Criminal Justice

There's a New Law in Town. Actually, Lots of Them.

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Every fall, regardless of budget crisis, the state of California passes literally hundreds of asinine laws. Every Jan. 1, these laws go into effect. I made a list a few months back, but I missed some beauts that the L.A. Times flagged on New Year's Day:

Air saf

Gentlemen, I think we've found ourselves a spokesman!

ety: Allows airports to kill birds that pose a danger to aircraft without violating state fish and game laws.

Blueberries: Creates a California Blueberry Commission, to be funded by an industry fee of up to $0.025 per pound of berries sold. […]

Fat in food: Requires restaurants to use oils, margarine and shortening with less than half a gram of trans fat per serving of regular foods. The standard will apply to deep-fried bakery goods next year. Trans fat has been linked to heart disease.

Seriously, that's what the City of Industry looks like.

Football stadium: Exempts a professional football stadium proposed in the City of Industry from state environmental laws, so it can proceed despite a lawsuit filed by opponents. […]

Hanging nooses: Makes it a misdemeanor to hang a noose, "knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat to life," in order to terrorize a person who lives, works or attends school at the property where the noose is hung. The law is in response to a series of incidents at California colleges. […]

Liquor ads: Waives rules prohibiting indoor alcohol advertisements in one club that sells the featured products: Club Nokia, a downtown Los Angeles venue owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz. […]

Mortgage crimes: Creates a new offense, "mortgage fraud," punishable by up to a year in prison. Such crimes are defined as those in which someone makes "any misstatement, misrepresentation or omission during the mortgage lending process with the intention that it be relied on by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other party to the mortgage lending process." […]

Inhumane

Prostitution arrests: Allows local government agencies to impound vehicles used in the commission of prostitution-related crimes. […]

Talent agents: Prohibits talent representatives from charging advance fees. […]

Snake food: Requires pet stores to use specific, "humane" methods for killing rodents before they are used as food for another animal.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: George Will on New York's Eminent Domain Abuse

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  1. “Hanging nooses: Makes it a misdemeanor to hang a noose, “knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat to life,” in order to terrorize a person who lives, works or attends school at the property where the noose is hung. The law is in response to a series of incidents at California colleges.”

    Didn’t we learn they were mostly “self hung”?

    1. Hanging nooses: Makes it a misdemeanor to hang a noose, “knowing it to be a symbol representing a threat to life,” in order to terrorize a person who lives, works or attends school at the property where the noose is hung. The law is in response to a series of incidents at California colleges. […]

      Might put a damper on a small percentage of the patrons here. Removing the threat takes all the fun out of safe BDSM.

    2. The problem with laws like this is the “terrorize” becomes iffy. Does it have to be intent by the person who hung the noose, or is it subjective to the person looking at it?

      Say a noose is hung at school, is someone “feeling” threatened good enough to make it a violation, or does the intent behind hanging it matter?

  2. Snake food: Requires pet stores to use specific, “humane” methods for killing rodents before they are used as food for another animal.

    Can I feed my python Rattus Lawyerus without killing them first? They don’t have any feelings and nobody gets attached to them.

    1. When I had snakes, I fed them live rodents. I feed my lizard live insects. Do people really kill the feeder animals they feed to their pets?

      1. Yeah, I thought the snakes needed to be fed live mice. My cousins (super-vegetarians/Oregonian liberals extraordinaire) had a python & they fed her live rodents- if there were another option, I’m sure they would have jumped all over it.

      2. Actually, if you can get your snake to take a freshly killed rat, it is much safer. Rats have nasty sharp teeth that can inflict serious damage if they get a bite in. This can be even more problematic when you move up to bunnies. A lot of snakes won’t take food that isn’t alive however.

        A buddy of mine used to get his rats stoned by blowing pot smoke into the cardboard box. They never seemed very concerned that the strange scaly stick was getting closer.

        1. This can be even more problematic when you move up to bunnies.

          No kidding! Best have a Holy Hand Grenade handy.

