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.
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.
– 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!)
– 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.
– 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.