Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

New ways to break the law! (are you a criminal? Probably)
http://www.theadvocates.org ^ | Bill Winter

Posted on 02/18/2006 1:46:55 PM PST by freepatriot32

Here's a question for you: Can you get through 24 hours without breaking a law? Before you answer, consider:

In January, an Atlanta man was arrested and handcuffed for selling a subway token at face value. Donald Pirone observed another passenger having difficulty with a token vending machine, so he gave him a $1.75 token. After the man insisted on paying him, Pirone was cited by a transit officer for a misdemeanor, since state law prohibits selling tokens -- even at face value. A MARTA spokesperson denied that handcuffing a customer for helping another customer was excessive. "There are customer service phones for people who are having trouble getting tokens out of the machine," she said.

Meanwhile, in late 2005, an Ohio man spent three days in jail because he didn't put identification tags on his family's pet turtles and snakes. Terry Wilkins broke a state law requiring owners of native reptiles to tag them with a PIT (personal-integrated transponder). The tags, which are the size of a grain of rice and can be inserted under the animal's skin, contain a bar code readable by a scanner. Wilkins refused to tag the animals because he said PIT tags cause health problems in small reptiles.

It goes on. In Kentucky, Larry Casteel was arrested for not attending a parenting class for divorcing parents, as mandated by state law. He spent the night in jail. In New Jersey, police are giving tickets to people who leave their cars running for more than three minutes in store parking lots. Stopwatch-wielding police hit the offenders with a $200 fine for violating the state's anti-idling law. In northwest Georgia, 49 convenience store owners were arrested for selling legal products to customers. The owners -- mostly of Indian background -- sold cold medicine, baking soda, table salt, matches, and lantern fuel. Police said the ingredients could be used to make methamphetamine. In Burlington, Vermont, police are ticketing people for not removing keys from the ignition and locking their cars. Police said the state law prevents car thefts. Violators are fined $79.

So -- are you still sure you can get through a day without violating a law? If so, don't worry. Legislators are making more things illegal. In New York City, a city council member wants to make it a crime to ride a bike without a registration number tag. Violators would face up to 15 days imprisonment. In Illinois, a state senator wants to make it a crime not to have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home. In Pennsylvania, a state senator filed a bill to allow police to fine drivers $75 if they don't clean snow off their car. In Virginia, a state legislator wants to make it illegal to show your underwear in public. Girls (or boys) with low-rider pants would get hit with a $50 fine if their thongs show.

Novelist Ayn Rand once wrote: "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws."

Have we reached that point? Is it impossible to live without breaking laws? Before you answer, better check to make sure that your pets have transponder tags, that you didn't leave the keys in your car, and that your underwear is not showing.

Sources:

MARTA token: http://abcnews.go.com/US/print?id=1390140 Pet TIPs: http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/13309603.htm Parenting class: http://www.reason.com/brickbats/bb-2005.shtml NJ anti-idling law: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060108/LIVING/601080331/1004/LIVING&theme=

VT locked cars: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060108/LIVING/601080331/1004/LIVING&theme= Convenience store: http://www.iacfpa.org/p_news/nit/iacpa-archieve/2005/08/19/civil2-19082995.html NY bikes: http://ridl.us/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=4889&sid=7bad222acdd8dc2f133555e0e62b5f34 CO2 detector: http://www.pioneerlocal.com/cgi-bin/ppo-story/localnews/current/ba/01-19-06-807026.html PA snow: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/08/874.asp VA underwear: http://www.timesdispatch.com/


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 1984; aynrandlist; banglist; bradywatch; donutwatch; govwatch; itsalmosttime; libertarians; zerotolerance
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-198 next last
"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.”
1 posted on 02/18/2006 1:46:56 PM PST by freepatriot32
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: albertp; Allosaurs_r_us; Abram; AlexandriaDuke; Americanwolf; Annie03; Baby Bear; bassmaner; ...
Libertarian ping.To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here
2 posted on 02/18/2006 1:48:20 PM PST by freepatriot32 (Holding you head high & voting Libertarian is better then holding your nose and voting republican)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32
There are way too many laws already.

