Outrageous! Abuses, Schemes, and Blunders

We scoured hundreds of sources from across the country to compile this collection of crazy stories and weird news. Read, enjoy, and hope you're not mentioned!

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In the Courtroom:

In the Courtroom:
How does legal abuse become especially outrageous? Read on.

• A man illegally brought a gun into a bar, got injured in a fight, and then sued the bar for not searching him for a weapon.

• Kids sued their mother for sending birthday cards without gifts.

• A woman disagreed with a store over an 80-cent refund and then sued for $5 million.

• A convict sued a couple he had kidnapped for not helping him evade police.

• A mother filed suit against an exclusive preschool over her child’s college prospects.

• A woman sued a theater over a movie trailer, saying there wasn’t enough driving in Drive.

• A mom sued Chuck E. Cheese’s, arguing that the restaurant’s video games encouraged gambling in children.

Source: Business Wire

With Taxes:

With Taxes:
In Germany, until recently, one could deduct bribes. All that was required was the names of the briber and the bribed. Americans are a bit more creative when it comes to avoiding taxes:

• A dog owner tried to deduct the cost of a dog walker by using a day care tax credit. It was denied.

• An exotic dancer wrote off breast-enlargement surgery, saying it was a business expense. The IRS agreed.

• A Pittsburgh furniture-store owner paid an arsonist $10,000 to burn down his business so that he could collect the insurance money. He then tried to deduct the payment, calling it a consulting fee. Both men reportedly ended up in jail.

• A New York lawyer tried to deduct his visits with prostitutes—$65,934—as medical expenses. It was denied.

Sources: walletpop.com, CNNMoney, efile.com

At the Airport:

At the Airport:
Everyone's favorite whipping post, the Transportation Security Administration, gave travelers at airports more reasons to gripe this past year. Among their indiscretions:

• A 95-year-old leukemia patient was forced to remove her adult diaper for a pat-down

• A teenager was told that the pistol design on her purse was a federal offense

• A six-year-old girl was patted down aggressively

• A Bangladeshi tourist had $5,000 stolen from his jacket as it went through an X-ray conveyor belt

Sources: alligator.org, Associated Press

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In the Government:

In the Government:
Federal dollars safeguard our nation and aid the poor. They also fund a redundant engine program for the F-35 fighter jet (cost: $207 million) and benefit checks sent to dead government employees ($120 million). Here are other destinations for your tax dollars:

$113,227 to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games for video game preservation

$606,000 to Columbia University to study online dating

$492,005 to researchers at Wellesley College to answer the question, Do you trust your Twitter feed?

• $55,382 to a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher toward a study on hookah smoking by Jordanian students

$198,195 to University of California, Riverside, to study whether happy or unhappy people spend more time on social media

$592,527 to primate researchers to study in part what feces-throwing among chimps reveals about communication skills

$338,998, granted by the National Science Foundation, to study Women, Weaving, and Wool in Iceland, in the years AD 874–1800

Source: Wastebook 2011, produced by Sen. Tom Coburn

In the Classroom:

In the Classroom:
Remember Goofus and Gallant? The former was a jerk who made a mess of everything, while the latter always showed him up by improving his little corner of the world. Unfortunately, Goofus still exists in our educational system. But then, so does Gallant:

+ Good teachers and staffers at Columbus Elementary School in Corry, Pennsylvania, volunteered to work for free after the district cut the school’s funding.

- Bad teachers and principals in 44 Atlanta public schools corrected students’ answers on standardized tests in a massive grade-inflation scheme.

+ A good teacher in Mexico distracted her kindergarten class by coaxing them to lie down and sing songs while a gun battle raged outside.

- A bad teacher at Hastings High School in Michigan poured hot tea on two students who wouldn’t stop fighting.

+ A good principal at a Las Vegas high school spent several Saturdays going door-to-door and talking to students’ parents in an effort to encourage dropouts to return to school.

- A bad gym teacher in Denver faked a bomb threat to avoid going to work.

+ A good music teacher in Louisville, Kentucky, rescued musical instruments she found in her school’s supply closet and used them to start a student percussion ensemble.

- A bad teacher forced her Queens, New York, fifth graders to make holiday cards for her incarcerated boyfriend.

+ A good teacher will spend an average of $356 of his or her own money on educational products for the classroom.

