Tuesday Links: Crooked Sheriffs, Frivolous Lawsuits, and Middle East Shitholes

Louisiana’s governor has signed into law a bill raising the minimum age for strippers from 18 to 21. The bill’s sponsors claim that the law will “help fight human trafficking.” Bullshit. This has nothing to do with human trafficking and everything to do with suppressing sexuality.

– Last January, Grant County (Oregon) Sheriff’s deputy Zach Mobley falsely arrested a 911 caller in order to protect his trigger-happy relatives. Sheriff Glenn Palmer approved the bogus arrest, and later promoted Mobley to under-sheriff. The incident came to light now that Palmer, a so-called “constitutional sheriff”, is under criminal investigation for records tampering.

A Pakistani woman has been arrested for pouring kerosene on her daughter and burning her alive after the young woman eloped with her motorcycle mechanic boyfriend. Goddammit. Why even bring a child into this world if you’re just going to murder them over some trivial bullshit?

A blind man is suing McDonald’s in federal court after he was turned away from the drive-thru window at one of the chain’s Louisiana locations because he was on foot and not in a car (the incident occurred late at night after the restaurant’s lobby had closed; only the drive-thru was open). Screw this guy. If McDonald’s doesn’t want his money, I’m sure there are plenty of other fast-food places that do. Suing them just makes him an asshole.

After the Dutch government announced that the BDS (Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment) movement targeting Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians would be allowed to continue to operate in the Netherlands because of free speech, the Israeli government condemned the Dutch government’s stance. An Israeli government spokesman proclaimed confusion at how free speech could include the right to boycott Israel, saying that “Once free speech becomes a pretext for allowing hate speech, then it is no longer legitimate.” Oh, fuck you. Free speech as a concept is meaningless if the government can ban any speech it dislikes.

A Dutch woman is finally returning home after spending nearly three months in a Qatari prison for reporting her rape to police. The woman was vacationing in the gulf state in March when she told authorities she had been drugged and raped. Since this is the Middle East, she was charged and convicted of having sex outside of wedlock (the alleged rapist was charged as well). If this sounds familiar, it’s because the same thing happened to an Australian woman in the United Arab Emirates in 2008, and again to a Norwegian woman in the U.A.E. in 2013. Goddammit.

Two gay men were arrested in Russia after attempting to place a poster bearing the words “Love Wins” outside of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, in an act of solidarity with the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. The men were charged with “holding a public event without making prior notice”, which I assume is code-word for “being gay in Russia.”

– And finally, a Massachusetts man who sold a used printer online has been embroiled in a 6-year legal dispute with the buyer, a Ukrainian-born professional litigant and all-around terrible person named Gersh Zavodnik. Zavodnik purchased the printer in 2009 for around $40 plus shipping costs, but turned around and sued the seller for $6,000, alleging that the printer was broken. After the first lawsuit was dismissed, Zavodnik filed another one, this time for $30,000. Zavodnik also sent letters to the seller demanding up to $600,000 in damages. Fortunately, it seems that justice and common sense have finally prevailed: An appeals court has ruled against Zavodnik, calling him a “prolific, abusive litigant” who “spends much of his life prosecuting lawsuits against individuals and businesses with whom he has entered into online transactions.” Good, now is there any way we can kick this guy out of the country? (I hear the surface of the Sun is nice this time of year.)

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