Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

It is Illegal for a Chicken to Cross the Road…

…in Georgia! And you thought European/Irish Law was messed up – read on for some more crazy Laws that were passed at some historical moment in America:

Arkansas:
1. A man can legally beat his wife, but no more than once a month.

Alabama:
1. It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.
2. It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church
3. Brewerton: Use of motor boats forbidden on city streets.

Alaska:
1. It is illegal to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.

Arizona
1. Anyone caught stealing a soap, must wash himself with it, until it’s all used up.
2. Any misdemeanor committed while wearing a red mask is considered a felony.

California:
1. Community leaders passed an ordinance that makes it illegal for anyone to try and stop a child from playfully jumping over puddles of water.
2. In, LA, a man may legally beat his wife with a leather strap, as long as it is less than 2 inches wide, or she gives him permission to use a wider strap.
3. It is a misdemeanor to shoot any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.
4. A woman cannot drive a car while she is dressed in a house-coat.
5. It is illegal to set a mousetrap without a hunting
6. Blythe: A person must own at least two cows before he is permitted to wear cowboy boots in public.
7. L.A.: If robbing a bank, shooting at the teller with a water gun is prohibited.

Colorado
1. In Denver, it is illegal to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor.

Connecticut:
1. You can be stopped by the police for biking over 65 miles per hour.
2. You are not allowed to walk across a street on your hands.

Georgia:
1. In Quitman, it is illegal for a chicken to cross the road.
2. In Columbus, it is illegal to sit on one’s porch in an indecent position.

Florida:
1. Women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner.
2. A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing.
3. If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
4. It is illegal to sing in a public place while attired in a swimsuit.
5. Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown.

Illinois:
1. It is illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, and other domesticated animal kept as pets.
2. In Chicago, it is illegal to take a french poodle to the Opera.
3. According to state law, it is illegal to speak English. The officially recognized language is “American.”
4. In Joliet, it is illegal to mispronounce the name Joliet HeyWoodey.

Indiana:
1. Bathing is prohibited during the winter.
2. 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.
3. Monkey’s are forbidden to smoke cigarettes in South Bend.

Iowa:
1. Kisses may last for as much as, but no more than, five minutes.

Kentucky:
1. By law, anyone who has been drinking is “sober” until he or she “cannot hold onto the ground.”
2. It is illegal to transport an ice cream cone in your pocket.

Louisana:
1. It is illegal to rob a bank and then shoot at the bank teller with a water pistol.
2. Biting someone with your natural teeth is “simple assault,” while biting someone with your false teeth is “aggravated assault.”

Massachusetts:
1. Mourners at a wake may not eat more than three sandwiches.
2. Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked.
3. It is illegal to wear a goatee without a license.
4. North Andover prohibits its citizens from carrying “space guns.”
5. In 1659, the state outlawed Christmas.

Minnesota:
1. It is illegal to tease skunks.
2. Every man in Brainerd is required by law to grow a beard.

Michigan:
1. A State law stipulates that a woman’s hair legally belongs to her husband.
2. Under State law, dentists are officially classified as “mechanics.”

Montana:
1. In Whitehall, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with ice picks attached to the wheels.
2. It is a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail.

Nebraska:
1. If a child burps during a church service in Omaha, his or her parents may be arrested.
2. It is illegal for a mother to give her daughter a perm without a state license

New Jersey:
1. It is against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.

New York:
1. On Staten Island, it is illegal for a father to call his son a ******* or queer in an effort to curb girlie behavior.
2. In NYC, “it is disorderly conduct for one man to greet another on the street by placing the end of his thumb against the tip of his nose and wiggling the extended fingers of that hand.”

North Carolina:
1. It is illegal to make love on the floor of a hotel room between two double beds.

Oklahoma:
1. Whale hunting is strictly forbidden.
2. People who make “ugly faces” at dogs may be fined and/or jailed.

Ohio:
1. In Columbus, it is illegal for stores to sell corn flakes on Sunday.
2. In Oxford, it is illegal for a woman to disrobe in front of a man’s picture.
3. In Youngstown, it is illegal to run out of gas.

Oregon:
1. The town of Hood River prohibits the act of juggling without a license.

Pennsylvania:
1. “Any motorist who sights a team of horses coming toward him must pull well off the road, cover his car with a blanket or canvas that blends with the countryside, and let the horses pass. If the horses appear skittish, the motorist must take his car apart piece by piece, and hide it under the nearest bushes.”
2. It is illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.

Rhode Island:
1. It is illegal to throw pickle juice on a trolley.

Tennessee:
1. It is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish.
2. In Dyersburg, it is illegal for a woman to call a man for a date.
3. In Memphis, it is illegal for a woman to drive by herself; “a man must walk or run in front of the vehicle, waving a red flag in order to warn approaching pedestrians and motorists.”

Texas:
1. The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned because it contains a formula for making beer at home.
2. It is illegal to milk another person’s cow.
3. A law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.

Utah:
1. A husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife in his presence.

Virginia:
1. In Richmond, it is illegal to flip a coin in any eating establishment to determine who buys a cup of coffee.
2. In Lebanon, it is illegal to kick your wife out of bed.

Vermont:
1. It is illegal to deny the existence of God.
2. It is illegal to whistle underwater.
3. Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

Washington:
1. It is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town.

Wisconsin:
1. It is illegal to kiss on a train.

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Armageddon…already?!

The cornerstone of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seemed to be his Health Care Reform. This bill entails the following:

I have Health Insurance –

  • You can keep your existing insurance and doctor if you want
  • Insurance companies will not be allowed to deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition (not for another 4 years)
  • Insurance companies will not be allowed to drop you when you get sick
  • There will no longer be a cap on the amount of coverage you can receive (yearly/lifetime)
  • There will be a limit for “out-of-pocket” expenses
  • Insurance companies will be required to cover check-ups and preventive care (mammograms, etc.)

It looks like he’s a bit peeved at the Insurance Industry – rent out or download The Rainmaker or even get a copy of the book by John Grisham. He tackles the problem of the Insurance Industry and reveals them for being fraudulent and downright evil! The movie has Matt Damon, Danny DeVito and Mickey Rourke. One interesting part in the movie comes when the court learns that this particular insurance company rejects ALL claims for a year!

I don’t have Health Insurance

  • If you change or lose your job or start your own business, you will be covered
  • An Insurance Exchange or Marketplace will come into effect enabling people to “shop” for insurance at competitive prices
  • Tax credits will be provided for small businesses and individuals
  • Low-cost coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions (Senator John McCain’s idea)
  • Insurance companies kept honest by making a not-for-profit public health insurance option

For everyone:

  • “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future”
  • Plan can be paid for by finding savings within the health care system
  • Independent medical experts employed to identify fraud, waste and abuse
  • Medical malpractice reform project

It sounds like a good plan – here in Ireland we have a system that aids but also hinders. If you are within a certain wage bracket, have a disability or are elderly you are eligible for a Medical Card provided by the Health Service Executive. This card entitles you to free health care regardless of your situation within public services. Unfortunately a lot of people lie on their forms and it’s possible to see someone driving around in a new Range Rover with a medical card! The other alternative is obtaining health insurance from a range of different companies, unfortunately the majority of people who cannot afford the coverage simply go without. A doctor’s visit ranges between 30 and 50 Euro depending on where you go. Any other tests are extra. If you need prescription drugs and you don’t have a medical card, be prepared to pay for it. About a year ago I suffered from a peptic ulcer and I was informed by my doctor (after paying €40) that I need a few tablets – when we got to the Pharmacy we were forced to shell out nigh on €100 for the 6 pills! The problem in this country is that the Pharmacy’s are allowed to get away with theft and charge what seems to agree with them any given day. Over the border in Northern Ireland (part of the UK), there is a flat rate for prescription drugs – roughly £6. It’s about time something happened over in the States.

Of course not everyone likes Obama’s plan. Those who are against the Health Reform are not letting their feelings subside, recently House Minority Leader John Boehner said that the next 24 hours are “armageddon” because the health care bill proposed by Democrats will “ruin our country,” – speaking the day before the bill was voted on. I always thought that Armageddon would spell the end of the world, not pave the way for millions of less-fortunate people to obtain medical care – maybe I’m wrong. On the other side of the coin most of these politicians have their campaigns funded by…Insurance companies – maybe not directly but if the money is traced, it will undoubtedly find its way back to the board rooms of these insurers.

Naturally Obama’s plan is stacked against the odds. In a country with the most expensive health-care system globally, it’s obvious that millions of people cannot afford to see a doctor, let alone have necessary surgery. In the US, on OECD estimates, healthcare expenditure is close to 17% of the GDP. Why is this figure so high?

  • Have you seen Supersize Me? There are high rates of preventable disease among Americans and their supposed love affair with junk food
  • Huge cost of privatised care
  • Health insurance companies run for profit grossly inflate the cost of medical care
  • A study by academics from the Harvard Medical School and the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that almost one third of healthcare spending – 31 per cent – is gobbled up by their administrative overheads and profits.

Obama aims to create millions of new customers for the insurers by subsidising Americans on low and middle incomes to take out policies. But are there loopholes? Already I can see one – US reforms will ban insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions…but not for another four years. No doubt insurance companies will fight tooth and nail (in 4 years time) to argue that your claim is void because your pre-exiting condition was flagged on their books before the Health Reform came into effect. Take this estimate for example: $350 billion was spent by insurance companies on finding ways to avoid coverage and deny claims – a sum equal to just under 2 per cent of US GDP. Needless to say insurance companies will hike their rates as they seek to rake back the cost of compulsory insurance of the sick by hitting the healthy.

Obama reckons that since you won’t pay any extra “dime[s]” everything will work out. But how can it? The government will have to pick up the tab and how does this help the fiscal burden of the country? Or will there be an extra tax thrown in somewhere – it could  come under the guise of taxing the most expensive insurance policies (Cadillac Plan). Obama states that there is millions of dollars lost in waste and fraud within the system and that unwarranted subsidies in Medicare goes to insurance companies – is he attacking the greed of the insurance companies? the greed of corporate America?

His Health Reform is designed to move more people into private health insurance. But the centrality of private health insurers is part of the problem in the US, not the answer. Is he leading the lambs from, or to the slaughter?