- A bad special education teacher in Bainbridge, Indiana, posts on her Facebook page, “I love dumb people. I call it job security.”

Sources: philly.com, Huffington Post, New York Daily News, detroit.cbslocal.com, upi.com, National School Supply and Equipment Association, theindychannel.com, whatisworking.com, NPR

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14 thoughts on “Outrageous! Abuses, Schemes, and Blunders

  1. ifire insurance for cigars,,filec claim after smoking them,,counter sued for arson,,,

  2. In most states a dental hygienist with over 3000 hours of education in oral health and disease prevention cannot apply fluoride to children in a pediatricians office without supervision of a dentist but can teach a nurse or high school student to apply the same fluoride to children in a pediatricians office.

  3. I happen to know the “bad teacher” from Hastings and can attest to the fact that the teacher is actually a very fantastic and well loved teacher. There is nothing bad about that teacher except for the situation they were put into by two very immature high school boys fighting. 

  4. I happen to know the “bad teacher” from Hastings and can attest to the fact that the teacher is actually a very fantastic and well loved teacher. There is nothing bad about that teacher except for the situation they were put into by two very immature high school boys fighting. 

  5. I happen to know the “bad teacher” from Hastings and can attest to the fact that the teacher is actually a very fantastic and well loved teacher. There is nothing bad about that teacher except for the situation they were put into by two very immature high school boys fighting. 

  6. “A bad teacher at Hastings High School in Michigan poured hot tea on two students who wouldn’t stop fighting.”I was extremely dismayed and shocked to see this both online and in the Reader’s Digest magazine and felt I had to clear things up somehow. As a graduate of Hastings High School and a student of the teachers in question for several classes, I followed the case very closely when it emerged. The story was distorted by several news media and by overreacting parents. The TRUTH of the story was that the teacher (who is barely 5 feet tall, is female, and is not in the least bit violent) was faced with two large male students fighting physically in the hall. She called for them to stop many times (a past incident when she had tried to physically break up a fight had caused her harm and she was likely cautious this time) and the boys ignored her. To stop them she poured her COLD tea on them, which she had happened to be holding at the time. The tea had been sitting since early that morning and while may have been hot at some point, was no longer. One of the boys claimed he was burned by the tea (though officials could locate no burn) while the other was repentant and sorry to bring such distress to a beloved teacher and admitted that the tea was not hot and they were out of control. Nearly 300 students and staff rallied behind this teacher on Facebook and in person, even creating T-shirts, testifying to the large heart of this teacher, who had done nothing but give to her students and had never done a violent thing in her life. As a result of all the support and the fact that the tea was not hot and deemed her only necessary option at the time (short of throwing herself in between two angry males larger than her) no charges were filed and she did not lose her job. The worst part was the amount of negative press that was directed at such an amazing woman, because of one angry mother crying abuse. It is because of this I feel it was necessary to write. She was, is not, and has never been a bad teacher. If anything, she is perhaps one of the greatest teachers, who’s quick thinking and innovativeness may have stopped two students from severely hurting each other. 

  7. OUTRAGEOUS “sambo” cartoon depicted for potential Lousiana ban on drink lids.

  8. The logic is definitely flawed in some cases. There shouldnt’ be disrespect for those who hold a young earth view (the humans  and dinosaurs part in the education snippet). People need to accept that there are different interpretations of the scientific evidence and that accepting a young earth view isn’t necessarily ‘outrageous’. It’s the same scientific evidence but viewed in a different light.

  9. Here’s a ‘Blonde Response’ to the note that one-third of people surveyed six months after Hurricane Katrina couldn’t find Louisiana on a map:  “Well Duh!  It was still underwater!”

  10. Some of these judgments of things being ‘outrageous’ seem to come from a position of utter ignorance, particularly those regarding funding for studies. The logic here seems to be that, if it’s something you do on the computer or something that happened far in the past, it has no practical value and cannot possibly affect people’s lives today. But the study on whether happy or unhappy people use social media, for example, has tremendous implications for how mental health is changing with the rise of the internet. Good studies require good money – surveys are expensive to conduct, and these grants often pay the salaries of many people. 

    You can’t judge whether something is stupid or not until you actually know what it is. And in some of these cases, I’m not certain Sen. Tom Coburn does.

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