Stupid Is As Stupid Does, Or Your Typical State Legislator

Posted: July 3, 2011 in Current Events, Miscellaneous
Tags: , , , , ,

In Idaho, it's illegal for a man to give a women a box of chocolates weighing less than 50 pounds.

2011 has been quite a year for stupid state legislation.  Fortunately for state legislators, thanks to old antiquated laws still on the books, laws getting passed now are probably not the most stupid things in the code.  Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Alabama:

  • 2011 Stupid Law:  Not wanting to be outdone by Arizona, my home state passed an even more extreme anti-immigration law.  Police can arrest anyone they suspect is an illegal immigrant if they stop that same person for any other reason.  Also, schools must determine the immigration status of all students enrolled and that of parents of enrolling students and report the data back to the state.  And it is illegal to give an illegal immigrant a ride if you know the person is an illegal immigrant or should have known.  Nope, no chance for witch hunts or racial discrimination here.
  • Might Be A More Stupid Law?:  Bear wrestling matches are prohibited in the state of Alabama.  Pig wrestling matches, however, are encouraged.

Florida:

  • 2011 Stupid Law:  Florida has passed a law that basically makes it harder to vote and register voters.  Individuals working to register voters must register with the state and face fines of up to $1,000 if they do not submit a form within 48 hours (groups are suspending registration activities to avoid the liability).  Additionally, early voting has been reduced to eight days from fifteen, because more convenience is always a bad thing when it comes to democracy.  Also, voters will no longer be able to change their registered address on election day as they have been able to the last four decades.  All in the name of curbing a fraud problem that there is no evidence actually exists.  So some suspect the real purpose is to curb the voting for Obama problem that occurred in 2008 by frustrating students and others with longer early voting lines and rule changes.
  • Might Be A More Stupid Law?:  Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal in Florida.  And really just a bad idea.

Maryland:

  • Stupid  2011 Law:  In Maryland, you are now presumed guilty of traffic violations upon receipt of the ticket.  You can either just pay the fine, ask for a waiver trial to explain your side of the story to a judge before pleading guilty, or petition for a trial.
  • Might Be A More Stupid Law?  Thistles may not grow in one’s yard in Maryland.  And those dreams of thistle gardens go down the drain.

Oklahoma:

  • Stupid 2011 Law:  Oklahoma pushed through a law that makes it illegal for judges to consider Sharia Law and/or international law in their rulings.  Because if I had a nickel for every time a judge in his/her ruling decided ‘hey, screw U.S. and state law because those laws suck, I decided to use Sharia Law instead’ I would have….let’s see….add it together….um, zero nickels.
  • Might Be A More Stupid Law?  Whaling is illegal in Oklahoma, proving the state has a history of fixing problems that don’t exist.

Tennessee:

  • Stupid 2011 Law:  Tennessee has been on such a roll of stupid legislation, it’s hard to just pick one.  So I will go with a couple related laws.  First, all local (city, county, etc.) laws in the state regarding discrimination for groups not protected by state law have been overturned.  Localities also can’t pass new laws regarding discrimination for these same groups.  While the clear target of this legislation is gay and lesbians, the law is broad enough to remove protections for others as well, such as the disabled.  Because Tennessee is all for small localized government….except for deciding who does and doesn’t deserve protection.  In which case, Tennessee knows strong centralized government is the only option.  Otherwise laws may get in the way of beating the sin out of folks!  Also, just for good measure, Tennessee also made it illegal to say the word “gay” in the classroom.  Ah, I remember how big of a part of the curriculum that gay education was in Tennessee when I grew up.  No, wait, that didn’t happen.  Where does this happen?
  • Might Be More Stupid Law?:  You can’t shoot game, other than whales, from moving vehicles in Tennessee.  Jealous Oklahoma?

Wisconsin:

  • 2011 Stupid Law:  Wisconsin passed a law stripping the right to unionize from most public employees under the premise that such arrangements were bankrupting the state.  Because we all know that public employees are known for extravagant salaries!  Now we can take those savings and pass them on to the poor old Wall Street employees.
  • Might Be A More Stupid Law?:  Wisconsin has a law that states that when two trains meet at an intersection of said tracks, neither shall proceed until the other has.

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