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November 23, 2004

80 Arguments Against Direct Democracy

The local newspaper apparently ran a feature in September inviting readers to submit laws they want to see passed. The aim was to pick one idea, find a state senator to sponsor it and follow it through the legislative process. A neat idea, really. It would help people learn more about the state legislative process and make people feel like they are involved in state government.

And then yesterday they printed 80 of the proposed laws (which weren't made available on-line, whether out of fear of ridicule or just laziness since their website is the worst of any paper that purports to serve half a million people).

See some of the proposals below the fold.

Here are some of the proposals printed yesterday. They range from the sensible to the Talibanic. (And no, I don't pay for this paper. UNL students get free copies of the Lincoln Journal-Star, Omaha World-Herald, New York Times, and USA Today.)

The Sensible

Prohibit lottery from requiring cashiers [at local businesses] tp push tickets. [it's quite annoying when you're accosted to buy scratch tickets everytime you buy gas or beer.]

Stiffen drunk driving penalties.

Allow independent voters to pick a partisan ballot in primary elections.

Any doctor put on probation by the state should be required to notify all patients in writing of the probation and why it was rendered. [not with the doctors' lobby in this state.]

Prohibit political parties from promoting candidates for non-partisan offices. [better to give up the ruse that our legislature is non-partisan, but it's in the right direction.]

The Talibanic

Every gang member over 20 who commits a felony should be treated like a terrorist and lose citizenship.

There should be a dress code for women, prohibiting showing cleavage. [more than a few classmates of mine would need to update their wardrobes, which is unfair...to me.]

Require people on welfare [who smoke] with children who have breathing problems to have counseling or be charged with child endangerment. [Are the children of non-welfare-receiving smokers any less endangered by secondhand smoke?].

Prohibit grandchildren from living more than one state away from grandparents. [Granny's pissed that you don't bring the little brat to visit her enough. And how exactly would this be enforced if the grandchildren lived in Utah?]

The Petty, Vindictive and Dumb

Prohibit Cable TV from adding new stations that people don't want.

Charge state income tax on retired railroad workers' income. [I really hate my neighbor, the retired railroad worker.]

Allow open alcohol containers in vehicles so that people won't throw out containers and trash the countryside. [???]

Create a panel of judges to review minor cases to determine if they are frivolous, paid for by the suing attorney. If case is determined to be frivolous, then the suing attorney is required to pay damages to the defendant as determined by the panel. [I have yet to meet a plaintiff's attorney who will file a "frivolous" lawsuit. They don't make any money that way. The frivolity I've seen has been corporations suing other corporations.]

Children should be given custody of the home. For visitation, the custodial parent leaves the home and the noncustodial parent comes into the home.
The paper published (and e-published) their top 10 today and for the most part they are sensible although raising the driving age to 18 would never fly in a state where a good number of kids drive 15 miles to school everyday. The taxing retired RR workers' benefits made it on there too. There must be an issue there I'm not aware of.

Posted by Half-Cocked at November 23, 2004 03:53 PM


That last one has been tried before...it was called "nesting custody" and the child always stayed in the home and the parents moved in and out. Pretty short-lived needless to say. Shout-out to Prof. Family Law.

Posted by: energy spatula at November 23, 2004 09:24 PM

why did no one want to repeal the alcohol prohibition on sunday mornings!!!!!!??!?!??

certify nurse midwives to deliver babies at private residences without the immediate supervision of a doctor!

repeal the tax (that's passed, but not enforced) on the "berry booze" aka smirnoff ice, lyncburg lemonade, mike's hard lemonade.

consolidate all high schools with less than 100 students where the student body is under 50% residents of the school district.

allow for home distillation of alcohol products (either home generated, or commercial) for personal use. (put it under the ethanol provisions?) (your brita filter could be against the law!)

yes i'm being shrill!

Posted by: julee at November 24, 2004 09:49 AM

Julee, you had your opportunity to participate in our democracy when the newspaper offered you a chance. Now you're just going to have to start covering up your boobs a little better whether you like it or not.

Filtering is not distillation. As a scientician, I expected a little more from you.

Posted by: Steve at November 24, 2004 09:58 AM

i understand filtering is not distillation, but it could increase the alcohol percentage content, which i'm sure some stupid prohibitionist could call distllation. hey! it's berry booze logic!

good commentary on the possible lawz anwaysz.

thought of one more, and what's it have to deal with? one guess: BOOZE FOR JULEZ!

allow alcohol consumption on state and federal grounds. (camping, stadiums, DORMZ!)

oh and don't forget lincoln repealing all of those teen dance issues. i got a letter from the mayor saying they need it to curb teen drinking. what happened to personal responsibility? what happened to de-regulation? i thought that was super hip right now.

Posted by: julee at November 24, 2004 11:35 AM