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Dumb laws of the year

December 24, 2007

Reason has published a list of it’s “predictions” for new civil liberties violations in the coming year.  If you’ve ever read anything on Reason before, you will instantly recognize that the trick here is that everything they are saying may someday happen has already happened in 2007.  Some of the more entertaining “predictions:”

Pressed for revenue, at least one state in the country will pass draconian new traffic laws mandating fines of $1,000 or more for routine traffic violations, in a bald attempt to fill state treasury coffers. The bill will be sponsored by a lawmaker who, conveniently enough, also has a law practice that specializes in defending people accused of traffic violations. He will not disclose during the debate that the bill will almost certainly benefit him financially. He’ll be reelected, anyway.

For those of you not from the Washington area, this is Virginia.  They recently passed ridiculously high traffic fines for their residents.  The law firm of David Albo, the chief sponsor of the bill, is  It’s unbelivable that no one in the legislature thought this was a problem.  Or maybe they did and decided it wasn’t a big enough problem to turn away all the revenue that would generated for the state.

Another state’s lawmakers will propose a bill that bans “eating, drinking, smoking, reading, writing, personal grooming, playing an instrument, interacting with pets or cargo, talking on a cell phone or using any other personal communication device” while driving.

I actually like this one.  I see people reading the newspaper, putting on eyeliner (!) writing emails on their Blackberries, shaving, and many other distracting acts while driving.  Washington DC just passed a law that fines people $100 for talking on their cell phones while driving, unless they are using a headset.  From what I’ve heard, they are going to be pretty proactive about enforcing it too.

The Bush administration will claim it has the power to kidnap citizens of foreign countries for violating U.S. law, and extradite them to the U.S. for trial and imprisonment-even for white collar crimes unrelated to terrorism, and even for acts that aren’t illegal in the countries where the target is a citizen.

Scary.  Hopefully no other countries follow suit and decide they too have the same power.

Proving there’s no part of your life the Nanny State can’t reach, states will begin asking bars to install talking urinal cakes, which will warn men as they relieve themselves that drinking and driving isn’t cool.

Not sure I understand why this is a civil liberties issue.  Which amendment is it again that secures your right to drink and drive without consequence?

Be sure to check out the rest of their list.  Half of the stuff sounds like the type of thing that will go into one of those “1001 Crazy Laws” books you used to read as a kid, and the other half is legitimately scary.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. marino permalink
    December 24, 2007 2:10 pm

    I’m Ron Paul, and I approve this blog post.

  2. Ash permalink
    December 27, 2007 1:31 am

    Shaving? Seriously?

    I would also like to note that a nasty snow storm blew through Wisconsin over the holiday leaving me stranded in the house for thirty some odd hours with the delightful family. This might have been somewhat tennable had there been some more Mission Critical posts. Thank god for the Law and Order Marathon.

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