Once again our state’s brilliant politicians have passed a law criminalizing human nature—this time outlawing “fish stories.”

Texans’ fabled fondness for tall tales came under attack when Texas senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) introduced a bill making it a crime to misrepresent the size, weight, or provenance of fishes caught in a tournament. His bill passed the state senate unanimously and is expected to be signed into law by governor Rick Perry.

Hegar got the Legislature all stirred up over a story about how a guy at a tournament had stuffed his catch with a one-pound lead weight to tip the scale in his favor.

The new law applies to fresh and saltwater fishing, and telling a tall fish tale is now a Class A misdemeanor unless a tournament is offering cash or prizes worth more than $10,000, in which case it is a third-degree felony with the possibility of up to ten years in prison.

In his blog (http://jonathanturley.org/) legal commentator Jonathan Turley commented, “Once again, politicians increasingly view criminalization as the only way to show the importance of their cause. Such fish tales could always be charged as fraud, but Hegar wants a crime added to his legislative resume. As this trend continues, every infraction in our society from schools to fish holes is becoming a matter for the criminal justice system.”

All I can say is, if this trend continues there will be a lot more Texans serving time as their bragging rights are violated.



On the other hand, maybe this will encourage everyone to be a little more honest and realize that it’s real size that matters.



Groove of the Day

Listen to Marva Wright performing “Mr. Big Stuff”

4 Responses to “criminalization”

  1. 1 Tim
    May 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    If all the liars left Texas, I’d be purty lonesome.

  2. May 26, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    I’m confused – I thought EVERYTHING was bigger and better in America? 🙂

  3. 4 andy rea
    May 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm


    Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has his majority and will now embark on a $5-billion-plus plan to emulate the failure so evident in the U.S. — by building more prisons, creating stiffer sentences for a variety of offences, making parole eligibility tougher and march more benign criminals ( read: those associated with marijuana use and sale ) into Canada’s expanding penal system.

    It’s a foolish plan that makes all Conservatives look silly. When conservative-to-the-core Conrad Black pans Harper’s plan, you know it has its faults. And, to see how Harper and his circle ignored their government’s own statistics to push forward with this billion-dollar boondoggle, pick up a copy of Harperland: The Politics of Control by Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin.

    However, while the folly of the prison-expansion plan should be evident to most rational-thinking people not consumed with living via the dogma of a political creed, there should be room — indefinitely — in Canada’s prisons for the worst of the worst.

    Take Jack Samuel Froese, for example.

    The now-notorious serial rapist served his sentences and is now living with family in Kamloops.

    The fact he raped women ( emphasis on the plural ) and spent a scant few years behind bars is proof that, in this particular case, sentencing was laughably lenient.

    KTW obtained Parole Board of Canada decision sheets relating to Froese. They are disturbing, revolting and maddening.

    He is a remorseless rapist who, in the words of the parole board, is “still likely to commit an offence causing death or serious bodily harm to another person.”

    The details of his crimes, and his unbelievable callousness toward his victims, are sickening.

    And, while serving time for rape in a community corrections centre, he was found with a list of names and phone numbers of women.

    Yet, here he is, in our midst — and the fact he is free should stun even the most liberal person among us.

    Froese is one of many lost causes, joining the ranks of serial rapist Paul Bernardo, serial child killer Clifford Olsen, mass child murderer Allan Schoenborn and many, many others.

    Money and time and effort and brainpower is wasted on trying in vain to rehabilitate these rapists and killers.

    Froese blames his crimes on drug and alcohol use. Schoenborn convinced a judge he had a mental disorder when, three years ago, he killed his three sweet young children.

    It shouldn’t matter.

    To be blunt, factories will always produce defective products. Among thousands of perfect creations, one or two will leave the assembly line not quite right. We toss these in the garbage.

    Froese, Schoenborn et al are the human equivalents and should be treated as such.

    During the federal-election campaign, NDP Leader Jack Layton was spot on when he called for government to spend money on preventing crime from happening.

    He’s right.

    If we spent millions on reaching at-risk youth so they don’t become criminals, petty or otherwise, we wouldn’t need to spend billions housing them a decade down the road.

    Some of that money can surely come from the millions we now spend trying to fix the Froeses and Schoenborns of the system, through “programs” and “therapy” behind bars.

    And, with the remaining billions?

    How about one super-maximum prison high in the Arctic, where the likes of Froese, Schoenborn, Bernardo, Olsen and others can live out the rest of their lives?

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