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Being an inmate in a Texan prison is already bad enough, but during Banned Books Week last week, the state's institutions were under the spotlight for their censorship of canonical literary works. Apparently, Texas prisons are notorious for banning books with virtually no oversight and based on extraordinarily subjective criteria.

The Texas Civil Rights Project, a non-profit organization, has been on the front lines of the fight to change the policy within the Texas Department of Corrections and Justice. In the TCRP report, it is explained that the state's prison system in Texas basically leaves the decision of whether to ban a book up to the mailroom clerk. The TCRP report explains that mail clerks are instructed to review for whether the work in question:

An amazing story unfolded last week in San Francisco. Victor Rodriguez, a twenty-year-old inmate, was released from San Francisco County Jail last Wednesday -- on accident! After a few days on the lam and after the story started getting press, Mr. Rodriguez did turn himself in to authorities.

Apparently, the accident that provided Rodriguez with the free pass occurred when the court clerk erroneously dismissed all charges. That clerk better have a V8 next time. Rodriguez had been charged with additional crimes since his arrest and when the judge sought to dismiss the new charges only, the clerk accidentally dismissed the whole case.

In an odd case of becoming the thing you hate, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has been assigned to serve as defense counsel on a criminal case by the state's public defender office. This is the same public defender's office whose budget he's been slashing for the past seven years.

In response to these budget cuts, Director of the Missouri State Public Defender Michael Barrett invoked a previously unused state statute that gives his office authority to assign cases to private attorneys. Gov. Nixon, previously the state's attorney general, was Barrett's attorney of choice.

How a Russian Ballet Dancer Ended Up in Guantanamo

Many Americans have probably forgotten about Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the naval base there, where foreign detainees are held with limited legal process. The detainees are believed to be terrorists, or at least associated with terrorist organizations, and some have been in custody for more than a decade, since the Iraq War.

One such detainee is Ravil Kamilevitch Mingazov, and his story is odd. Trained as a professional dancer, he was in Russia's military ballet troop, did passport control at the Mongolian border and managed military food operations. But somehow Mingazov ended up in Pakistan where he was picked up by American authorities about 14 years ago. He is now seeking release and his story is interesting, revealing just how hard these cases are to decide.

Hurricane Sandy Fraudster Owes NY Almost $90K

When tragedy strikes it's not nice to second-guess alleged victims and ask if they really need help. But afterward, if it becomes apparent that a person was not deserving of the emergency assistance they received, the state will make them pay.

That is what happened to a Queens, New York woman who claimed that she was a Hurricane Sandy victim and lived in hotels on the state's dime. She also took food money from the American Red Cross, which she spent on clothes. Caterina Curatolo, 51, this week pled guilty to filing false reports and collecting nearly $90,000 in benefits intended for Hurricane Sandy victims. She was placed on probation and ordered to pay restitution.

Mustache Matters: Bearded Valedictorian Barred from Graduation

With the bearded hipster so ubiquitous, few would have expected this, but facial hair is under attack. More precisely, a mustachioed valedictorian was barred from attending his high school graduation in Amite, Louisiana this past weekend due to his facial hair.

Jones has a 4.0 grade point average and will be attending college next year on academic and sports scholarships, reports the Huffington Post. But he did not walk in his graduation and was asked to turn over his cap and gown.

Filing Taxes From Coachella's Post Office

Coachella is an annual music festival in the California desert that draws stars of all stripes -- from pop goddesses like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift to Victoria's Secret Angels. So you might imagine that people who attend are too cool to worry about taxes, or so rich that someone else has to manage all that wealth.

You'd be wrong. In fact, it turns out some of the festival's attendees tried to mail their taxes from a makeshift post office on the grounds. There were at least ten such attempts on the first day of Coachella, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The local post-master wants everyone to know that it's not happening. "No, I can't 'just take it,'" Megan Hampton said. "How do they have their taxes here? I don't know."

Toddlers in Court Don't Need Lawyers, Immigration Judge Says

We hear a lot about immigration law, especially in an election year. But few of us understand how it operates, even inside the system. Now the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the US Government, saying that indigent children who are not represented by an attorney in immigration court should be appointed a lawyer.

In the context of that case, a senior immigration judge, John H. Weil, said in a deposition that children as young as 3-years-old could understand immigration law sufficiently to handle a hearing. Judge Weil is the Justice Department's witness in the case against the ACLU on behalf of indigent immigrant children, but the government is not taking responsibility for Weil's statement, according to The Washington Post.

They were two great tastes that went great together: Kwan Dixon's Pop's Popcorn and Koosier Daddy's Food Cart filled that niche of the one-stop-shop to get your hot dogs, nachos, and sex toys. But alas, as Robert Frost warned us, nothing gold can stay. And the city of Evansville, Illinois shut down the most magical food cart in all the land.

So how come Kwan was forced to close up shop?

Cops OK Distribution of Banned Book in Idaho Park

Last year parents in Meridian, Idaho moved to ban a popular novel from local schools for its allegedly sexually explicit and anti-Christian content. The book is Sherman Alexie's young adult tale, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Brady Kissel, a local high school student, fought back against the ban, circulating a petition that earned 350 signatures and the ire of the offended parents. This week Kissel was out in the park distributing copies of the books when those angry parents called the cops, reports the Free Thought Project.