Looks like not only gun laws are bad in New York City...


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Preacherman
July 19, 2003, 01:19 AM
From the Telegraph, London (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$GIZN2JFZGQWE5QFIQMGSFF4AVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2003/07/19/wwide19.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/07/19/ixworld.html):

Even a kitten can fall foul of the law in Nitpick City

By Marcus Warren in New York
(Filed: 19/07/2003)

America may be the land of the free, but the liberty proclaimed as every citizen's birthright does not extend to six-week-old kittens at large in the New York subway.

Gizmo, a black and white ball of fluff, spent nearly two days behind bars this week for violating an obscure ban on uncaged animals underground. And so did its owner.

The real crime committed by this dangerous pair appeared to be offending against the city's almost Teutonic standards of order, as enforced by an army of busybodies, many but by no means all in uniform.

Expect no mercy from New York's finest, as the police are known, if caught on the street sitting on a milk crate, feeding pigeons in public or in possession of an unleashed dog in the wrong part of the park.

Forbidding smoking in bars and clubs this spring was the most draconian measure enacted by the city against the libertarian values enshrined in the sacred texts of American history.

The ban is only one of many prohibitions implemented so rigidly that they undermine the quality of life they are intended to enhance.

Manhattan's soaring skyline is still a worldwide symbol of opportunity, but its promise that everything and anything is possible here is now hedged by the obsession with zero tolerance.

Gizmo's owner, Angel Melendez, was arrested while drumming on an upturned bucket. So was the kitten, which was asleep on top of the improvised instrument at the time.

"After being locked up, I feel like an animal, like my cat," Mr Melendez complained on his release.

The incident revived New York's reputation for being "Nitpick City", an image coined by a tabloid this summer after several incidents in which summary justice was meted out to petty offenders.

"Simply living can get you a summons," the paper raged.

A pregnant teenager was fined £30 for sitting on steps leading to a subway station and a tourist was fined a similar amount for occupying two seats on an empty subway train.

Then there was the case of the Bronx man fined £65 for unauthorised use of a milk crate: sitting on one outside the barber's where he worked.

It is said - and widely believed - that fines for breaking little known byelaws are being used to fill the city's coffers and plug its huge budget deficit.

The claims, denied by the mayor's office, gained credibility when a police union boss complained that his members were under pressure to meet daily quotas for issuing tickets to offenders.

The Nitpick City row focused on the financial cost to New Yorkers of the crackdown and the damage it was inflicting on their unpopular billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

It all but ignored the larger issue: at what point the concern with making the streets safe makes the city less pleasant to live in.

To fall foul of the rules and regulations governing daily life can be both comic and bewildering, as I discovered at the "dog beach" in my nearby park.

Allowing one's dog off the lead is strictly forbidden in most of Prospect Park, Brooklyn. "But what is the point of a beach for dogs if they are chained to their master?" we asked.

The arrival of a police squad car sent the middle-class pet-owners into a blind panic as they sought to recover animals that were breaking the rules, including dogs paddling in the water and dogs unleashed. To heighten the effect, the cops even switched on the siren.

A friend, as the last owner to slip the lead back on to her two dogs, was given a long talking to, booked and told to report to the courts to pay a fine.

She was also forced to attend a compulsory class in responsible dog-ownership, yet another martyr to the cause of New York's quality of life.

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PATH
July 19, 2003, 01:37 AM
Do what I and many others have done, leave NYC! It is a check book liberals paradise. Everything is against the law! Don't visit and spend money there. I don't even visit relatives there. They can come out and visit me. Snake Pliskin will soon be checking in there!:neener: :D

Standing Wolf
July 19, 2003, 02:52 AM
I used to like to visit New York, but it's become a pig sty ruled by socialists.

Snake Eyes
July 19, 2003, 04:20 AM
But now it's Disneyland. Thank you Rudy.

I liked all the scum, the sense of danger, the porno shops and the hookers. I even got maced by a hooker back in the late 80s. What an experience. Also--the most creative panhandlers I've ever seen. Listening to them was better than most comedians today. I gave them money for the entertainment value.

Now you might as well go to Anaheim and ride the ride. Or go to NY NY in Vegas--there's more sin there than there is in the Big Apple any more.

Of course, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will always be worth the trip.

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