Patrice Riemens on Mon, 12 Apr 1999 23:53:00 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Taking the Piss? (fwd)

----- Forwarded message from Transient Spike -----
From: "Transient Spike" <>
Subject: Taking the Piss?
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 12:16:46 PDT

Found at and
posted here without permission ;-)

No bathroom joke: South Carolina may
make selling urine a felony

WASHINGTON, DC -- A proposed law in South Carolina that would make it a
crime to buy or sell urine -- that's right, urine -- shows just how
ridiculous the War on Drugs has become, the Libertarian Party said today. 

"Politicians have finally figured out the #1 problem in the country: The,
ahem, yellow market in illegal urine," said the party's director of
communications, Bill Winter. "Are they worried about crime control or
bladder control?" 

The bill, introduced by State Senator David Thomas (R-Greenville), makes
it a felony punishable by five years in jail to buy or sell human urine
"with intent to defraud a drug screening test." Thomas argued that the
bill is necessary because "the safety of the public is at stake here." 

Winter, however, suggested that "the sanity of the politicians" is at
stake here. 

"Just when you think the politicians can't get any more preposterous, they
launch a War on Urine," he said. "With foolish proposals like this, states
are definitely the lavatories of democracy." 

But bathroom humor aside, Winter said the bill actually demonstrates a
very serious point: That every government program or law eventually
requires another program or law to try to make it work. 

And when that follow-up program or law doesn't work either, the
politicians will expand it even further, he said -- adding more rules,
more penalties, more surveillance, more bureaucrats to administer it, and
so on, ad absurdum. 

"For example, who would have guessed that the War on Drugs would lead to
the War on Urine?" asked Winter. "But it makes logical sense... 

"First, the government makes drugs against the law. But, unlike with
crimes of violence, drug use is a consensual crime -- so there is no
victim to file a complaint with the police. So how does the government
catch these so-called criminals? 

"It's easy: The government starts mandating more drug tests to trap the
offenders. But people who are threatened by these laws make it their
business to know the regulations and how to circumvent them. So people
quickly figure out ways to get around drug tests, and businesses quickly
crop up to cater to them. 

"What happens next? The same thing that always happens: Politicians
propose still more laws. In this case, it's a law against bootleg urine.
And so the cycle continues." 

Unfortunately, said Winter, ordinary citizens pay the price for this
escalating frenzy of new programs and laws. 

"With every new law they pass, the government gains more power, the
penalties get more severe, the jails get more crowded, and the intrusions
into your private life grow ever greater," he said. "That's the true cost
of giving the government the power to prosecute victimless crimes." 

And that's why the proposed urine law -- as silly as it sounds -- is a
serious issue, said Winter. 

"It's easy to make jokes about this, but the only ones laughing are
politicians, who are busy figuring out how to post a cop at every urinal
to flush away more of our liberties. By every measure, this bill fails the
urine test -- and should be rejected." 

2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
World Wide Web:
For release: March 17, 1999
For additional information:
George Getz, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222

Paul K. 
----- End of forwarded message from Transient Spike -----
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