Category Archives: Nanny State

The Most Ridiculous Law of 2013 (So Far): It Is Now a Crime to Unlock Your Smartphone

open quote Derek Khanna Jan 27 2013, 10:31 AM ET
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When did we decide that we wanted a law that could make unlocking your smartphone a criminal offense? The answer is that we never really decided.

615_Apple_iPhone_Flag_Apple_Reuters.jpg
Reuters

This is now the law of the land:

ADVISORY

BY DECREE OF THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS

IT SHALL HENCEFORCE BE ORDERED THAT AMERICANS SHALL NOT UNLOCK THEIR OWN SMARTPHONES.

PENALTY: In some situations, first time offenders may be fined up to $500,000, imprisoned for five years, or both. For repeat offenders, the maximum penalty increases to a fine of $1,000,000, imprisonment for up to ten years, or both.*

That’s right, starting this weekend it is illegal to unlock new phones to make them available on other carriers.

I have deep sympathy for any individual who happens to get jail time for this offense. I am sure that other offenders would not take kindly to smartphone un-lockers.

But seriously: It’s embarrassing and unacceptable that we are at the mercy of prosecutorial and judicial discretion** to avoid the implementation of draconian laws that could implicate average Americans in a crime subject to up to a $500,000 fine and up to five years in prison.close quote (Read more)

‘Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act’ proposed in Maryland

Who says politicians don’t create anything worthwhile? This is damn good comedy:

open quoteA Maryland state senator has crafted a bill to curb the zeal of public school officials who are tempted to suspend students as young as kindergarten for having things — or talking about things, or eating things — that represent guns, but aren’t actually anything like real guns.

Sen. J. B. Jennings, a Republican who represents Baltimore Harford Counties, introduced “The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013″ on Thursday, reports The Star Democrat.

“We really need to re-evaluate how kids are punished,” Jennings told The Star Democrat. “These kids can’t comprehend what they are doing or the ramifications of their actions.”

“These suspensions are going on their permanent records and could have lasting effects on their educations,” he added.

A nationwide flurry of suspensions seemed to reach an absurd level recently when Josh Welch, a second-grader at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, was suspended for two days because his teacher thought he shaped a strawberry, pre-baked toaster pastry into something resembling a gun. (RELATED: Second-grader suspended for breakfast pastry)

“I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top of it and kind of looked like a gun,” the seven-year-old told Fox News.

“But it wasn’t,” he astutely added.

As Reason’s Hit & Run blog noted, Park Elementary School officials later offered counseling to other students who may have been traumatized by the pastry.close quote

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/10/toaster-pastry-gun-freedom-act-proposed-in-maryland/#ixzz2NKWo2bAf

Keep in mind, this counseling for a gun-shaped pastry is being offered in a country where kids used to bring rifles to school, leave them in their lockers, then walk home along the corn fields shooting vermin.

Mom arrested for letting her children play outside

open quote

A stay-at-home mom from La Porte has filed a lawsuit against the city’s police department, an unknown officer and one of her neighbors.

Tammy Cooper said she was wrongly accused of endangering her children and was even forced to spend the night in jail, all because she let her kids play outside.

She said her children, ages 9 and 6, were riding their motorized scooters in the cul-de-sac where they live while she watched from a lawn chair in her front yard just a few feet away.

“I was out there the entire time,” Cooper said. “I never left that lawn chair the entire time.”close quote (Read more)

New York Politicians Set to Ruin Engergy Drinks

open quoteNew York’s attorney general is investigating whether the multibillion-dollar energy-drink industry is deceiving consumers with misstatements about the ingredients and health value of its products.

Eric T. Schneiderman issued subpoenas in July to PepsiCo Inc., PEP -0.07% maker of AMP, Monster Beverage Corp., MNST -0.92% and Living Essentials LLC, maker of 5-hour Energy drink, according to a person familiar with the matter. The subpoenas asked for information on the companies’ marketing and advertising practices.close quote (Read more)

Consumer Product Safety Commission Banning … Toy Magnets?

open quoteBuckyballs and Buckycubes are collections of small, powerful, round or cubic rare earth magnets which can be used to form all sorts of shapes or squeezed to relieve stress. Indeed, some children and even a few teens have been injured when they have swallowed multiple balls. However, the desk toys are marketed exclusively to adults and come with labels warning against ingestion and insisting they be kept out of children’s reach.

More than two million sets of these toys have been sold worldwide since they went on the market in 2009; there have been less than two dozen incidents.

After more than two years of working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission — by issuing a voluntary recall, changing the warning labels, and producing a safety video — Maxfield & Oberton has been told the CPSC is banning the product because it is “inherently dangerous” and “serves no useful purpose.”

Why not serving a “useful purpose” is a legitimate criterion, they don’t say. Most desk toys — say, a New York Yankees Mr. Potato Head — serve little useful purpose. As for being “inherently dangerous,” at least 140 children are killed each year riding bicycles, and more than 275,000 end up in the emergency room.close quote (Read more)

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See the company’s funny appeal for help: Save our balls

Public Swearing In Middleborough, Mass. Now Subject To Fine

open quoteResidents in Middleborough voted Monday night to make the foul-mouthed pay fines for swearing in public.

At a town meeting, residents voted 183-50 to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.

Officials insist the proposal was not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.close quote (Read more)

Texting While Walking Banned in New Jersey Town – $85 fine!

open quoteAvid texters beware: Fort Lee, N.J. police said they will begin issuing $85 jaywalking tickets to pedestrians who are caught texting while walking.

“It’s a big distraction. Pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going and they are not aware,” said Thomas Ripoli, chief of the Fort Lee Police Department.

Ripoli said the borough, which is home to approximately 35,000 residents, has suffered three fatal pedestrian-involved accidents this year. He hopes his crackdown on people who display dangerous behavior while walking will make his town safer, but not everyone is on board with the idea of issuing $85 tickets.

“When I walk I still look around. I’m not like constantly looking down the whole time,” said resident Sue Choe.

Another woman complained about the tickets were “a lot of money.”

Officers handed out pamphlets during a short grace period in March before they began aggressively going after “dangerous walkers.”close quote (Read more)