      3. These days you can’t even wear spike heels to crush them any more!

    2. I object to being fed Rattus Lawyerus! I have my standards, after all.

    3. I’d just like to point out that Life is Nature’s way of keeping meet fresh.

      Killing these rats at a centralized Humane Dispatching Facility will introduce preservation requirements above and beyond “make sure the rodents have air and water”.

      And the main point being: will the YOUR snake even eat a dead rodent.

      Hey, lets just cut to the chase and ban the snakes already. Its for the children Gaia.

  3. According to ABC News, about 40,000 new laws took effect on January 1st.

    1. “And stores in Louisiana can no longer sell lighters that appeal to children.”

      I’m not sure how you make a lighter unappealing to a child, make it look like a trip to the doctor’s office or something.

      1. New For Spring!

        Lighters in the shape of vegetables:
        -Broccoli
        -Baby Corn
        -Asparagus
        -Celery

        And More!

        Pick ’em While they’re still Fresh!

  4. A couple of these are not so bad. What’s the beef with the air safety measure?

    1. It’s a little harsh.

    2. Alot of these are special treatment exemptions from already existing laws.

      1. The one about birds at airports sounds sensible to me. It’s got a lot of justification, unlike the one that lets one particular bar have ads.

  5. Creates a California Blueberry Commission, to be funded by an industry fee of up to $0.025 per pound of berries sold.

    Ah, the time-tested method whereby an industry is aided by additional fees. Makes perfect sense.

    1. It probably does tend help the already established, large, well-funded operations (i.e. the ones who pay campaign contributions) at the expense of smaller ones and new entrants, by adding expenses and another layer regulations to comply with.

      1. Business as usual.

      2. Not to mention it helps commoditize the product. Imagine a small, independent grower of organic, heirloom blueberries being forced to pay for ads which imply that all blueberries are alike. Like those got milk ads.

  6. I’d be willing to take up arms in rebellion against a government that destroyed the free market in blueberries. I eat them almost daily.

      1. “The cellar’s single bulb reflected serenely off each jar, like the moon on a field of snow. He knew he had enough blueberry jam to last 10 years, but would that really be enough?”

    1. There’s always bootleg blueberries (huckleberries), they aren’t bad.

  7. Pro L, perhaps such excessive consumption is what the Commission intends to prevent. If your poop looks like the Boo Berry monster, seek help!

  8. If the Commission keeps *just* *one* *child* from eating fermented blueberries …

  9. And what exactly does the California Blueberry Commission do, anyway? Odds are it has something to do with restricting competition.

    1. Probably they do things like establish quality standards, create a logo and a marketing campaign, and so on. That, and provide jobs for otherwise out-of-work Democrat politicians, which appears to be a major function of California’s various boards.

    2. Odds are you are correct.

  10. See, this is what makes America great… passing highly-needed laws like these. Fuck putting a man on the moon, we’re preventing kids from eating fermented blueberries.

    1. Yeah washamatta femeta boobereish?

    2. Yeh, washa matta fermeted bluberreish?

      1. I never eat peaches, ’cause peaches ferment,
        And peaches ferment at the least little dent.
        Oh, can you imagine a more horrible sight
        Than a man drunk on peaches he thought were all right?

        Away, away with rum, by gum!
        Away, away with rum, by gum!
        Away, away with rum, by gum!
        Is the song of the Temperance Union!

        I never eat cookies, ’cause cookies have yeast,
        And the least bit of yeast turns a man to a beast.
        Oh, can you imagine a great disgrace
        Than a man in the gutter with crumbs on his face?

        Away, away with rum, by gum!
        Away, away with rum, by gum!
        Away, away with rum, by gum!
        Is the song of the Temperance Union!

  11. Such crimes are defined as those in which someone makes “any misstatement, misrepresentation or omission during the mortgage lending process with the intention that it be relied on by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other party to the mortgage lending process.” […]

    Predatory lenders, BEWARE!

