Tag Archives: detroit

City Bans Puffing, Petting and Eating Behind the Wheel

Do we really need a law telling motorists they can't pet their dogs while driving? Nanny state bureaucrats in Troy, Mich., think so ...

Do we really need a law telling motorists they can't pet their dogs while driving? Nanny state bureaucrats in Troy, Mich., think so ...

One city’s efforts to ensure motorists stay focused on the road ahead seems like a bit of overkill, but we’ll let you be the judge:

Bagel-chomping motorists prone to texting while driving beware: Police in a Detroit suburb have officially begun looking for you.

Troy police began enforcing the city’s new driving while distracted ordinance, which went into effect Saturday.

The ordinance passed last year in the city about 15 miles north of Detroit aims to crack down on distracted drivers whose bad behind-the-wheel behavior includes using a cell phone, eating, grooming and interacting with pets. Motorists face fines from $75 to $200.

The newly enacted law targets motorists for fines if they “temporarily remove both hands from the full grip of the wheel.” While lighting and smoking cigarettes is not specifically cited in the law as a violation, “[v]irtually any activity could be included at the discretion of an officer,” writes the Detroit Examiner’s Richard Weaver.

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Curling Irons and Measuring Tape Banned from Detroit City Hall

“Advice Goddess” Amy Alkon has some bad news for civil servants and citizens who want to curl their hair or measure stuff at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in Detroit, Mich. Alkon snapped a picture of the sign on the entrance to City Hall that expressly prohibits the following items:

Alcohol, tobacco products, matches, lighters, and open containers of liquids ominously missing from the list.

Alcohol, tobacco products, matches, lighters, and open containers of liquids ominously missing from the list.

Alcohol, tobacco products, matches and cigarette lighters are, apparently, approved items unless otherwise noted by security officers. More importantly, note that there’s no restriction on open containers of liquids.

If bureaucrats are going to treat City Hall like a TSA airport checkpoint, you’d think that they’d be concerned about open beverage bottles potentially containing poisons, acids, etc. Instead, they’re cracking down on curling irons and measuring tape.

Top notch security effort or another example of nanny state overkill?

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Michigan’s Antiquated Laws Put Citizens and Tourists at Risk of Arrest

"Legal experts and personal liberty groups say there's nothing stopping police from enforcing these laws -- and some have," the Detroit Free Press reports.

"Legal experts and personal liberty groups say there's nothing stopping police from enforcing these laws -- and some have," the Detroit Free Press reports.

Laws written decades ago that are rarely, if ever, enforced in Michigan still have to power to make citizens’ lives miserable if a police officer who’s having a bad day feels so inclined. According to the Detroit Free Press, “[D]ozens of unusual, amusing and sometimes unconstitutional laws are still on the books in Michigan and in metro Detroit communities.”

The Free Press reports that numerous outdated laws and ordinances in Michigan and metro Detroit “criminalize swearing, annoying behavior and suggestive dancing.” Even singing the Star Spangled Banner can land you in a heap of trouble if you’re caught doing in the wrong place.

“While we can all laugh about how outdated these ordinances and laws are, it is no laughing matter when they are enforced,” said Michael Steinberg, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. “Most of these ordinances are offensive and unconstitutional. They need to be repealed,” specifically those that endanger homosexuals ‘rights,’ he noted.

Here’s a look at the most entertaining and ridiculous laws that Michigan residents and visitors to the state should keep in mind if they don’t want to risk making the headlines. Statewide, it is illegal to:

• Commit adultery.

• Be drunk on a train.

• Play the “Star-Spangled Banner” at a dance.

• Seduce an unmarried woman.

• Swear by the name “God,” “Jesus Christ” or “the Holy Ghost.”

• Advertise that a sexually transmitted disease can be treated.

• Have indecent sex.

Read more to see the entire list of no-no’s that are still on the books in cities across the state.

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On the Front Lines

July 12, 2010

Pastor Prohibited from Praying to Jesus During N.C. House Daily Prayer
Winston-Salem Journal; July 11, 2010
“[Rev. Ron] Baity is the president of Return America, a group that opposes ‘any governmental control over churches and pastors,’ and opposes the theory of evolution, according to its website. He also has been active in the tea-party movement. He said yesterday that he was specifically asked not to mention Jesus in his prayer, a government intrusion that he said threatens his First Amendment rights.”

Perfecting Citizens the Stasi Way
PacificFreePress.com; July 11, 2010
“In a sign that illegal surveillance programs launched by the Bush administration are accelerating under President Obama, The Wall Street Journal revealed last week that a National Security Agency (NSA) program, PERFECT CITIZEN, is under development. With a cover story that this is merely a ‘research’ effort meant to ‘detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants,’ it is also clear that the next phase in pervasive government spying is underway.”

Government Shouldn’t Take Choice Off The Table
Hartford Courant; July 11, 2010
“It used to be that the question of whether your butt is too big was between you, your bathroom mirror and your significant other. Now, some say government has an interest in how snugly your jeans fit.”

Government Intrusion Slows Recovery
North Bay Business Journal (Calif.); July 11, 2010
“The federal government has made significant incursions into running banking, autos, health care and insurance and has snatched up the entire student loan industry from private hands.”

Could NYC Be Next To Ban Pets From Pet Stores?
Gothamist.com; July 10, 2010
“Though New York pet shop owners are worried, citywide rescue groups are supporting the ban. Peter McKosky of New York’s Empty Cages Collective said, ‘We deal every day with the fact that people treat animals like disposable commodities and the pet trade just feeds into that.'”

