It is not just the federal behemoth that is intrusive in our everyday lives — state and local governments are just as likely to pass laws and take actions that should be troubling to freedom-loving Americans. Here they are: the Top 10 outrageous government actions on the state and local level.
1. Save the rats
The District of Columbia City Council included rats in its Wildlife Protection Act, requiring a catch and release of the filthy, disease-spreading rodents. Now residents of the nation’s capital will have to capture rats without using glue or snap traps, and relocate them to a natural habitat. No matter that rats already have the run of alleys and restaurant garbage dumpsters from Adams Morgan to Georgetown and occupied Occupy Washington.
2. Library police
Yes, we all know it is wrong to not return library books on time, but was it really necessary to send the police to retrieve an overdue book from a 5-year-old girl? In Charlton, Mass., little Hailey Benoit burst into tears when a police officer stopped by her house to tell her two books needed to be returned to the library or be paid for, according to WBZ-TV. Actually, Hailey got off easy. Under the state’s legal code the action was a misdemeanor — she could have been cuffed and hauled to booking.
3. Gay history mandated
A new law in California requires that public-school history classes, starting in kindergarten, teach about the contributions to society made by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans. If that wasn’t enough for an overtaxed school system, the history teachers also must single out the accomplishments of disabled people.
4. Obesity spying
Obese, public-school students are wearing electronic monitors to allow schools to check their physical activity outside the classroom. Schools in Street Louis, South Orange, N.J., and Long Island are measuring the students’ heartbeats, sleeping habits, and movements in the hopes to reduce the waistlines of the chubby boys and girls. The constant surveillance was done without the parents’ consent or knowledge.
5. Elementary school indoctrination
It was bad enough when cities had to endure the nonsense populated in the Occupy Wall Street encampments, but an elementary school program in Charlottesville, Va., actually had students singing the pro-Occupy song, “Part of the 99,” causing a backlash among parents. The Big Government website had it right when it called the song “Marxist rhetoric” and said “to an impressionistic third-grader, it plants poisonous seeds at odds with long egalitarian American traditions that disdain class hatred.”
6. Jailed for messy yard
A municipal judge sentenced a woman from Mount Pleasant, S.C., to 10 days in jail for having a messy yard. Linda Ruggles, 53, was imprisoned when she was unable to pay a $480 fine for violating a city ordinance governing lawn care. At the time, Ruggles had other reasons to worry: To keep her home from entering foreclosure, she had resorted to selling blood and volunteering for medical experiments, according to the Post and Courier of Charleston.
7. Lemonade stand crackdown
Police across the nation are cracking down on a new genre of criminality — the unauthorized lemonade stand. Police in Midway, Ga., shut down a stand run by three girls because they failed to obtain a business license costing $50 a day. Police in Appleton, Wis., told a nine-year that her stand violated a new city ordinance preventing vendors from selling in a two-block radius of an event. Police in Coralville, Iowa, told a 4-year-old girl to close her stand for not getting the approval of a health inspector.
8. Tasered dog walkers
Gary Hesterberg was out taking a walk with his two dogs at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area when he encountered a National Park Service ranger. The Rancho Corral de Tierra section of the park had long been an off-leash spot for dog walkers, but the federal government recently obtained the property and is enforcing leash laws. When Mr. Hesterberg was informed of the new federal regulations, he ignored the ranger and walked away, whereupon the ranger used a stun gun to subdue the offender.
9. Date mandated
A Florida judge sentenced a man to take his wife on a Valentine’s date following a scuffle that led to domestic violence charges. Judge John Hurley ordered Joseph Bray, 47, to bring his wife, Sonja,39, flowers and take her bowling and to Red Lobster instead of imposing a bond or ordering his confinement, according to the Sun Sentinel.
10. Frisbee fine
Throw a Frisbee or ball on a beach in Los Angeles County and expect to pay a whopping $1,000 fine. The new rules are in an ordinance passed by the county board of supervisors and are meant to encourage safety. The same measure contains a passage that prohibits digging a hole deeper than 18 inches — an exception is made for film and TV production companies filming on location.