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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shut the front door!

Entering Middleborough: Wash Your Mouth Out.

The mothers and fathers of Middleborough will be stocking up on soap after passing a bylaw making it a civil offense to use profanity in public.  No word if law enforcement will now also be armed with George Carlin routines.

Town leaders say the move is designed to replace a rarely enforced criminal measure that attempts to cover the same offense. And ultimately they say, it's aimed at loud teenagers.

Says Mimi Duphily, a store owner and former town selectwoman she's looking out for customers of her auto parts store who might be offended by the foul mouths:
"They’ll sit on the bench and yell back and forth to each other with the foulest language. It’s just so inappropriate."
Sort of like customers who find their car repairs are going to cost an arm and a leg?

We've seen some recent examples of the nanny state, with most critics aiming at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban of Big Gulps.

But the big difference is that O-D'ing on sugar is not constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.

And there are real remedies that are far superior than a $20 fine. If the conversation gets too loud and offensive, there are statutes like disorderly conduct and creating a public nuisance that more than do the trick.

And then there's the ultimate nanny -- mom and dad.

We have way too many complaints about the government sticking it's nose where it doesn't belong. It certainly should be keeping its blue nose to itself.

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