Is the End of Photo Radar a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? Heck Yea, It’s Bad!
ABC15.com (Ariz.); July 10, 2010
Local ABC affiliate asks readers to chime-in on the pros and cons of a nanny state traffic camera law about to expire in Arizona on July 15. Be sure to give ’em a piece of your mind!

Obamacare a Threat to White Castle and IHOP. This Time, It’s Personal
RightSideNews.com; July 9, 2010
“Oh, that’s right. Obamacare, filled with stealth Nanny State penalties and taxes aimed at further controlling your life, is now threatening the yummy eats found at White Castle and IHOP, among others.”

Schools Make Best Effort Trample Parents’ Rights in Detroit Vaccination Battle
The Detroit News; July 9, 2010
“The vaccine changes come at a contentious time in the health care debate nationally and statewide. Some who oppose mandatory vaccines argue they are an example of unwarranted government intrusion into residents’ rights to make their own health care decisions.”

Tiahrt: More Government is Not the Answer
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.); July 8, 2010
“More government is not the answer. Big Government is the reason our economy has not recovered. Despite President Obama’s ‘recovery summer’ campaign to sell his failed ‘stimulus’ plan, American families and small businesses here in Kansas do not want more government intrusion in their daily lives. The Kansans I have talked with all across the state are screaming for the government to get out of their way and out of their wallets.”

Organic Eggs: More Expensive, but No Healthier
TIME.com; July 8, 2010
Go ahead, spend more on those organic eggs because you’ve been conned by the green fringe into thinking they’re healthier. More ‘conventional’ eggs for the rest of us, and some beer money to boot!

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Jail Time Proposed for Parents Who Miss Parent-Teacher Conferences

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"Daddy's in jail because your teacher gave him detention."

"Daddy's in jail because your teacher gave him detention."

A Detroit, Mich. prosecutor is threatening parents with jail time if they do not make it to at least one parent-teacher conference annually. Meanwhile, the Detroit Public Schools system is bribing parents with $25 gift cards to Target for providing up-to-date student information upon enrollment.

Treating parents like children with a punishment and reward method of discipline should be seen as an “incentive to encourage those responsible to take and active interest in their children’s education,” explained Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worth in a June 14 press release. “We should not have to legislate this, but what we have been doing is not working.”

According to Worth, Detroit school kids are becoming increasingly more prone to criminal behavior, so this “last resort” effort to force parents in to attending parent-teacher conferences should somehow control their children’s’ propensity towards crime. Yea, it doesn’t quite make any sense, especially considering that locking parents up in jail will only serve to make parents completely unavailable to serve as strong role models in their children’s lives and they’ll have to explain to their kids why they were sent to prison.

“I know we need to try something different,” claims Worth. “The thrust of my proposal is not to lock parents or guardian up; that would be done only as a last resort.”

When that “last resort” becomes a reality, does anyone want to guess what the jailed parents are going to teach their children about our nation’s criminal justice system? These at-risk kids will probably end-up with a more profound belief that the system is against them and there’s no hope of escaping ‘the man,’ so they’ll likely feel less compelled to clean-up their acts if getting arrested and going to prison is inevitable.

And, what about those parents whose professional responsibilities render them incapable of attending parent-teacher conferences? Perhaps one parent works a night shift or frequently travels on business while the other is busy taking care of the rest of the family. How about single-parents whose jobs or responsibilities to other children at home make them incapable of meeting when it’s convenient for teachers? Sure, there’s always going to be someone saying, “You should get a babysitter,” but any parent can tell you that sometimes it just isn’t that convenient and cite a wide and credible range of reasons.

If getting one-on-one time with parents is imperative, then surely in this high-tech era someone with an ounce of common sense can propose a mutually-convenient time to arrange a conference call. It works for businesses across the globe, so there’s no reason it can not connect teachers and parents, too.

If parents refuse to commit once a year to a face-to-face meeting or tele-conference, then maybe officials should explore penalty options, but imprisoning parents will only serve to punish their children and put them at even greater risk of getting in to mischief without any parental supervision.

In Bankrupt Detroit, Closing Schools Helps Teachers Keep ‘Therapeutic Massage’ Benefits

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While the Motor City continues to hold the record for the nation’s highest unemployment rate, teachers are enjoying job security and a few extra benefits that should infuriate unemployed taxpayers struggling to pay their bills.

“[T]eachers in Utica Community Schools, the second-largest school district in the state, can get up to 38 ‘therapeutic massage’ visits at a chiropractor’s office a year with no co-pay under their contract,” reports The Detroit News. “Facing a $33 million shortfall, Utica Community Schools plans to close four elementary schools at the end of this school year” in an effort to “save $3.1 million.”

Here’s a hot tip that Utica Community Schools and its Superintendent Christine M. Johns can take to the bank: Stop paying for teachers’ therapeutic massages and get back to the business of educating at-risk children who already have “difficult odds” stacked against them.

If you think this atrocity doesn’t affect you, think again! The federal government has promised a significant portion of $119 million in statewide grants to “struggling” Detroit-area public schools, and that means your tax dollars could end-up in the ‘healing’ hands of a masseuse doing his or her part to ‘repair’ Detroit’s broken education system.

Tired of seeing your hard-earned money wasted on frivolous big government allocations? Join the Nanny State Liberation Front on Facebook and “plug the damn hole” once and for all!