  12. “Air safety: Allows airports to kill birds that pose a danger to aircraft without violating state fish and game laws.”

    How is this asinine?

    1. I haven’t RTFL, but it’s entirely possible that the wording allows the killing of birds that, although they are not violating state fish and game laws, are posing a danger to aircraft.

      1. Makes sense. In the past they weren’t allowed to kill the birds if the birds were careful not to violate fish and game laws. But now we have patched that little loophole.

        1. I blame the internet. Now every damn starling and falcon can read up on the local regulations.

    2. Why was shooting birds on your property a problem to begin with?

    3. Two words: Bald Eagles

      Two more words: Ketchikan Airport

  13. Terrorists won’t be able to hijack CA schools anytime soon:

    School safety: Makes it a misdemeanor to possess a razor blade or box cutter on school grounds.

    1. Paper Cutter. I know it’s slightly less portable, but that sound it makes is soooooo menacing.

  14. ska, Dagny T, et al.

    snakes mostly detect prey by odor and movement (and some detect warmth as well). a freshly killed mammal meets all of those criteria, if you wave it in front of the snake’s nose (with your hand out of the way. some people will even thaw and warm frozen rodents to feed their snakes.

    my boa would take a freshly killed rabbit when I had her.

  15. Jacques! I hate snakes! Hate ’em!

  16. Come on, show a little backbone.

  17. Ye gods, the football stadium one is pretty ugly. Government creates laws for little people to follow and then exempts itself.

  18. Passing laws that exempt certain preferred people or entities from general laws is corruption, plain and simple.

    The football stadium is a classic and irritating example. Either these “environmental” laws are truly important and necessary enough as a matter of public policy that they should apply to everyone or they are not and should be taken off the books. This does however give the lie to notion that these laws are truly to protect the environment rather than just another method for government to control which developments get done, and which developers get rewarded for their support.

    We need a constitutional amendment that specifically, clearly and unequivocally bars both Congress and the states from enacting or enforcing any law that is not of general applicability to everyone. No law should be allowed to even mention any specific individuals or companies.

    1. I don’t necessarily agree with environmental laws. But laws should be enforced equally. I’m pretty sure the U.S. Constitution says so, don’t know about CA’s state Constitution.

  19. Sometimes new laws are good laws. I was at my supermarket last Thursday and each register had an 8 1/2 x 11 printout taped to it, which read: YOU MAY NOW PURCHASE BEER AND WINE AT 7 A.M. ON SUNDAYS! (Exclamation point theirs.)

    1. That’s great but it sounds more like the end of a bad law then the start of a new one.

      1. It’s both, and it’s progress.

        1. It’s a ruse to keep everyone of the common classes drunk and unaware of the massive loss of rights and and liberties and personal freedoms they will soon experience.

  20. Hopefully Arnold will sign those impounded pimp-mobiles when the local cops sell them later for cash.

    1. More likely it will be “john” mobiles that they’ll seize steal and sell.

      1. Note to self – get out of car before picking up whore.

  21. Government created the transfat problem in the first place by declaring to be deadly poison the natural fats we evolved on over two and half million years. Now they come riding in on the white horse to save us — but never, ever admitting they were wrong, and still pimping the misguided, bullshit ‘food pyramid’ as the pinnacle of healthful nutrition. As diabetes and all the other diseases of civilization continue to rise, one wonders:

    “How’s that working out for ya?”

    1. well, you know how it is, government business has been a little slow last couple of centuries. Sometimes it’s necessary to create a problem just to get the customers to quit being cheap and pay to have it fixed. Fix it right and the skinflints won’t be back until another problem is created to get them back. Better business sense to just not fix it right, they’ll be back.

  22. The more laws, the less justice.

    marcus Tullius Cicero

    1. Mark Cicero was a wise man.

      1. Yeah but he got cut like a pig on Rome.

        1. Ok, he was a wise man who bled like a stuck pig.

          Maybe that’s what our government needs to sexy things up a bit. They do work for us, why should their entertainment always be at our expense.

