I Don’t Like It, Make It Illegal

I haven’t had a good nanny state story in a while but thankfully some Australian activists have shattered that fact. There seems to be a 25% increase in pedestrian deaths and the assume culprit are iPods. The most obvious solution to such a problem is to make it illegal:

But Mr Scruby said the rise in the popularity of iPods and other listening devices illustrated an urgent need for action by state government and manufacturers.

”The government is quite happy to legislate that people can lose two demerit points for having music up too loud in their cars, but is apparently unconcerned that listening devices now appear to have become lethal pieces of entertainment,” he said. ”They should legislate appropriate penalties for people acting so carelessly towards their own welfare and that of others.

”Manufacturers … should be made to [warn] consumers of the risks they run.”

Yes that will fix the problem, legislation. I mean it always works so well. Once you make something illegal it’ll go away. I’m sure Australia will be free of iPod related accidents as soon as that legislation is passed. It’s a good thing government can protect us from ourselves.

I also love how they want manufacturers to put yet another warning label that will be ignored onto the device.

Burn Your Recyclables

Regardless of the fact that many recyclable products require more energy to recycle and create new again it seems Cleveland is going to force you to recycle:

The chips will allow city workers to monitor how often residents roll carts to the curb for collection. If a chip show a recyclable cart hasn’t been brought to the curb in weeks, a trash supervisor will sort through the trash for recyclables.

Trash carts containing more than 10 percent recyclable material could lead to a $100 fine, according to Waste Collection Commissioner Ronnie Owens. Recyclables include glass, metal cans, plastic bottles, paper and cardboard.

Yup that’s right if you don’t roll out your recyclables container enough a trash inspector will dig through your rubbish bin and fine you if they find too many things in there that could be recycled. I think it would be smart to start burning all of your recyclables. Why? Because I, like many Americans, have a problem with authority (that’s a good thing). If you try to make me do something I’m going to do the opposite just to spite your ass. Hence if I lived in Cleavland I’d now be burning every recyclable item I had just so I could avoid bringing that bin out and waste the trash inspectors time when he digs through it and finds nothing.

How Much is Too Much

As I checked my Facebook feed I found a story being posted quite a bit with some interesting comments. The story is the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees awarded their Chancellor a $40,000 bonus. This is pretty inflammatory news to many of my friends who are still going to college in a MNSCU school.

The Chancellor makes $360,000 a year which people are screaming is too much. So that raises the question how much is too much? For most people it’s roughly $1.00 more than they themselves make. I personally hate the phrase, “He/She gets paid too much.” Why do I hate it? Because what right does somebody have to say another is making too much unless they are that person’s boss? Yes if I’m your boss and don’t believe your doing a good enough job to earn your salary then I have some reason to claim you’re making too much money and thus can fire you or lower your pay. But I’ve not heard a single person come up with an exact formula that determines if somebody makes “too much.” Last I heard businesses have a right to determine how much they pay their employees. Now complexity can be entered into this since MNSCU receives public funding but I’m unsure if the Chancellor’s pay comes for tax payer money received by the state or a different source. Either way even lowering his wages to $50,000 wouldn’t cut the tuition of each student by any noticeable amount.

The other thing that nobody seems to bring up is the fact $40,000 isn’t a whole lot of money for MNSCU. According to their website they have 32 public colleges and universities. $40,000 divided by 32 mean if that money were evenly distributed throughout MNSCU each college would get a whopping $1,250 each. In layman’s terms that means each school would get just about absolutely nothing.

Looked at another way they have 54 campuses so each campus would get about $740.74 which is less than some students pay for books in a semester.

Don’t Win Too Hard

You know what’s a great feeling? Grinding your opponent to dust in a friendly competition. Well being this is no longer the awesome country founded on competition it once was that’s no longer the politically correct feeling to have. See winning can hurt your opponent’s feelings and we can’t have that. To that end a soccer league in Ottawa has established a rule; if your team wins by more than five points you automatically lose. Wait what?

Yes that’s right if your team scores six points more than the other team has you automatically lose. This is because a crushing defeat can really hurt a child’s feelings and thus prepare him for the real world where nobody is going to give two wooden nickles about his or her feelings.

This sissification of the next generation is sickening. The weight we’re putting on peoples’ feelings is getting out of hand. I’d like to bring up reality for a second. There are two types of people in a competition, winners and losers. By definition one side of a competition must lose and one must win. If this basic criteria is no met it’s not a competition anymore. Just wait until these kids grow up and realize that they could be yelled at or even fired if they fuck up on the job.

