Shack Attack

Another Random Fancy from the “You Just Won’t Believe This” Department:

Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) signed 20 new laws in April including a bill that immediately repealed Florida’s 148-year-old ban on cohabitation. The Pillow Police are bereft.

§ 798.02 Lewd and lascivious behavior. — If any man and woman, not being married to each other, lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together, or if any man or woman, married or unmarried, engages in open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior, they shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Unmarried couples, polyamorists, and RWBs1 shacking up in Florida can now rest easy that their living arrangement is not breaking the law, thanks to the state’s Republican governor and co-sponsor Rep. Rick Stark (D-Weston).

Couple in BedThe law made it a second-degree misdemeanor for an unmarried man and woman to “lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together.” It has been on the books since 1868.

Because of its wording, §798.02 never applied to same-sex couples. Or goats.

The offense could be punished by up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine.

Rep. Stark reported that police rarely, if ever, enforced the statute but that’s not true. Nearly 700 people were charged under the Florida law between 2005 and 2011 and 104 people faced charges in 2011 alone. (In 2005, Michigan’s cohabitation law was used to restrict visitation rights for a divorced father. The Virginia law was used to revoke a woman’s daycare license because she was cohabitating in the 1990s.)

I’ve always been proud that nearly 10% of Florida’s 46,105 sworn officers and state’s attorney investigators were part of the famed Panther’s Pillow Police.

Five conservative Republicans opposed repeal. Obviously conservative Republicans have a vested interest in continuing the Pillow Police. I haven’t quite figured out why, when eleven of this country’s 100 most dangerous cities are in Florida. Maybe they need the $500 fines to balance the budget.

Ironically “Virginia is for Lovers” waited until 2013 to repeal its cohabitation ban. 25 Virginia legislators — 21 Republicans, three Democrats and one independent — voted against the repeal. They needed the fines, too. Yeah, that’s it.

The unbelievable part of this story is that Florida was still one of three states with laws to prohibit unmarried cohabitation; Michigan and Mississippi remain.

1 Roomie With Benefits


He Had a Wide Stance

Bruce Springsteen canceled his North Carolina show to protest the bathroom law.

Mr. Springsteen and the E Street Band were booked in the Greensboro Coliseum yesterday. 15,000 ticket holders will all be eligible for a refund.

Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) signed the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, HB2, last month after the North Carolina General Assembly called a special session to push the law through after the Charlotte City Council passed a non-discrimination ordinance.

“[The abominable Charlotte act] allows grown men to share bathrooms and locker facilities with girls and women,” one North Carolina Repuglican said.

Be very afraid!

The newly enacted law requires individuals to use bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate.

“To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress,” Mr. Springsteen said in a statement.

PayPal pulled 400 jobs from North Carolina. Braeburn Pharma is pulling out. The NBA All Star game probably won’t happen in NC. Some 100 national companies have decried the law.

“F**k Springsteen,” my friend Dino Russell said. “Wanna see what sex you identify with? Look in your underwear.”

Dino is a world traveler so I’m pretty sure he has peed and pooped in Europe. I didn’t know he much cared then if the next guy was male, female, both, or anything in between.

“I don’t give a crap for me,” he said. “My daughters and granddaughters presumably do and I do give a crap if the next guy over is, well, a guy with his cellphone on the floor looking up her snatch. Or whatever. Bad enough they have to deal with the weirdos of their own sex.”

Pfui. It’s Victorian. We need to get over the legal idea that there’s something secret or dirty about our bodies.

“You are being stupid,” he said. “This is an issue of increased potential for rape. Pull your head out of your ass.”

In case you missed it, please notice a number of bathroom references here.

I’m being stupid about yet another salvo in Conservative attempts to wrest local control away from the local voters.

Liz Arden gives us a few points that Dino and the other ostriches would do well to understand.

a) Just because someone thinks they’re female or homosexual or asexual or nonsexual does not mean they are pervs who will violate your person or your privacy.

b) There are pervs who will violate your daughters’ and granddaughters’ privacy and threaten their sense of safety and well-being. Period. They could be sitting next to you in church.

c) North Carolina and the other states don’t care a whit about pervs with cellphones in bathrooms. They care about competition in the bathrooms. Oh, yeah. And they care about catering to the emotional idiocy of people and the Sharia belief that they can impose their religious interpretation on everyone within 10 feet of them. Or within 3,000 miles.

How many rapes happen in the famed Parisian unisex public toilets?

How many by transgender folk or even cross dressers?

Weirdos are weirdos. A person who genuinely feels they are female despite having XY chromosomes and penises, well, that weirdness does not in the slightest threaten Dino, his wife, his daughters, his granddaughters, nor any other human being on the planet.

Unless they are carrying an axe like, say, Carrie Nation. Or the lawmakers who passed HB2 or HB 1523. Then be very afraid.

Dino’s daughters and granddaughters would do well to understand that. Dino would do well to understand that. There are already laws banning pervs from being in the bathroom looking up the little girls’ snatches. Or raping them.

Bryan Adams has canceled his show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum this Thursday, because that state’s new “Religious Liberty” Act, HB 1523, discriminates against gay couples or members of the LGBT community.

We gotta get over the legal idea that there’s something secret or dirty about our bodies.

It’s tough, though.

He merely had a “wide stance.”

A (now-former) Republican senator pled guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge after his arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Former Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) had been caught flat-footed by a police detective investigating lewd behavior in an airport men’s room. His 28 ultra conservative years in Congress, years spent fighting gay rights at every turn, put him in second place in Idaho history, behind only Sen. William Borah (R-ID).

Former Sen. Craig barred extension of rights to same-sex couples. He voted “yes” on an Idaho constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. He voted against extending the federal definition of hate crimes to cover sexual orientation. And so on.

Who’s making odds on how Former Sen. Craig would have voted on HB2 or HB 1523?

For the record, I’m OK with Balian Buschbaum (formerly Yvonne Buschbaum) or Erik Schinegger (formerly Erika Schinegger), Jaiyah Saelua (formerly Johnny Saelua), Mianne Bagger (formerly Michael Bagger), or Caster Semenya (formerly Caster Semenya) sharing the restroom with me or with my great-granddaughters. Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce), though, I’m not so sure of.

“Buncha pansies who think it strikes too close to home,” Miz Arden said.

And there you have it.


Sex on the Beach


According to Wikipedia, there are two general types of the cocktail: one made from vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice and one made from vodka, Chambord, Midori Melon Liqueur, pineapple juice, and cranberry juice. The former is an International Bartenders Association official cocktail but the latter is listed in the Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide.

Both come with the warning that “this drink is not the for the faint of heart.”

A Google search for “sex on the beach” turned up about 313,000,000 results in 0.27 seconds.

Sex on the Beach
Apparently, that’s not for the faint of heart, either.

A Florida couple convicted in May of having sex on the beach up in Manatee County faced up to 15 years behind bars and must register as sex offenders for “illicit public sexcapades.”

The jury deliberated for about 15 minutes after watching sex-on-the-beach video during the 2-day trial.

A grandmother on Cortez Beach in Bradenton filmed the couple in what we once called “in flagrante delicto.” The prosecutor showed the video in court. The Associated Press reported that the video “showed [a 20-year old woman] moving on top of the 40-year-old caballero] in a sexual manner in broad daylight. Witnesses testified that a 3-year-old girl saw them.”

Illicit public sexcapades?

The couple declined the prosecutor’s plea deal offer. “We gave them a reasonable offer, what we felt was reasonable, and they decided it wasn’t something they wanted to accept responsibility for,” the prosecutor told The Miami Herald. “Despite the video, despite all the witnesses.”

A Google search for “sex on the beach video” returned only about 213,000,000 results in 0.25 seconds although none of them were the Bradenton grandmother’s production.

Ya gotta wonder about that granny, shooting a bad porn video on the beach. Why wasn’t she prosecuted?

A different bad guy attacked and stabbed a person he had followed home from the Wells Fargo in Sarasota. Cops believe the suspect is a white male in his twenties with short dark hair who drives a mid-nineties 4-door Mercedes Benz.

Not caught. Not prosecuted.

On the other hand, a Manatee County couple will spend time behind bars animal cruelty at their Manatee County shelter. The couple was charged last year after sheriff’s deputies raided the Napier Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary and confiscated some 300 animals. Convicted in February, she was sentenced to 270 days in county jail followed by three years of probation. he got 36 months followed by four years on probation. Both are also prohibited from owning or possessing animals.

Ya gotta wonder about a prosecutor spending a couple of days at trial and pushing for 15 year sentences on a couple making love. I guess they were the low hanging fruit, far more important than stabbings or abusing 300 animals.

I’ve never figured that sand was particularly lubricious, but if SWMBO or Caitlin, or Fanny, or Liz, or Missy wants to try geezer sex on the beach, I’m sure we can find a spot where Bradenton Granny isn’t around to shoot porn with her video cam.


We the Overtaxed People

At 11:59 p.m. tonight, not 12 hours from now, millions of Americans including Rufus will make their annual mad dash to the post office.

Filing High
I e-filed for the first time this year. Tubbo Tax was a little confused because I didn’t owe any extra and wasn’t due a refund

Familiar icons with Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, IRS logoOddly, Tubbo sent the email announcing that the IRS had accepted my return four minutes before they sent the email announcing that they had successfully sent the IRS my return.

I shouldn’t be worried, right?

This little box came up at the end of the filing status:

How to check your refund status?
Download the MyTaxRefund app and check your status anywhere.
Available on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.

And then! And THEN!

Filing feels good! Share your tax triumph with your friends.
(Don’t worry, nothing confidential is shared.)
[f Share] [Tweet]

What? Are they nutz?

Taxation WITH Representation
An Internoodle meme going around states incorrectly that Americans paid no taxes before the Income Tax was made permanent in 1913.

