Values And Strange Laws

Each of us get to choose our own values, ethics and morals. Where problems tend to arise is when some among us try to force their values onto us. Sometimes this happens because laws are created. There are some very odd laws around the world and today I want to mention a few of them, but first I want to talk about Senator Larry Craig.

This was brought to my attention first by Tornwordo at Sticky Crows and then by Julie Pippert at The Raven Picture Maven. I don’t know this senator from a bar of soap. This is the first time I’d ever heard of him. I read the police reports on TheSmokingGun, I even listened to the audio police interview before writing this post this morning.

I have watched plenty of episodes of COPS. I have seen men who have been arrested for soliciting a prostitute deny, deny, deny – even when they are told the woman they spoke to was a police officer, even when they are told the woman they were speaking to was wearing a microphone and sometimes a hidden camera.

I have seen drug dealers deny, deny, deny, they were selling drugs – even when they are told the car they got into had video cameras, when the officers they sold the drugs to were wearing microphones.

I have seen shoplifters deny, deny, deny – even when it is very clear from the video footage that they stole things, even when that footage is played back to them and everyone watching can see with their own eyes those shoplifters putting goods into their handbags and then walking out of the store. “Oh, I meant to pay for it, I just forgot”. Yeah right.

Do these people really think they can dispute actual video footage of them doing something illegal?

As far as Senator Craig is concerned, I truly don’t care if he was doing what they say he was doing. Three things only disturb me.

1. That he *might* be lying to his wife about something of quite a serious nature.

2. That he admitted to (and I heard it clearly on the audio interview) “peeping” – interference with privacy, which he did when he looked into the stall the officer was in. That was what he was charged with, as well as disorderly conduct.

3. That this occurred in a public toilet at an airport – which children could have been using. He could have been peeping on someone’s kids.

When you use a public toilet, you are aware that sometimes there are small gaps into which people could look. You expect that people are not going to look. In the state the airport was in, it is actually ILLEGAL to look. Specifically – from 609.746, Minnesota Statutes 2006 INTERFERENCE WITH PRIVACY –

(c) A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor who:
(1) surreptitiously gazes, stares, or peeps in the window or other aperture of a sleeping room in a hotel, as defined in section 327.70, subdivision 3, a tanning booth, or other place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy and has exposed or is likely to expose their intimate parts, as defined in section 609.341, subdivision 5, or the clothing covering the immediate area of the intimate parts;

It’s entirely possible that people who live in Minnesota are not aware of this law. In fact most of us are not truly aware of the laws which apply where we live. We know the biggies – speed limits, some road law, murder, rape, theft, that type of thing.

According to the Dumb Laws website, I can break the law here just by changing a light globe – Only licensed electricians may change a light bulb.

One law that I am well aware of is the Fog Light law. That is because it is displayed on big signs along a road that we drive along. However other motorists may not be aware of it – they *must* not be, or else they would not be driving with their fog lights on. Unlawful use of fog lamp will cost you a $79 fine here. A burnout – spinning your wheels to make them smoke – will cost you a $477 fine, and there are situations in which they will take your vehicle as well.

You can also be breaking a law by NOT doing something. In the road laws where I live, if you are not carrying your license and you are driving, you have broken the law.

Do I agree with speed limits? Sometimes. Do they fit my values? No. Am I required to follow them? Yes.

Do I agree with the “Peeping” law? Absolutely. Don’t you dare look into a stall in a bathroom!

Do I agree with the undercover operation that police were running there? Sort of. I believe there should have been more done to make certain that the person being charged was actually intending on performing some kind of sexual act within a public bathroom.

Do I agree that people who are innocent should EVER plead guilty? No way. If you did not do something, you should not be pleading guilty and you should always be seeking legal advice before you speak to the police.

That was Senator Craig’s major mistake. He was in a hurry to catch a flight, and so he spoke to the police and then decided to plead guilty. Part of the paperwork he signed states clearly –

I now make no claim that I am innocent of the charge to which I am entering a plea of Guilty

Unfortunately the Senator has chosen to make the claim that he is innocent – NOW. I think the horse has bolted out of the stall (no pun intended) on that one.

Weird Laws Around The Place –

According to the Dumb Laws website (I haven’t gone to check the actual laws myself, I don’t have the time today, sorry!) here are some of the dumber laws.

Florida may have the most odd laws and here’s a few of them –

– You are not allowed to break more than three dishes per day, or chip the edges of more than four cups and/or saucers.

– Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.

– Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.

– A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.

– Women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner.

California –

– Women may not drive in a house coat.