Legislators need to be paid for taking laws off the books.

3 posted on 02/18/2006 1:50:35 PM PST by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

Thank God they haven't searched my mattress.


4 posted on 02/18/2006 1:51:15 PM PST by neodad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32
There are so many obscure laws on the books that we are a nation of outlaws and don't know it.
5 posted on 02/18/2006 1:53:05 PM PST by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: neodad
Thank God they haven't searched my mattress.

Apparently you haven't noticed the helicopter hovering near your house at night....8>)

6 posted on 02/18/2006 1:57:06 PM PST by Horatio Gates (If your belt buckle reads Allahu Akbar, You might be a red neck muslim!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32
Seat belts, clickit or ticket, roadblocks and vehicle searches

(just a few of my pet peeves)

TT
7 posted on 02/18/2006 1:57:19 PM PST by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

And to think... these laws (and almost all laws) made sense to a group of somebodies at one time.


8 posted on 02/18/2006 1:58:39 PM PST by birbear (You know what? This is crap. We're going to stop this.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

Legislation like this makes you want to shoot the lawyers. Come to think about it, didn't Cheney shoot a guy who was a lawyer when they were out hunting Da(M)n Quayle? (sorry, I couldn't resist, hehehe)


9 posted on 02/18/2006 2:03:13 PM PST by Cvengr (<;^))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: birbear
And to think... these laws (and almost all laws) made sense to a group of somebodies at one time.

More likely, it was a group of nobodies, who wanted to be somebodies.

What we need to do is have a sunset clause on every law -- even laws against murder -- that requires them to be reviewed and renewed every seven years, or else they are no longer law. Amend the Constitution to do that.

10 posted on 02/18/2006 2:05:27 PM PST by Celtjew Libertarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32
Image hosting by TinyPic
"Whoopee! We're all outlaws."
11 posted on 02/18/2006 2:06:11 PM PST by Old Seadog (Inside every old person is a young person saying "WTF happened?".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32
Image hosting by TinyPic
"Whoopee! We're all outlaws."
12 posted on 02/18/2006 2:06:11 PM PST by Old Seadog (Inside every old person is a young person saying "WTF happened?".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

But this can't be! We're "free!"


13 posted on 02/18/2006 2:10:45 PM PST by mysterio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

Brilliant. Please add me to your list.


14 posted on 02/18/2006 2:11:08 PM PST by Lady Jag ( All I want is a kind word, a warm bed, and world domination)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neodad

Thanks to Carnivore and Echelon, the authorities are now on their way with "probable cause".


15 posted on 02/18/2006 2:17:09 PM PST by mountn man (Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Americanexpat

There are so many obscure laws on the books that we are a nation of outlaws and don't know it.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I have been saying this for most of my adult life, I once told my father before his death that if everybody who broke a law were caught, convicted and sentenced that the last judge would have to lock the prison door behind himself and we would all starve because there would be none left outside to feed us.


16 posted on 02/18/2006 2:18:59 PM PST by RipSawyer (Acceptance of irrational thinking is expanding exponentiallly.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

Ayn Rand = idiot
PING


17 posted on 02/18/2006 2:20:58 PM PST by dennisw ("What one man can do another can do" - The Edge)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: birbear
made sense to a group of somebodies busybodies at one time

There, I fixed it for you.
18 posted on 02/18/2006 2:26:23 PM PST by visualops (www.visualops.com BUY DANISH!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

Oh, but you need all these laws, because people are too stupid/immoral/base to look after themselves. It is unfair for stupidity to be painful anyway - idiots need to be protected from hurting themselves. Personal responsibility and liberty are overrated anyway.


