comes from the Latin for “no trees.” The British tested nuclear weapons there (well inland, but still). And this is what you’re fleeing into? This is a rare case where I might advise trying the water instead.

  • If you’ve been wondering whether it’s illegal to defraud an innkeeper, the answer in California is yes, according to this post by the firm of Greg Hill and Associates. The post explains that “defrauding an innkeeper” is the crime of obtaining something without paying for it. Now, you and I might just call this “theft,” but for whatever reason California has a statute specifically criminalizing the getting of “food, fuel, services, or accommodations” from a “hotel, inn, restaurant, boardinghouse, lodginghouse, apartment house, bungalow court, motel, marina, marine facility, autocamp, ski area, or public or private campground,” without paying for it, such as by absconding after the thing has been got. See Cal. Penal Code § 537. So if you “dine and dash,” or I guess flee from a bungalow court after staying the night there, this is the crime you just committed. Now you know.