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Dumb Laws, Stupid Laws: We have weird laws, strange laws, and just plain crazy laws!

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Parents May Face Jail For Having Swing Set on Their Property By Lou Colagiovanni Two Lee’s Summit, Missouri parents have found themselves in hot water for having a swing set for their children on their property. The Stout family is facing sanctions, fines, and possibly even jail time. Leading the charge against the family—which has been ongoing for over a year—is the most dubious of opponents: The Raintree Lake Property Owners Association. The claim against the family swing set is that it infringed on HOA guidelines, which specifically state that play equipment must be “subdued and within harmony with other colors of the community.” Let’s note, for the record, that the definition of “harmony” is suspiciously missing from the HOA’s guidelines. Marla Stout, speaking for her family, said the dispute originally began over the color of the swing set, which was red. To compromise, the family changed the color to purple, which also failed to appease the HOA. Lou Colagiovanni joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in July of 2014.

DOJ Creates New Position to Target "Anti-Government Views" By Joe Wright “Americans motivated by anti-government views and racist ideologies” will be the focus of a new Department of Justice position, John Carlin told a George Washington University crowd today. The Associated Press reports: The Justice Department is creating a new position to coordinate investigations into violent homegrown extremism, a department official said Wednesday.Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, head of the department’s national security division, said that while the international terror threat occupies the public attention, federal officials remain just as concerned about the prospect of violence from Americans motivated by anti-government views and racist ideologies. The new “Domestic Terrorism Counsel” will work with US attorneys nationwide “to identify trends that can be used to help shape a national strategy.” This latest move from the fear-mongering Department of Justice essentially enshrines homegrown paranoia about imagined enemies.

Man charges iPhone on train, arrested for stealing electricity This is the first story in our summer series, RoadTrip 2015: The Global Hunt for Innovation. SAN DIEGO -- "You don't even want to know." That was the San Diego Comic-Con staffer's response when I asked just how long fans had been waiting to gain access to the infamous Hall H for arguably the most popular and anticipated celebrity panel of the week: "Star Wars: Episode VII." The real answer, it turns out, was around 48 hours. People began lining up Wednesday morning with foldable chairs, packaged food and bottled beverages, full-blown camping gear and as much fandom as they could muster to hold them over until the doors of the mammoth auditorium hall opened early Friday. Attached to the eastern end of the San Diego Convention Center, Hall H is best known for fitting just north of 6,000 people -- or under 5 percent of 130,000-plus Comic-Con attendees -- eager to see Hollywood's biggest names and exclusive trailer footage of upcoming films and television shows. Enlarge Image

Canadian Police Banish Families From Playing in Park: "I'm In Charge Here" By Amanda Warren Last Sunday, some British Columbia dads gathered their kids to a public park; a field fit for some father-son soccer time. We've reported in the past about America's unfortunate export to the UK and Canada - police brutality and authoritarianism. Permit-pushing is another problem. Unfortunately, that attitude continues to grow and even mall cops, bureaucrats and bylaw officers want a piece of the power pie. People are grateful when, during a confrontation, if officers are called they bring resolution to a situation without anyone getting hurt. News anchors astutely observed that while bonding in the park away from crime, the "Kids... Families are still unsure why they were targeted while playing in the park. A female Surrey officer who seemingly suffers from small-man syndrome, actually called for the back-up of Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Listen to me! Full footage of the dads trying in futility to reason with the officers and explain: H/T: CopBlock

City Issues Parking Ticket to Car Sculpture it Commissioned A car sculpture by Erin Wurm, created in honour of the German city of Karlsruhe’s 300th anniversary celebration, was recently issued a parking ticket by an unaware city worker. Funnily enough, the gaffe has generated more attention for the city’s 300th anniversary than any other ‘intentional’ promotion could have dreamed of. Alabama City Suing Couple to Get Back On The Grid, Threatens Arrest By Heather Callaghan Huntsville, Alabama says couple can't live "off the grid," condemned their property and threatens arrest for trespassing "I just don't see how we're hurting anyone by being here," said Tyler Truitt when asked about having to defend his off-grid lifestyle to city hall. As a military veteran, he found it really odd that he thought he was defending the American way only to come back home and be scolded by bureaucrats to hook-up! As you might imagine, Truitt doesn't want to yield so easily and says they'd rather be arrested than leave their land. Truitt and his girlfriend Soraya Hamar are within Huntsville city limits but lived self-sufficiently without city utilities. But the city frowns on their 100 percent, self-sustaining property, and homemade utilities such as solar panels and rainwater collection among other assets. WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL Truitt said: You have to stand up for what you believe in.

The first arrest has been made for manspreading - Americas - World - The Independent The Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) pored over court testimony, talked to lawyers and reviewed lawsuits and news reports to produce a PDF on NYPD practice in the past few years. Most of the 117 vignettes it published are examples of what it sees as people "experiencing and enduring disrespect and abuse at the hands of NYPD officers", particularly with regards to race and class, but one bizarre anecdote picked out by Gothamist about men taking up too much room on transport (known as manspreading) was tucked away in there: On a recent visit to the arraignment part in Brooklyn’s criminal court, PROP volunteers observed that police officers had arrested two Latino men on the charge of "man spreading" on the subway, presumably because they were taking up more than one seat and therefore inconveniencing other riders. One of the posters used in the Manhattan Transport Authority's anti-manspreading campaign @christophhooton

Bush Era Law Could Get You 20 Years in Prison For Clearing Your Browser History By Claire Bernish In 2002, President George W. Bush signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act into law following the Enron and Worldcom scandals, in part, to prevent companies from intentionally doctoring records or destroying documents when under federal investigation. What has resulted from a particular provision in the law, however, amounts to such creative interpretation that it invites a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ assumption that could penalize you with up to 20 years in prison for deleting your browser history. Amidst a sea of controversy over the applicability of the law in matters of attorney-client privilege, Phillip Russell, a lawyer from Connecticut, caved by agreeing to plead guilty to a SOX indictment of obstruction of justice, solely for destroying a client’s computer with evidence of child pornography in 2007. Russell’s case was one of many that opened an ostensible Pandora’s Box of possible lines of prosecution under the Sarbanes-Oxley law.