19 posted on 02/18/2006 2:31:37 PM PST by M203M4 (If you ever find yourself in agreement with my sarcastic remarks, do me a "favore")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

If you were sit quietly in a room you might, just might, be able to go through the entire day without breaking any laws...

And even then, you are probably guilty of loitering. :)


20 posted on 02/18/2006 2:32:39 PM PST by Lost Dutchman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cvengr
Legislation like this makes you want to shoot the lawyers.

The hell? If it weren't for us, people might actually get convicted for this nonsense. If you want to blame someone, blame the special interest morons that push this legislation and the legislators that bow to them.

21 posted on 02/18/2006 2:37:16 PM PST by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

I've often said that the average American has broken half a dozen laws before he gets his teeth brushed every morning, and committed two felonies by time he gets to work.


22 posted on 02/18/2006 2:37:51 PM PST by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
Legislators need to be paid for taking laws off the books.

I have occasionally half in jest proposed that one year out of every four should be for reviewing and purging of laws.

Up until a couple years ago it was illegal for me to wander around Boston without being escorted by two armed solders. (No I am not kidding)

While the law had not been enforced in a couple of hundred years it was still on the books and technically enforceable. I was rather shocked to find out that I was a lawbreaker.

23 posted on 02/18/2006 2:39:23 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Have you hugged your accountant today?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: IronJack

you must live in one tough neighborhood.


24 posted on 02/18/2006 2:40:07 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Americanexpat

And it doesn't matter whether you know its against the law or not either, the punishment is the same.


25 posted on 02/18/2006 2:40:37 PM PST by tiki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

90% of our laws are for the purpose of generating income for government. Our most important laws are in the ten commandments.


26 posted on 02/18/2006 2:42:27 PM PST by one more state
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Lucky
you must live in one tough neighborhood.

Worse. The suburbs.

27 posted on 02/18/2006 2:45:53 PM PST by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Gordongekko909


At least we can demand a jury trial . ......


28 posted on 02/18/2006 2:46:44 PM PST by southland
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

bump


29 posted on 02/18/2006 2:46:44 PM PST by Tribune7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: IronJack

Good Lord man, flee while you can.


30 posted on 02/18/2006 2:46:47 PM PST by Mr. Lucky
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: IronJack

Most states have a law that says it is illegal to open you car door into oncoming traffic,meaning,if you go to the store and park on the street,getting out on the driver side you are breaking the law.New Mexico was a nightmare as far as police were concerned.Visited family there twice.Vowed never to go back.Police checkpoints everywhere.We were stopped 3 times just going to the store.A 3 mile trip!


31 posted on 02/18/2006 2:50:18 PM PST by xarmydog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

I've been using this tag line for several years!


32 posted on 02/18/2006 2:50:46 PM PST by Calamari (Pass enough laws and everyone is guilty of something.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Lucky
Good Lord man, flee while you can.

I'd love to, but The Man has me trapped in an endless cycle of poverty and dependence.

33 posted on 02/18/2006 2:51:45 PM PST by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: xarmydog

I lived in Colorado some years ago, and got a ticket for driving in the wrong (passing) lane when I wasn't passing. My car had out-of-state plates at the time, since I'd only moved there a few weeks before.


34 posted on 02/18/2006 2:53:25 PM PST by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: birbear
And to think... these laws (and almost all laws) made sense to a group of somebodies at one time.

...to a majority of somebodies, at that.

35 posted on 02/18/2006 2:54:54 PM PST by shezza (God bless our military heroes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Horatio Gates

36 posted on 02/18/2006 2:59:29 PM PST by null and void (When the city fades into the night, before the darkness there's a moment of light)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: southland
Juries exist as a buffer against the tyrrany of judges. In order to graduate from law school, you have to shed every ounce of common sense you have and think in a very mechanical way. And if you lift up a judge's robes, you'll almost always find a prosecutor underneath. Juries ensure that common sense manages to find its way into the courtroom.

Of course, there's the whole "one tyrant three thousand miles away versus three thousand tyrants one mile away" thing...

