Daily Archives: January 2, 2010

New Laws for 2010: Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean that Big Brother is Not Watching You

I love legislatures, well maybe not and it really doesn’t matter if they are controlled by Republicans or Democrats.  I personally think that the members of most legislative bodies are seriously in need of getting their own lives.  Nothing against them, but it seems to me that no matter what party is in charge the end result is that an exponential number of new laws are enacted.  Now some of these are good, and I will not fault legislatures for trying to do well, it just seems to me that every time some new law is enacted that the people who benefit the most are the legislators, lobbyists, special interest groups and of course lawyers.  2010 is a time of intense joy for these interests as the legislatures at all levels of government have been bust, a total of 40,697 new laws went on the books, that’s like 111.49 laws a day.

Across the country a host of new laws have gone into effect.  In Georgia they have a “super-speeder” law for those that go above 85 on 4 lane highways and over 75 on other highways.  Good thing I don’t live there. I think that they were about 30 years to late to get the Bandit though.

In Illinois it will be illegal to text while you drive, not to be outdone New Hampshire and Oregon have followed suit.  No problem here I can barely text when I’m parked comfortably on my couch, but truckers in Illinois can now do 65 rather than 55 outside of the Chicago area where word has it that they can drive as fast as the 25 mile an hour traffic will let them.  In California a new law will allow people to drive vehicles with video screens operating in the front seat… so long as the driver can’t see them, yeah that will work.  Folks in Ohio If you are driving through the Buckeye state you might consider turning on your lights when your windshield wipers are engaged. We already have this in Virginia.

Of course the California legislature has in the name of good health and obesity prevention now prohibits restaurants from using oils, margarines and shortening with more than half a gram of trans fat per serving.  Half a gram, is that a lot?  Not to be outdone in the realm of health Virginia and North Carolina have banned smoking in restaurants, though in Virginia this can be done if the restaurant has a specially designed space with specialized ventilation separated from the rest of the restaurant, in most places this is known as the sidewalk.  I’m not a fan of having to inhale someone’s second hand smoke but it seems that smokers who pay exorbitant rates for taxes in their cancer sticks, and pay higher life and health insurance rates are sort of like criminals who must be demonized and separated from society.  I just think that it is hypocritical that governments allow smoking to be legal if they plan to punish smokers.  It seems if they were really interested in good health that would simply ban cigarettes, but then that would get in the way of tax revenues and put tobacco companies who lobby the legislatures out of business.

In Texas teenagers can no longer use tanning beds unless accompanied by an adult, I guess the fake ID business has a new outlet in Texas.

I love patriotism and symbolic acts that give the appearance of caring about American jobs. In Illinois flags used by state and local governments should be made in the United States.

Much to the glee of divorce lawyers and wedding planners alike New Hampshire joins Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa in legalizing same-sex marriages.  California now requires that same sex marriages performed in other states while its same sex marriage law is in force.  Washington State and Kentucky each have placed limitations on payday lenders.  In Arkansas the sale of realistic-looking toy guns is banned while stores there and in Florida and Michigan will be required to sell only “fire-safe” cigarettes, fire safe? They are on fire thank you. Nevada and Louisiana have banned the sale of novelty lighters, devices which are designed to look like cartoon characters, toys or guns or that play musical notes or have flashing lights.  On the religious liberty side of the house employers in Oregon cannot restrict employees from wearing religious clothing while working or for taking time off for religious holidays, Festivus anyone?

There are also laws that allow a lot more security measures at airports, give police new powers and allow the use of technology such as radar traffic cameras at intersections.  I first saw these in Germany back in the 1980s and have no problem with them. Virginia Beach has installed a bunch of these around town and I think that is it cool to see the flash of the camera when a car runs a light.

Of course there are other laws that civil libertarians oppose and actions such as the granting immunity to Interpol agents operating in the United States that have some folks riled up, the fact that they are Americans who work in the Justice Department doesn’t calm the storm on this one.

So anyway, as security cameras watch your every move and legislatures find more ways to make your life a legal maze to avoid becoming a criminal for some minor infraction, rejoice, you could live in Iran.

Until that happens we’ll just have to be darned to heck for minor infractions by all the Phil’s in our legislatures.

Have a great New Year,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Padre Steve’s Photo of the Day Now Up

I have just launched Padre Steve’s Photo of the Day on WordPress. It is in my “links”  section  Enjoy!

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