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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 12:21 PM
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    Default Stupid Laws: unintended consequences, lobbyists, and downright stupidity

    And to the collective groan to many on the links, I thought I would start a thread where we can peacefully (I HOPE!) discuss the problems with too much governmental influence: laws, laws, and more laws, as well as those making them, and those lobbying for them.

    For the most part, government makes laws with good intentions only to see unintended consequences. Instead of readdressing the law, they make amendments, which of course create other consequences, and so on. On the more cynical side, lobbyists create bad and unfair laws that may or may not start out with good intentions.

    I am not sure if this thread will take off, but feel free to post about laws you think are stupid, or laws which have created more problems than they solved, or most likely, post how stupid you think I am lol.

    I'll start:

    New York tobacco shop owner Vince Nastri III spent $9,000 on a fancy coffee/espresso machine to give it away for free to his paying customers. Inspectors noticed the coffee machine when following up on an unfounded complaint about cigar odor. Even to give away free coffee to your customers in New York, you need a permit to operate as a food-service establishment. Because he does not have the permit, Nastri is being cited, punishable by a fine of $200-$2000 that can continually be assessed if he keeps illegally giving away coffee for free. Nastri can apply for this permit--but then smoking would be banned in his shop, due to a law against smoking in food-service establishments.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32626972


    A new law in Maine was passed intending to protect children from being exposed to alcohol taste-testing in public places where tastings must be "conducted in a manner that 'precludes the possibility of observation by children'". The idea was that wineries would be excluded, as it is a parent's choice to bring a child there, but any other place a tasting may occur, such as a grocery store, would be included, as other parents may not want their children to see others tasting an alcoholic beverage. The way the law is written, though, means that just closing the blinds at a small winery is not enough to comply, as '"[i]f a door opened, even though there was a blind on the door, if a door opened in such a way that a child walking by -- and a child is defined as someone under 15 -- would be walking by and happened to glance in, they might be able to look into the store at that moment when the door is open and see an adult with a glass of wine in their hand'". This means that a winery must find a way for a door to open in such a way that a child could not see an adult tasting wine, including remodeling the winery if necessary. Of course, this unintended consequence has been noticed, but instead of reassessing the law itself, or at least its original language, lawmakers instead want to ADD to the law to try and prevent this interpretation. Instead of readdressing the current law, or possibly even its need to exist, they are just going to make the law more complicated.

    http://www.mpbn.net/Home/tabid/36/ct...4/Default.aspx


    Mattel has essentially lobbied their way into being exempt from the toy-testing laws that the hysteria from their recalls prompted. Bush signed a law making lead and phthalates illegal in anything made for children. The problem is, everyone must test everything, sometimes at a cost of up to $4000 per toy. Even books printed before 1985--including those in used book stores and libraries--needed to be tested or thrown away, which is exactly what they have had to do--throw them away. Toymakers and publishers face jail time and fines if the products aren't up to code (read: tested) before they are sold. Toymakers making clean, US-made toys now are sitting on illegal stock because no exception was made for small makers not using harmful materials like making a toy out of wood. Some foreign companies have stopped distributing toys here because the testing is too costly. The kicker is that Mattel's--the company whose products started this--$1 million in lobbying has allowed them to own, operate, and run their OWN "3rd-Party" testing facilities, giving themselves a giant cost advantage over other toy company in the world which, according to this law, does not allow them to test their own products like Mattel.

    http://www.reason.com/news/printer/133228.html

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...D4O0wD9ABAB780

  2. #2
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    1st one makes sense, 2nd one doesn't (kids can see alcohol consumption on television - how is that a different image to them than seeing it live? and where are these grocery stores that have beer tasting?), 3rd one sounds like a loophole that needs to be taken care of.

  3. #3
    Eruption smme5150's Avatar
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    What about the states that make consensual ass-play illegal? This is the one that concerns me since me and the old lady like to partake...

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    1st one makes sense, 2nd one doesn't (kids can see alcohol consumption on television - how is that a different image to them than seeing it live? and where are these grocery stores that have beer tasting?), 3rd one sounds like a loophole that needs to be taken care of.
    First one, I dunno...I mean it seems pretty harsh to tell someone that can't give away free coffee in their cigar bar. I mean have we really gotten so crazy with smoking that you can't have a cup of coffee in a place where you can smoke? Billy Bob Thornton told a great story in an interview about eventually, at a bar in NY, having to step on side of the fence of a bar patio to have a puff on a smoke, then set it down on the railing, step back inside the fence, have a drink of beer, step back outside the fence and have a puff off of a smoke...etc., etc....all this while buses are driving back and forth 8 feet from the patio creating more of a breathing hazard than 2nd hand smoke.

    The second is ridiculous--but that is my point lol.

    The third IS a loophole. But it is the way law making works for some reason. When my father was an accountant, he said it was amazing how many times in the tax code there was a law, and then a company was exempt from it, only to find out they lobbied Congress, essentially paying to be exempt.

    In this case, the freaking company that caused all the problems by actually HAVING the lead in their toys was actually able to lobby Congress to essentially make themselves exempt from the law that was written BECAUSE of them. Ridiculous...

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    great examples and a good idea for a thread!

    The tobacco shop is a great example of the kind of mental retardation running rampant in our society.

    leave the damn guy alone, let him give coffee away if he wants. Why does anyone give a shit?!
    Stay out of it, dude.


    I am Van Halen.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Downloading 24 songs worse than arson or stalking?

    Both Bush and Obama's administrations side with the legal judgment against Jammie Thomas, a whopping $1.92 million for illegally downloading 24 songs off of the internet. Federal prosecutors argue the relevant law is "carefully crafted" and consistent with "due process" and part of a necessary "regime to protect intellectual property. Under current law, copyright holders can sue for up to $150,000 per work (such as an MP3 file, DVD, or book)." The Obama administration's official position is that Congress has crafted a statute that serves as a deterrent to those infringing parties who think they will go undetected in committing this great public wrong.

    Here's the problem: the punishment for this "carefully crafted" statute by Congress is completely and utterly out of touch with other fines. While Thomas has been fined $1.92 million for her 2 CDs worth of music, she could have saved herself some money by committing one or more of the following crimes in Illinois....STEAL THE ACTUAL CD--steal less than $150 in CDs ($2500), MAJOR THEFT--Felony ($376,000), ARSON ($376,000), not to mention crimes that could come with jail time that have a smaller fine (kidnapping, stalking, creating a dog-fighting ring)


    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10310181-38.html

    http://gapersblock.com/mechanics/200...onsider-befor/

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Governments take from charities to cover budget gap

    When renewing licenses in Ohio, you can check a box to donate to charitable organizations. Recently motorists donated $2.7 million to two charities. The charitable drivers were "blindsided", however, when State Legislature took the money, as a little-known law allowed them to "borrow" money from these charities. To help close a $1.9 billion budget gap, the State decided to use the $2.7 million in voluntary donations, including $1.4 million to Save Our Sight, a charity involved in preventing blindness in children. The Governor (allegedly) had no idea these funds had been taken until notified by a newspaper. After being notified *cough*gettingcaught*cough*, he said $1.4 million in funds would be returned to SOS. The other $1.3 million appears destined to never be returned to Second Chance, a charity specializing in organ donors.

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content...d.html?sid=101

  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 09:40 PM
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    Some stupid up law allowed this to happen. And if not, we're really fucked. This is very very sad to see happening in America. Completely unacceptable.

    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    That's unbelievable.

    Government knows best. Yup.

    This is why it's mind-boggling that people continually want government to fix things. People know what's best for themselves, and if they can't for some reason, the people around them do. Utterly ridiculous.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    This is where badly written law has unintended consequences that ruins lives

    Sex Offender Law Nabs Man Shooting Hoops:

    According to the news site AnnArbor.com, 23-year-old Matthew Freeman is facing a year in jail for violating Michigan's laws for convicted sex offenders. He was caught by a police officer playing basketball within 400 feet of a school. He also happened to be in front of his own home. Michigan law requires him to remain more than 1,000 feet away from places where children congregate. Freeman's mother says she checked with Pittsfield Township police before moving to the home to be sure it complied with Freeman's status. She says they told her it did. They now say it's Freeman's responsibility to make sure he doesn't violate the sex offender law.

    Freeman was convicted of fourth-degree sexual assault in 2003 for having sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend. He was 17 at the time. The conviction required him to spend 10 years on the state's sex offender list. After seeing the girl again and later getting caught stealing a video game, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail, and ordered to remain on the list until 2028. At that point he dropped out of high school, and hasn't gone back.

    But let's not be too harsh on Michigan's law. I'm sure that because of the continuing harassment of people like Freeman, 17-year-boys and 15-year-old girls are no longer having sex in Michigan.


    http://www.annarbor.com/news/a-young...ffender-label/
    http://reason.com/blog/2009/12/15/se...-nabs-man-shoo

 

 

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