37 posted on 02/18/2006 3:03:32 PM PST by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Gordongekko909

Last time I was in a jury selection pool, the Judge made a point of telling us he would NOT tolerate a jury deciding on the validity of any law in HIS court. We were to stick with determining guilt or innocence. Or else.


38 posted on 02/18/2006 3:06:45 PM PST by null and void (When the city fades into the night, before the darkness there's a moment of light)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

James Madison had a comment about this, something about making so many and such complex laws that no one could follow them. We've far surpassed that point already.


39 posted on 02/18/2006 3:11:06 PM PST by Hardastarboard (HEY - Billy Joe! You ARE an American Idiot!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

Let's make everything legal .. then we won't have any crime ...


40 posted on 02/18/2006 3:21:15 PM PST by SkyDancer ("I'd Rather Go Hunting With Cheney Than Ride With Ted Kennedy Over A Bridge")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: null and void

ROFL! Had to back track that image to get the full story


41 posted on 02/18/2006 3:22:10 PM PST by Horatio Gates (If your belt buckle reads Allahu Akbar, You might be a red neck muslim!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: RipSawyer
A lot of those are urban legends, and the ones that actually are "on the books" have either been interpreted out of existence, or the stories about them being enforced have a bit more to the story than what you might be told.

I live in New Orleans, and there is allegedly a law making it very difficult to open up a sorority house because of the way "brothels" are defined. This is pure BS; brothels are illegal because of what goes on in them, not because of who lives there. But that doesn't stop me from having to debunk it every few months.

42 posted on 02/18/2006 3:23:34 PM PST by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: null and void

Yep. Juries don't get to decide questions of law. They get to decide questions of fact. And they may determine that the accused did not commit the crime with which he is charged.


43 posted on 02/18/2006 3:25:31 PM PST by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: dennisw
Ayn Rand = idiot

Brilliant rebuttal.

44 posted on 02/18/2006 3:27:09 PM PST by Live and let live conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: M203M4
Oh, but you need all these laws, because people are too stupid/immoral/base to look after themselves. It is unfair for stupidity to be painful anyway - idiots need to be protected from hurting themselves. Personal responsibility and liberty are overrated anyway.

You just summed up the beliefs of the entire left.

45 posted on 02/18/2006 3:32:28 PM PST by darkangel82
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Celtjew Libertarian
What we need to do is have a sunset clause on every law -- even laws against murder -- that requires them to be reviewed and renewed every seven years, or else they are no longer law. Amend the Constitution to do that.

While that sounds like an interesting idea on the outset, do you realize how many more lawyers (and lobbiests) that would employ to keep check of which laws need to be renewed? That would create a whole new division of gov't to keep tabs to make sure the "good laws" are kept renewed. The last thing we need is another gov't division.
46 posted on 02/18/2006 4:00:01 PM PST by birbear (You know what? This is crap. We're going to stop this.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: darkangel82

I just cring when I hear commentators say that the authorities are building their case against someone. They choose a suspect, based on their assumptions, and then they build a case. Scary. If they want to, they will get you on something. Meanwhile, the public assumes that where there is smoke, there must be fire.


47 posted on 02/18/2006 4:00:17 PM PST by ClaireSolt (.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Gordongekko909
Juries don't get to decide questions of law.

So if you were a juror for someone accused of violating the Fugitive Slave Law, if they were proven guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt", you'd vote "Guilty".

48 posted on 02/18/2006 4:07:53 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

The Texas Legislature only meets every other year, a system set up in the Texas Constitution. The reasoning behind this system was that the purpose of the Constitution was to protect life, freedom, and property, and that no man's life, freedom or property was safe while a legislature was in session.


49 posted on 02/18/2006 4:13:59 PM PST by Richard Kimball (I like to make everyone's day a little more surreal)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: freepatriot32

I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a law is born.


50 posted on 02/18/2006 4:20:52 PM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-198 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson