So given the list of silly government overreach stories lately I thought I'd start a simple linkfest to stories that highlight our fantastic government (local, state, and federal) sticking their nose where it doesn't belong and trying to control every facet of our lives. Nanny State Tuesdays have begun!
To start we have a pair of schools that decided cheering during a graduation ceremony was just so dang bad that one resulted in an arrest, and the second a withheld diploma (thus threatening a student's college prospects).
Myrtle Beach, SC
Now, last I checked graduations are supposed to be a cause for celebration. Whether High School or College it is a passage of the individual from one point of their life to another, and in most cases is a significant achievement. The woman who was arrested for cheering at her daughter's ceremony was also jailed, and had to pay a $225 bond in order to get released. The young man from Ohio is currently having his diploma withheld until he performs 20 hours of community service. Thank you government organization (schools are federally funded and run by the state government in case you weren't aware) for determining that we are no longer allowed to show joy and support for our nations young adults.
Next up we have the mayor of Berkeley trying to push through legislation that makes it illegal to SIT ON THE SIDEWALK. Yes, I'm serious.
My personal favorite of the items this week is the EPA use of drones to fly over cattle ranches "to protect people and the environment from violations of the Clean Water Act." There's just a couple of problems with this approach. One, in order to perform surveillance on an individual you need a warrant, and a good reason to actually put the person/area under watch (usually involves this annoying thing called evidence, or at least a reason to suspect that a violation occurred beyond hatred of the industry in question). Second, even with FAA approval (of which none has been granted in those areas according to my contact; though they are not allowed to give out names of organizations without a formal FOIA request) to fly over an area, in the case of private property the agency in question must by law get permission from the landowner to fly over his/her property.
I'd bet money that no permission was gained or even sought; similar to the recent situation in Seattle where the cops complained to the local newspaper that the FAA had denied them the ability to use UAVs, when no permission had been requested nor paperwork submitted.
If you know of any stories that show government getting stupid about laws or actions they've taken, feel free to post them and the related links in the comments section. Or you can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll add them to next week's list.