Take No Prisoners

Top 10 Stupid Laws You’ll Find Almost Everywhere

10. Opening on a Religious Holiday

Why should Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, the non-religious, etc. close their businesses for Christmas and Easter? This goes against separation of church and state, and freedom from religious discrimination.

9. Jaywalking

If there are no cars, who cares what color the light is? If the light says walk, but a car runs the red light, knowing you had the right of way won’t take away the pain from the broken legs you end up with. If you don’t want to get hit by a car, you ought to watch cars, not lights.

8. Legal Age

to vote, drive, drink, gamble, buy cigarettes… take your pick. They’re all equally stupid. Using age as a surrogate for maturity is about as valid as using height as a surrogate for leadership qualities. How is a 13-year-old genius less able to vote than a 30-year-old moron?

7. Possession of Marijuana

Given the absence of evidence that marijuana is dangerous, throwing people in jail for possession is just plain stupid.

6. File Sharing

I have dealt with the stupidity of prosecuting file sharers before. In summary, downloading music or movies is no more stealing from the music/movie industry than building your own rocking chair is stealing from the rocking chair industry.

5. Gay marriage / Polygamy / “anti-sodomy” laws

Who you marry is none of the State’s business. Marriage is not on official designation managed by the government, it is a bond among people. If a man wants to marry another man, or two women want to marry the same man, or two men the same woman, who cares??? Unless you are directly involved, it’s none of your concern, so if you don’t like it, you can piss off. And using “anti-sodomy” laws that are intended to protect children to throw people in jail for consensual acts among adults is bullshit.

4. Freedom of Speech/Assembly/Association in Schools

Students in public and private schools are not entitled to the basic freedoms enjoyed by adults in most civilized countries. If you are in high school and you tell your teacher that s/he is wrong, incompetent and ought to be fired, you will probably get detention. That’s because you do not have freedom of speech. When a teacher gives an entire class detention because a few students cause trouble, this violates freedom of association, and the association isn’t even voluntary! Why is this a big deal, you may ask? Well, the fact that so few people understand the importance and genuine meaning of individual freedom might have something to do with being educated in a dictatorial, collectivist, freedomless system.

3. Public Nudity

If someone decides to wander around the beach, park or streets naked, how is that hurting me? It’s not. It’s not hurting anybody. Just because something is taboo or unusual in a particular society and offends some people, doesn’t mean it should be illegal. If we made everything that offended people illegal we would no longer have anything approaching a free society.

2. Drinking in Public

This one, I have never understood. If someone sits next to me smoking, that bothers me. It smells bad, it makes my clothes smell bad, it’s poisoning me, it’s polluting the environment, yet it’s legal. If someone sits next to me drinking, it does not bother me, there isn’t much smell (most of the time), it doesn’t poison me and doesn’t hurt the environment. So what gives? Why can you smoke in public but not drink? This just doesn’t make any sense.

1. Prostitution

Why is it that paying someone to have sex with you on camera is legal, but paying someone to have sex with you off-camera is illegal? The common response is that pornography is protected under freedom of expression: that it is not about the sexual gratification of the actors. First, this is complete bullshit, as should be obvious from the recent trend toward “reality porn,” where a bunch of jackasses pay some amateur actress (i.e., call girl) to bang someone, or several people, while somebody takes a home movie. The division between porn and prostitution is much less clear-cut than it was years ago. Second, what exactly is wrong with paying someone for sexual gratification? Isn’t this what strip clubs and peep shows are all about? Criminalizing prostitution is yet another symptom of amoral, groundless religious influence in our society.

I simply cannot find any good reason for prostitution to be illegal. People argue that keeping it illegal protects women. This is manifestly false. If prostitution were legal, the prostitutes would be able to seek legal action against pimps and johns who assault them or steal from them, and police would not be able to extort sex from them in return for overlooking their indiscretions. It has Also been suggested that prostitution is inherently demeaning. Bullshit. The idea of prostitution being demeaning is inherent to our misogynistic, sex-demonizing, evangelical culture, not to the act itself. It has further been suggested that prostitution contributes to the modern slave trade. Since the penalties for slave trading ought to be significantly stiffer than the penalties for prostitution, people involved in slave trading should be prosecuted as slavers, not as pimps. Guns contribute to gun violence, but we don’t make those illegal. Corporations contribute to embezzlement, but we haven’t criminalize those yet. It’s a stupid argument. Prostitution is illegal because it offends the religious right. For me, that is not a good enough reason.