          Oh, well, at least if wasn’t the proper thing to do, it at least could be done properly.

        2. Wow. Relevant.

          1. Wow. Sarcasm.

          2. Since you were quoting the man it seemed probable you knew a little about him.

            Here..

            Marcus Tullius Cicero was considered a wise and learned man even by his enemies. Cicero was present at Caesar’s assassination in the Senate, there was much killing of politicians killing politicians at the time. Cicero ultimately ends up hunted and put to death. Facing his executioner he says to him “There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly.” He was slew and his head and pen hand severed.

            Still confused?

            1. Ratko, I was replying to MNG, not you. HIS comment was hardly relevant, yours was VERY relevant.

              Apology accepted.

              1. Mea culpa, not sure why I thought otherwise, could be my senile dementia, or something much less glamorous like simply misunderstanding. Chances are good considering the article topic I was trying to keep a lid on my anger. Nothing to do with anyone here or in particular, we just have countless volumes of too many laws as it is, and the idiots can’t pass new ones fast enough, even taking it so far as patting themselves and each other on the back for pushing new laws through as if that was an indicator of success when the opposite is true. Brag to me about how many laws they are responsible for striking down and I’ll pat them on the back.

                And slain sounds correct, smartass, where “slew” came from is difficult to say since I had been drinking, just a little, when I wrote that. Maybe I was hungry and thinking some stew would be good.

            2. He was slew and his head and pen hand severed.

              He was lew? I thought he was Cicero. Some of you guys simply slay me – really, you do. I guess that’s why I can say I’ve been…SLAIN! 😉

  23. I make it:

    3 bought rents (*)
    2 new crimes made when existing crimes already cover the activity (**)
    1 enshrinement of due process violations in the law (***)
    1 interference with the freedom of contract (****)
    1 warm fuzzy pander to the radical animal rights people
    1 straight ahead nanny rule (****)
    1 that might make sense

    (*) corruption in action
    (**) fraud is fraud, and threats are threats. If you feel the existing law is too vague in these instances, then fer glods sake just write another sentence explicitly including them
    (***) simply despicable and lending itself to more corruption
    (****) effectively a claim that adult people are too dumb to know what is right for them and too soft to suffer the consequences of poor choices

    1. Not many new laws in this state this year. There was a law exempting from federal regulation our firearms, suppressors, and other accessories, made in state, for use in state, H.B. NO. 246

      [x]Guns
      [x]Weed
      [X]Gambling
      [X]Booze
      [ ]Open speed limit (damn, had that one)
      [ ]Prostitution
      [x]Sale tax
      [ ]State tax
      [x]Vehicle Emission Testing

      Not too terrible, but I didn’t move all the way up here for ‘not too terrible,’ they can do better for me. It’s cold here, by my calculations that should be worth at least prostitution and open speed limits or state tax.

  24. Most snakes won’t eat dead animals, and will only eat live prey.
    Making nooses out of every little piece of rope and string is artistic expression and has nothing to do with any terrorism, unless implicitly indicated by means of a sign indicating a specific individual or group of individuals.
    People have been bamboozled and bedazzled so much that they are perpetually in the twilight zone traveling on flights of paranoid fantasy and trying to self remedy by power tripping on everyone else.

  25. Irwindale! Irwindale! Gravel pit freak-out!

    Tsk, tsk, you should know better, Mr. Welch. The City of Industry is not Irwindale. Or maybe it is. Either way,
    -1

    +1 for all the new laws. California needs them. Sacto FTW.

    1. It was an Al Davis brain-fart; thanks for the catch.

  26. Snake food: Requires pet stores to use specific, “humane” methods for killing rodents before they are used as food for another animal.

    Next stop: Legalize drugs!

  27. Nice catch! Al Davis brain-fart. Thanks.

  28. Allowing them to kill birds at airports is stupid after all the birds were in tha ir long before airplanes were invented

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