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Dumb Laws

picture of dumb sign

Some laws are so bizarre or dumb that you question whether they are real. In some cases these laws have been on the books for years, but life has changed so much that it seems as if certain laws need to be stricken from the books. At times it's seeing a sign (like the one on the right) or a hearing of a local regulation that gives cause to wonder. Some dumb laws are not old at all — new ones are being made all the time. Today's post highlights both old and new dumb laws.

My dad used to say, "Well, should we watch the 6:00 news and get indigestion or the 11:00 news and get insomnia?" As my wife and I ate dinner this evening, we had the news on the TV, which may not have been a good idea. There was a story about a school in Danvers, Massachusetts where the use of the word "meep" has recently been banned [1]. I don't know all that went into making that ruling, but at first blush, it seems over the top to me. Any readers from that area might be able to enlighten us.

This got me to thinking about dumb laws. On a web site devoted to dumb laws, I found the following laws still on the books here in South Carolina:

Dumb Laws in South Carolina

By law, if a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, the marriage must take place.

Railroad companies may be held liable in some instances for scaring horses.

Horses may not be kept in bathtubs.

A railroad may not remove itself from a town of more than five hundred people.

When approaching a four way or blind intersection in a non-horse driven vehicle you must stop 100 ft from the intersection and discharge a firearm into the air to warn horse traffic.

It is perfectly legal to beat your wife on the court house steps on Sundays.

Every adult male must bring a rifle to church on Sunday in order to ward off Indian attacks.

It is a capital offense to inadvertently kill someone while attempting suicide.

Here are some laws in several cities in South Carolina.

Charleston
It is against the law to drive a motorized vehicle on King Street.

The Fire Department may blow up your house. This law was made so that the fire department could create a fire brake.

Fountain Inn
Horses are to wear pants at all times.

Spartanburg
Eating watermelons in the Magnolia Street cemetery is forbidden.

If you'd like to see some dumb laws in your state or country, go to http://www.dumblaws.com [2] and click on your state. I want to warn you that I haven't explored much of the site at all, and there are several items on the South Carolina page alone that I would not post on my blog. Caveat lector!

Being a French teacher, I was interested to learn a few dumb laws in France....

Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., 70% of music on the radio must be by French artists.

It is illegal to kiss on railways in France. (We've spent a lot of time on trains in France and have seen a lot of flagrant violation of this law.)

No pig may be addressed as Napoleon by its owner.

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If you're into this at all, you might want to take a look at the Real Dumb Laws game [3].

picture of Real Dumb Laws game

On the radio this morning I heard about something that ought to be against the law — the selling of grades as a means of fund-raising [4] in Goldsboro, NC. Scandalous!

I also heard on the radio about an article at the American Thinker [5] concerning the extreme reticence of our nation's leaders and of their lapdog media to mention at all that Major Nidal Malik Hasan is Muslim. The contention of the author is that Shariah Law is already in effect in the USA. The article called It Isn't Political Correctness; It's Shariah [6] is definitely an interesting read.

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We had some very nice visits yesterday with campus son Tim who was in the Campus Store all day for a book signing. Here's a picture of him and me right in front of "ivman central" holding my copy of his new book.

picture of Tim and me

Many thanks to those of you who went by to see him yesterday. He said that many of the people who came by to see him and get his book mentioned my sending them.

I look forward to your comments on dumb laws, perhaps even some from your neck of the woods.

quotation...

"If we had all the answers, we'd be God." - Ken Ham

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Rob

THE BILL OF RIGHTS (Void where prohibited by law)