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Maryland my Maryland… 700 laws closer to Utopia

The House of Delegates, one half of the governing body in Maryland’s land of make-believe
The House of Delegates, one half of the governing body in Maryland’s land of make-believeAP Photo/Semansky

Can you feel it? It’s in the air… the sun is warmer, the tuneful chirp of the songbirds is more boisterous and merry, and all of the ills and woes that have befallen society are melting away like the last snowfall of winter…
But only in Maryland… and only because we have a General Assembly that passed nearly 700 new laws last session, hundreds of which will take effect at midnight tonight.
Beginning October 1, the leaders of our peaceful, burgeoning Utopia will have purged the countryside of the scourge of gun violence (urban areas not so much); emotionally freed the most heinous of criminals from the anxiety that comes with possibly being put to death as a repercussion of their monstrous acts; safeguarded our highways and byways by legislating the common sense (or lack thereof) of not using a cellphone while driving; eliminated the threat of psychological scars perpetrated by cyberbullies (but you can still terrorize fellow students in a brick-and-mortar setting without fear of disciplinary actions like suspension or expulsion); mandated that our little snowflakes up to age 8 , must be strapped into a car seat (but they can ride a school bus without so much as a seat belt); and finally brought the hammer of justice down on those lawbreakers brazen enough to dare use a returnable container for something other than its original purpose.
Think they’re not serious? That reusable container violation could result – with enough examples of defiance – in up to three years imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500.
One could get less time for robbing someone – at gun point – of their reusable container.
Oh, wait, never mind, as there will be no gun crime after October 1.
The way our state government keeps trotting out these new laws – ineffectual or not - you’d think our legislators are paid piecework for their labors… and if that were the case, Maryland would most likely have one of the highest tax burdens in the nation.
Oh, wait, never mind again.
Yep, at the beginning of each July and October the work of the past General Assembly session descends on the citizens of this state like locusts on a field of maize.
If these political denizens aren’t after your money they’re after your liberty. And if cash and freedoms aren’t enough they come after your person and property – all in the name of either bettering the state (which a large percentage of these laws never do), pandering to special interests or attempting to validate their 90 days in Annapolis each year as “successful.”
In addition to the new laws listed above (and they are all indeed real and take effect on October 1), Maryland legislators have unleashed a new law not only restricting what chemicals can be used in lawn fertilizer, but also demands that those who apply such fertilizers become certified for the right to do so.
Surprise! The certification test cost $75 and is payable to the Maryland Department of the Environment.
Also on the books beginning October 1 is a new law that addresses drivers who blow through toll booths at, say, a bridge or the Intercounty Connector without paying the state the vig for use of the road could be fined, ticketed, denied registration or all of the above.
I know what you’re thinking: people actually use the ICC?
Thanks to the 2013 Assembly session, beginning October 1 local governments can issue debt to fund various projects in vaguely-defined “sustainable communities,” with the flipside being they can also condemn property under the same guise.
Thanks to the “work” in Annapolis earlier this year there is now a new protected class in Maryland. A minority group? No.
Perhaps more guaranteed rights for the disabled? Nuh-uh.
Legal shields for bi-, tri- or quad-sexuals?
Nope, just a new set of rules protecting state and local government employees – meaning that one can find oneself in even deeper legal trouble if one threatens, assaults, etc., someone on the taxpayer’s dole as opposed to just harassing one of the great unwashed taxpayers.
Let ‘em eat cake… and pay a 7-percent sales tax on its purchase.
As of October 1 certain chemicals in synthetic marijuana will be declared “controlled and dangerous” substances. If one is caught selling or possessing such drugs – found under brand names such as Blaze, K2, Spaz, Spice or Ultra – one will be charged with a criminal offense.
Subjecting one’s citizens to an abundance of taxes, regulations and laws – one of the reasons to both seek and use such drugs to begin with – remains perfectly legal.
Beginning October 1 certain “specified” residential customers will be allowed just two calls to Directory Assistance per month without charge (true, no, really) and certain “specified” health care practitioners, when providing health care to a patient, now must wear a badge or other identification displaying specified information.
Anyone else think that “specified” lawmakers who voted for some of this excrement be required to wear a badge reflecting said vote?
Starting tomorrow Maryland motorists will be greeted by even more restrictive seat belt laws, including a new provision – accompanied by a doubling of the fine (naturally) if one is transporting more passengers in the vehicle than there are seat belts.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I certainly look forward to the day when we can all drive around in our Hannibal Lechter restraints – minus the muzzle, of course.
Oh, and new laws that require the governor to issue proclamations for both Maryland Emancipation Day (November 1) and Maryland Centenarians Day (second Thursday in May) will take effect.
According to the 2010 Census, a little more than 900 Marylanders had passed the 100-years-of-age milestone.
Hmmm… if Maryland lawmakers wished to cater to a voting bloc guaranteeing a larger return on their investment they should have issued a proclamation designating each Election Day as “Dead Democratic Voters Day.”
It should be obvious to anyone who has left Maryland to avoid the enormous tax burden (including the environment-protecting tax on rain), the regulatory hell foisted upon small businesses, the increase in fees on everything from vehicle registration to death certificates and a state legislature that continues to spend money like it has a cash-printing machine in the basement of the State House, that your actions may have been hasty and unwarranted.
Thanks to the dedicated toil and slog of the state’s General Assembly, October 1 should most certainly cement Maryland’s reputation as one of America’s most welcoming and inhabitable Utopias.
Unless, of course, you realize that our lawmakers are just pretending that you can legislate a perfect society; one that uses other people’s money to act as if that not only improves everyone’s circumstances, but also their behavior.
And you thought just Gov. O’Malley and his gun-control advocates were the only ones living in a world of make-believe.