AM New York had a piece this morning about NY's "dumb laws." While I agree that there are many stupid laws out there (like the ones that prohibit swearing in front of women, or using donkeys on Sunday) many of these seemed to have a purpose. To wit:
"Dumb laws in New York City that have been passed (some have been repealed):
* A law restricting homeowners and storekeepers from using a hose to clean the sidewalk (these hoses can cause a slippery walkway, get pedestrians wet, and don't really "clean" the sidewalk, they just move the dirt into the street)
* A law requiring property owners to be responsible for keeping the street clean up to 18 inches in front of the curb in front of their property (in this case, clean probably means free of business-related debris. You know, to keep them from just discarding garbage out front, and obstructing the walkway.)
* A law requiring bars to obtain a license for a second pool table (this just seems like a way to raise revenue)
* A law requiring taverns to post 'no spitting' signs (part of a bygone era. But as anyone who has lived in an Asian city can testify, those people who do spit in public make it super-gross.)
* A law forbidding putting on puppet shows in windows (again, this could be to keep them from blocking the street, or to save children from poorly performed theater.)"
There are a couple other examples in the article, but most of them seemed to have a purpose. Yeah, it is probably annoying to obey them, but most are well-intentioned. The only one that really ticked me off is that the following was categorized as a "dumb" law:
"establish stiff fines for defacing U.S. flags on private property that are on par with those reserved for hate crimes against religious institutions."
What is the problem with that? Seriously? If someone were to deface the American flag outside my house it would feel invasive, offensive, and in general just upsetting. Any person who does such a thing is not only committing an act of vandalism, but is making a statement about my right to free speech.
Long story short? AM New York is dumb.