The U.S. did impose income taxes during the Civil War and again in the 1890s to pay for war expenses but didn’t make them permanent until 1913. Up until then excise taxes on alcohol and later added to gasoline, tires, telephones, tobacco, and a host of other commodities raised a lot of money to fund the government. Tariffs raised even more. Tariffs were the largest source of federal revenue (and the easiest to collect) from the 1790s until the income tax started growing.

IRS asks, Do you need more time?Tariffs were one of the major causes of the Civil War.

We’ve also had property taxes since colonial times; in fact, the only reason we could go to war against Britain is that we had well-developed tax systems in place to pay for it. By 1796, seven of the then-15 states had poll taxes. 12 taxed some or all livestock. All taxed land one way or another. Most taxed specific occupations.

We the Overtaxed People have been that way since before we threw the (taxable) tea in the harbor.

For the record, I support (a) the flat income tax and (b) elimination of all other tax methods including corporate taxes. People have the right to be taxed fairly, the right to know how much is coming out of their pockets, and the right not to be taxed two or three times on the same income.

Tariffs, excise taxes, sales and value added taxes, and even property taxes are the most regressive way to raise money from a population.

Alabama and Mississippi which have no state minimum wage charge sales tax on food (and they’re not alone). Let’s assume you live in Birmingham in the forward thinking state of Alabama and make $7.50 per hour. You don’t make enough to owe any income tax but we’ll still get you.

Americans report spending $151 on food per week on average but let’s assume you can’t afford to spend half your gross paycheck at the grocery.

If you buy $100/week in Alabama groceries, $8 of that goes to the state. That’s a tax rate of “only 2.66%.” Add in the tax on your phone and cable and apartment and gasoline and it’s easy to see how someone earning minimum wage has a higher actual tax rate than Warren Buffett.

We’re from the Government; We’re Here to Help You Get Healthy
My friend Kay Ace visited the doc a couple of times recently. She was in just before Christmas for a well-grownup, six-month checkup. And she went in last month with that crud going around.

The cost of her office visit went from $93 in December to $113 in March, 100% of which was covered by Medicare. Her Medicare Advantage copay went from $20 to $25. Oh, yeah, and her premium went up.

“Obamacare: We’ll save you money®.”

SCOTUS Upholds Obamacare: It's a tax

Keep Your Hands Off My Junk

We used to call it our “privates” because we (allegedly) value our privacy and don’t want to show off our, well, junk.

Everybody in the known universe (except in Andromeda) knows that Facebook and privacy don’t mix well. Frankly, the Innernoodle and privacy don’t mix well but that’s another story. Facebook is >||< close to settling with the Federal Trade Commission after the FTC charged the social networking site with issues related to your privacy and mine. See, Facebook has access to a lot of our junk and they keep changing how they will display it.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reminded PBS viewers that everything Facebook knows about us is everything we have put there. Other companies, he said, like Microsoft and Google and Yahoo, “have search engines and ad networks, have a huge amount of information about you. It’s just that they’re collecting that information about you behind your back really. But you never know that… it’s less transparent than what is happening at Facebook.”

I can keep my junk hidden from the Interwebs simply by not using the Interwebs. No Facebook. No Google. No online bill paying. No Netflix streaming.

[Image]Meanwhile, the bank known as Chase Manhattan until it merged with J.P. Morgan a decade ago, is one of the Big Four banks of the United States. I’ve been a Chase customer since I got my first “BankAmericard” in the late 1960s.

Chase sent me a privacy notice with a lot of little aptitude-test ovals to fill in completely. I’ve never been one to color inside the lines but I did my best. “We’re going to send you junk mail from these guys.” NO THANK YOU. “We’re going to bill you for these other guys.” NO THANK YOU. “We have this wonderful offer for …” NO THANK YOU.

I can keep my junk hidden from Chase as long as I send in the “opt-out” form. Every five years. Unless they ask for it more often. Like tomorrow.

The St. Albans Messenger reports that the village of Richford has become the first northwestern Vermont community to install law enforcement surveillance cameras on its streets; their two new cameras cost five grand (money that was to have underwritten a second constable). The live video feeds directly to the Sheriff’s Office via the Internet. U.S. Border Patrol and Vermont State Police also have access to the feed. The cameras were installed as a “safety measure” in response to concerns from residents about area crime but not all residents are happy about the cameras.

Richford officials remind us that Richford is not the first to have cameras trained on its streets. Public Access TV has cameras looking at the streets in both St. Albans and Enosburg, officials said. The fact is that those cameras were not installed at taxpayer expense and those cameras don’t feed Law Enforcement.

I can keep my junk hidden from Richford’s cameras as long as I …
Oh. Wait. I can’t keep my junk hidden from Richford’s cameras.

The World Naked Bike Ride got me thinking about this question I found online: “Imagine that you live in a place where public nudity is not only legal, but also socially acceptable. Assuming that the climate is favorable, how often would you be totally naked in public?”

In that case, I’d opt in to show off my junk.