Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ridiculous laws of the week - part 1

Back when I was in undergrad, one of my favorite websites was a sports related site called "Jerk of the Week." The site is no longer with us and covered the major sports and gave "jerk points" for every action that made it. I thought about a jerk of the week for politicians, but instead decided on focusing it on one of my biggest sources of political related heartburn - bad laws.

Those who have read Atlas Shrugged know this quote.

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is 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 kinds of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of lawbreakers - 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."

One of the biggest problems with this country and state is the fact that there's too many laws. Many are archaic, or not even needed in the first place. A lot of those laws are also administrative regulations and not even statutes. I said last year that you are probably a criminal and don't even know it. It is Atlas Shrugged coming to life. This is the fault of both parties equally to get to this point.

Here's the first law I'm going to start with. It's one that almost everyone has broken at some time or another.

750.314 Winning at gambling.

Sec. 314.

Any person who by playing at cards, dice, or any other game, or by betting or putting up money on cards, or by any other means or device in the nature of betting on cards, or betting of any kind, wins or obtains any sum of money or any goods, or any article of value whatever, is guilty of a misdemeanor if the money, goods, or articles so won or obtained are of the value of not more than $50.00. If the money, goods, or articles so won or obtained are of the value of more than $50.00, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00.

If you win a $50.01 bet, you can go to jail for a year and be fined $1000. On the other hand, you can go to the Casino or play Keno at the bar after five glasses of whiskey and it be perfectly legal. You can play the Lottery, and it's legal. You go to a friend's house for a game of poker, and it better be for chips.

I understand the push to limit actual gambling dens, but do you really need to ban a friendly game of poker? I'll answer it. No you don't. Stop making criminals of good people.

There's plenty more where that came from.

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