Tag Archives: laws

Texas’ House of Representatives once unanimously passed a bill commending the Boston Strangler

To demonstrate how careless he thought the legislative process in Texas was, on April Fool’s Day 1971, Tom Moore Jr. introduced a resolution to commend Albert de Salvo.

This compassionate gentleman’s dedication and devotion to his work has enabled the weak and the lonely throughout the nation to achieve and maintain a new degree of concern for their future. He has been officially recognized by the state of Massachusetts for his noted activities and unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology.

Moore retracted the resolution after it passed unanimously. Albert de Salvo was the Boston Strangler.

Via OMG Facts.

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You should take Jay-Z’s legal advice

From Jay-Z’s 99 Problems:

“Well you was doin fifty-five in the fifty-four;
license and registration and step out of the car —
are you carryin a weapon on you? I know a lot of you are”
I ain’t steppin out of shit, all my papers legit

Quora user Ryan Lackey:

(Unless the cop can testify to reasonable suspicion [RS] that the defendant is armed — in which case he can search the driver and immediate vicinity for weapons for self protection — you shouldn’t need to get out of the car.  Pushing back on this makes sense, if only to ensure whatever RS grounds would be documented, so they can get the case thrown out later. If the RS was invalid or not present, all evidence coming after that is “fruit of the poisoned tree” and discarded.)

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The longer a judge has been without a break, the less likely you’ll get parole

Favorable decisions vs. time of day

A study in Israel showed that judges more likely to grant parole right after they take a break than after they’ve been working for a while. (The graph above show favorable decisions vs. the time of day with the circles representing breaks.)

Denzeger thinks that the judges’ behaviour can be easily explained. All repetitive decision-making tasks drain our mental resources. We start suffering from “choice overload” and we start opting for the easiest choice. For example, shoppers who have already made several decisions are more likely to go for the default offer, whether they’re buying a suit or a car. And when it comes to parole hearings, the default choice is to deny the prisoner’s request. The more decisions a judge has made, the more drained they are, and the more likely they are to make the default choice. Taking a break replenishes them.

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Some clothes are illegal in France, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan, North Korea, and Sudan

In France, you can’t wear burqas. Men can’t cross-dress and women can’t show skin in Saudi Arabia. Bhutan has a very specific national dress code that everyone must follow or be fined. In North Korea (surprise!), people must dress “in accordance with our people’s emotion and taste”, which means no pants for women and short hair for men. (They can grow it a bit longer if they need to hide a bald spot.) Women also can’t wear pants in Sudan.

From Foreign Policy, via The Dish.

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Indonesian legislator passes anti-porn law, watches porn while in Parliament

A photographer caught a member of the Indonesian parliament watching porn on his tablet computer during a session. Better yet, the discretionless porn hound was a major supporter of a ridiculous anti-porn law.

The law calls for prison terms of up to 15 years and fines for everything from kissing in public and exposure of a woman’s “sensual” body parts to displaying “erotic” artworks. Broadcasting, possessing and storing pornographic material also is prohibited.

Via The Daily What.

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In Brazil, it’s illegal to make fun of candidates

In a Foreign Policy article about the media figures around the world who fill the role Jon Stewart fills in America, there’s this interesting fact: In Brazil, it’s illegal to make fun of political candidates 3 months before an election.

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Take that, Proposition 8, one of the worst of all propositions

As I’m sure you know, a federal judge has found the horrible Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional as well as horrible. Which is really just another step to the Supreme Court, but the ruling is still pretty thrilling. Because the judge didn’t play softly with this. He makes as compelling a case as you can imagine that a ban on gay marriage makes no sense unless you just hate gay people.

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

To put this even more starkly, Marc Ambinder lists these facts that are demonstrated by this ruling:

1. Marriage is and has been a civil matter, subject to religious intervention only when requested by the intervenors.

2. California, like every other state, doesn’t require that couples wanting to marry be able to procreate.

3. Marriage as an institution has changed overtime; women were given equal status; interracial marriage was formally legalized; no-fault divorce made it easier to dissolve marriages.

4. California has eliminated marital obligations based on gender.

5. Same-sex love and intimacy “are well-documented in human history.”

6. Sexual orientation is a fundamental characteristic of a human being.

7. Prop 8 proponents’ “assertion that sexual orientation cannot be defined is contrary to the weight of the evidence.”

8. There is no evidence that sexual orientation is chosen, nor than it can be changed.

9. California has no interest in reducing the number of gays and lesbians in its population.

10. “Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples in the characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital union.”

11. “Marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals.”

12. “Domestic partnerships lack the social meaning associated with marriage, and marriage is widely regarded as the definitive expression of love and commitment in the United States.
The availability of domestic partnership does not provide gays and lesbians with a status equivalent to marriage because the cultural meaning of marriage and its associated benefits are intentionally withheld from same-sex couples in domestic partnerships.”

13. “Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the
stability of opposite-sex marriages.”

(Via Andrew Sullivan)

For a little of what they call “balance”, you might also want to check out some conservative, anti-gay-people voices, like NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, who provides this interview with anti-gay-marriage activist Brian Brown. Brown is disappointed, unsurprised, and completely clueless as he whines about his rights being violated and how the proponents of gay marriage are ignoring human nature (!). He also defends his fellow activists for bringing their children to hot-button (and often hot-tempered) rallies. His argument is that his family should be with him because he’s doing this for his family… so let’s hope that none of his children are unfortunate enough to have to come out to this man.

Oh but back on the sunny side of the street, Gizmodo gives us a list of tech companies that have fought Prop 8.

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