The Dangers of Legislating Behavior

Jay over at MArooned sums up why it’s dangerous to allow our politicians to legislate any behavior:

That’s the whole thing. It never ends. Once we let them dictate one behavior, there’s no stopping those who would use the power of the state, the men with guns, to force the people to bend to their whims and wants. Today cell phones, tomorrow iPods, next week it’s passengers and heating choices.

It’s a slippery slope. Once you’re sliding down the slope it’s practically impossible to stop until you hit the bottom. In this case Jay was talking about calls to ban all cellular phone use while driving because it’s said to distract drivers. As he pointed out the logical conclusion is to ban passengers since they provide distractions as well.

This logic can be applied to anything. For instance when our government regulated the ownership of machines gun and other such “scary” guns via the National Firearms Act is started us down a slippery slop. Now thanks for the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act the transfer of machine guns produced after an arbitrary date to civilian hands is completely illegal.

This should be kept in mind whenever legislation regulating what can be posted on the Internet comes up. Sure first they will say they need to protect the children but it will not stop until everything that isn’t government approved is banned (think China).

Once you allow the state to be your nanny there is no escaping the nanny state.

If You Don’t Want Security to See You Naked You Can’t Fly

Good news British subjects! If you are selected to go through a full body scanner at either Heathrow or Manchester airports you must submit or you don’t get to fly:

It is now compulsory for people selected for a scan to take part, or they will not be allowed to fly.

Previously if you were selected to go through a body scanner you could opt for a full body pat down instead. Personally I’d go that route, if somebody wants to see me naked I better be getting free drinks out of the deal.

So the TSA is Security Theatre

Wow I couldn’t say I saw this coming. Another, “No Shit. How could people not get that?” post on Bruce Schneier’s blog leads to a research paper stating that people can improvise weapons on an airplane.

Really? NO WAY! I present the paper’s abstract:

Commonly available items including a ball point pen, a plastic knife, a broken wine bottle, and a broken wine glass were used to inflict stab and incised wounds to the necks of 3 previously euthanized Large White pigs. With relative ease, these items could be inserted into the necks of the pigs next to the jugular veins and carotid arteries. Despite precautions against the carrying of metal objects such as knives and nail files on board domestic and international flights, objects are still available within aircraft cabins that could be used to inflict serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. If airport and aircraft security measures are to be consistently applied, then consideration should be given to removing items such as glass bottles and glass drinking vessels. However, given the results of a relatively uncomplicated modification of a plastic knife, it may not be possible to remove all dangerous objects from aircraft. Security systems may therefore need to focus on measures such as increased surveillance of passenger behavior, rather than on attempting to eliminate every object that may serve as a potential weapon.

Hell I might even be able to use my laptop as a bludgeon weapon! I could also choke somebody to death with the power cord. Wait scratch that I could beat somebody to death the the power brick end of the power cord. Fuck it’s almost like I could even use my bare hands to kill or injure somebody on a plane.

I couldn’t have seen that coming. Anyways I apologize for no direct link but the paper is on a site that requires a subscription to gain access to their papers.

The Anti-Gunner’s New Texas Weapon

Well it appears as though the anti-gunners have been handed a new weapon. I say that in a rather snarky manner as it’s really a new weapon handed to everybody online, at least in the state of Texas. Texas’s H.B. 2003 law took effect September 1, 2009 and the first arrest under this law has occurred:

The new Texas law criminalizes online harassment on social networking sites and through e-mail or text messaging. H.B. 2003 states a person commits a third degree felony if the person posts one or more messages on a social networking site with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten another person.

You read that right if you post more than one “harmful, fraudulent, or intimidating” (quotes are donating idiocy not direct quoting) post on a social networking site you are a felon under Texas law.

Why do I say it’s the anti-gunner’s new weapon? Because they are usually whiney assholes who would use such laws as are most people who base arguments on emotions instead of facts. Remember according to anti-gunners just mentioning the word gun can be threatening to them. Anyways if you’re in Texas just beware of this law before you post anything on any social networking site.

Further Research

H.B. 2003 as Passed in Texas [PDF]

Because our Government has Nothing Important to Do

You know I just love the random and weird stories I find on Dvorak Uncensored. But sometimes they depress me. Because there is an apparent lack of actual issues to deal with Representative Anna Eshoo from, wait for it, California has introduced the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (the acronym is CALM, very clever Mrs. Eschoo).

What does it do? Well it would require the FCC to enforce a rule that television commercials can’t be “unreasonably” loud. Yup while our country is in an economic depression, our money is becoming worthless, we’re at war with several nations, we have government striving for more control over the health care industry, and the PATROIT Act is still in force somebody decided to waste time with the volume of television commercials. You’r tax money at work.