– It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.

New York –

– It is illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing “body hugging clothing.

– Women may go topless in public, providing it is not being used as a business.

(so just strip off that body hugging clothing and you’ll be fine!)

Texas –

– Up to a felony charge can be levied for promoting the use of, or owning more than six dildos.

– It is illegal to milk another person’s cow.

– It is illegal to sell one’s eye.

Massachusetts –

– At a wake, mourners may eat no more than three sandwiches.

– Taxi drivers are prohibited from making love in the front seat of their taxi during their shifts.

– No gorilla is allowed in the back seat of any car.

There are a lot more – check out what dumb laws apply where you live at the Dumb Laws website..

As for my personal values, that’s a long post for another time. In this post I wanted to make you start thinking about how other peoples values are imposed upon you by various laws.

This post is a part of the Hump Day Hmmm – why not join in? All are welcome to participate.

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Hump Day Hmmm

12 thoughts on “Values And Strange Laws

  1. I love those dumb law sites. Somewhere in america (i’ve forgotten exactly where) it’s illegal to walk a pet snake on a leash. I guess that means it’s okay to walk the snake without the leash?

  2. Believe it or not, the Texas dildo law was a big issue recently. What amazed me was the people who advocated for it. Ummm…??

    I could and should go get my comment from Sephy’s place and C&P it here, but instead I’ll refer you over there.

    I have a new understanding about the vocal political reaction to Craig.

    Also, the denying. I think…don’t forget to consider pride and shame, desire to save face.

    Using My Words

  3. Funny laws alright! :)

    You make an interesting point about sometimes having values imposed on us.. yet I can’t imagine an alternative, aside from secession from civilization.

    Some of them are so agenda-driven. That’s the real problem. I have no problem with the idea of authority when it is used wisely. When it’s used just for the sake of individual power and ego, I have a real problem.

    Sen. Craig? Much ado about nothing, imo.

    Tacky? Yes. Criminal? No.



  4. Good to know about the porcupine.

    Although I’m sure I’ve violated that exact law in Minnesota. Not trolling for gay sex, but simply trying to figure out whether or not the damn stall was occupied!

  5. I liked the way you shared all the silly laws as a way of talking about values. It’s a good thing I don’t live in Florida (not because of the porcupines, ahem!) but because I am a dish breaker of apparently illegal proportions!

  6. I’m so embarrassed for our country and our elected officials at all levels.
    Now the Senator is reconsidering everything he said and if he should step down. If, by a chance he’s not guilty…it’s still too late. Retire and recover what you can of your life for your family….. They will be the ones to suffer forever. I’m sorry for his wife and children and have no feelings for him.

    Great post, and good points…

    Regards, Dorothy from grammology

  7. River – I would love to see a pet snake on a leash! ;)

    Cugat – I would think it is worse to be corrupt than to be gay, but maybe I’m just too tolerant.. ;)

    Emily – And you better not fall asleep under the hair dryer! Do they have police watching hair salons, just in case? :)

    Julie – that’s one of those times when they are too worried about what is going on behind closed doors. I mean if they had an issue with dildoes being used in public, I could understand it, and get behind a law like that.

    I checked out your comment, I agree with what you said there.

    Chani – Imagine for a moment you were sitting in a public toilet stall, and you saw someone clearly looking in between the gaps at you, making eye contact and not looking away. That’s the crime he was charged with.

    Now imagine it was a child or a teenager sitting there, and some old bloke was “peeping” in at them.

    I agree with it being illegal to do that.

    Whether he was trying to pick that man up, I neither know nor care. That’s almost beside the point to me. I am so deeply offended by the peeping, and the fact that a US senator was doing it deliberately and he admitted to it. :(

    It makes me want to take a roll of duct tape in with me, and seal up those gaps so nobody can look in. And maybe that is what they *should* be doing in those airport toilets.

    Lawyer Mama – it is usual to look under, to see if there are feet. :) However here in Australia people will push on the door rather than try to look – and if the door is locked they apologise verbally.

    Gwen – I can’t believe that dish breaking law! ;)

    Dorothy – I feel sorry for his wife and kids too.

    Christine – Apparently not.. maybe they don’t have a big drag queen scene there.. ;) Here pretty much anything goes for men.. ;)

    Thanks for the comments all! I’m exhausted today but I wanted to do that before bed so if I missed anyone I apologise.. :)

  8. Don’t you dare milk my cow or I’ll call the cops, lol.

    In oregon, you cannot have sex in a meat locker. Even though that seems like the least sexy place ever to have sex, lol.

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