Thursday, October 13, 2011

Criminal Yard Sales

Louisiana Law

"Is this just stupid? Or sinister by design?” We couldn’t help asking the question when confronted by a law that took effect in Louisiana on Aug. 15, 2011.

The short of it: In Louisiana, if you sell clothes or toys that your kids have outgrown for cash — more than once a month — you’re now breaking the law.

And… the why: Over the summer, Louisiana lawmakers decided that mere laws against theft might’ve been good enough for Moses and his people back in the day, but not for the Pelican State.

The state legislature crafted and passed a new law designed to target copper and scrap thieves specifically… but entrapped a host of housewives and flea market aficionados in the process.

Given the tenor of the public debate these days, we’re not sure what to make of the following details. You decide…

“Louisiana,” reports New Orleans CityBusiness, “is among a handful of states and cities to ban junkyards from purchasing scrap with cash as police crack down on copper and metal thefts.”

Unfortunately (perhaps), they’ve done much more than that.

“What sets the Louisiana law apart is its breadth,” CityBusiness goes on. “Louisiana law bans cash purchases for all secondhand goods.”

The letter of the law: “Anyone, other than a nonprofit entity, who buys, sells, trades in or otherwise acquires or disposes of junk or used or secondhand property more frequently than once per month from any other person, other than a nonprofit entity, shall be deemed as being in the business of a secondhand dealer.

“A secondhand dealer,” the law continues, “shall not enter into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of junk or used or secondhand property.”


  1. It's legal for couples to have sex in a parked vehicle during their lunch break from work, as long as the car or van has drawn curtains to stop strangers from peeking in New Mexico.
  2. In Canada, It is illegal for a teen to walk down main street for Fort Qu'Appelle with their shoes untied.
  3. In Canada, It is illegal to leave your horse in front of the Country Squire without hitching it securely to the hitching post.
  4. In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.
  5. In Norfolk, Virginia, a woman can't go out without wearing a corset. (There was a civil-service job- for men only- called a corset inspector.)
  6. In Connecticut, You can be stopped by the police for biking over 65 miles per hour.
  7. It is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor in Denver.
  8. In Woodstock, NY it is illegal to walk your bear on the street without a leash.
  9. In Merryville, Missouri, women are prohibited from wearing corsets because "the privilege of admiring the curvaceous, unencumbered body of a young woman should not be denied to the normal, red-blooded American male."
  10. It's safe to make love while parked in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Police officers aren't allowed to walk up and knock on the window. Any suspicious officer who thinks that sex is taking place must drive up from behind, honk his horn three times and wait approximately two minutes before getting out of his car to investigate.
  11. In California, community leaders passed an ordinance that makes it illegal for anyone to try and stop a child from playfully jumping over puddles of water.
  12. In Connecticut, you are not allowed to walk across a street on your hands.
  13. In Florida, women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner.
  14. No man is allowed to make love to his wife with the smell of garlic, onions, or sardines on his breath in Alexandria, Minnesota. If his wife so requests, law mandates that he must brush his teeth.
  15. In Florida, a special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.
  16. In New York, a fine of $25 can be levied for flirting. This old law specifically prohibits men from turning around on any city street and looking "at a woman in that way." A second conviction for a crime of this magnitude calls for the violating male to be forced to wear a "pair of horse-blinders" wherever and whenever he goes outside for a stroll.
  17. An ordinance in Newcastle, Wyoming, specifically bans couples from having sex while standing inside a store's walk-in-meat freezer.
  18. In Florida, if an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
  19. It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit in Sarasota Florida.
  20. The owner of every hotel in Hastings, Nebraska, is required to provide each guest with a clean and pressed nightshirt. No couple, even if they are married, may sleep together in the nude. Nor may they have sex unless they are wearing one of these clean, white cotton nightshirts.
  21. Citizens are not allowed to attend a movie house or theater nor ride in a public streetcar within at least four hours after eating garlic in Indiana.
  22. In New Mexico, females are strictly forbidden to appear unshaven in public.
  23. Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown in Florida.
  24. Females are forbidden from doing their own hair without being licensed by the state in Ohio.
  25. In Florida, any form of sexual contact other than missionary position is a misdomeanor. (This is still a law. There have been several cases of people being brought up on these charges in the past 5 years alone. If the police enter a home with a warrent for some other crime and catch the 'culprits' in action, they can, and are, brought up on those charges.)"
much more

Three Felonies A Day

"The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague."


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