Tag Archives: minnesota

Regulation of the Day 178: Helping Tornado Victims

Mike Haege owns a tree-trimming business in Hastings, Minnesota. After a tornado hit northern Minneapolis, he decided to help out. On May 23, the day after the tornado, he signed up as a volunteer and brought some equipment to help people without insurance to dig out from the damage. Mike and his fellow volunteers removed fallen or damaged trees from driveways and doorways, all free of charge. He probably made a lot of friends that day.

Regulators were not among them. While he is licensed to work in many Minneapolis-area cities, he isn’t licensed in Minneapolis proper. So they kicked him out of the city. The Hastings Star Gazette reports:

The inspector told him to get out of the city, so Haege left with the volunteer. As they were on their way back to the volunteer area, residents waved down Haege, pleading for help. He pulled over and helped get a tree out of the way for them.

Haege had no idea police officers were behind him in a sort of unofficial escort out of town. He said they stopped traffic for about two hours while they figured out what to do with him. At one point, officers threatened to throw him in jail, he said.

All the while, residents continued defending him, screaming in his defense.

Officers told him to leave. They told him he was going to receive a “hefty fine” in the mail, and that if he stopped on the way out, the fine would be doubled.

True to their word, Mike later received a $275 fine in the mail.

Volunteer today!

Regulation of the Day Update: Ladies’ Night Bar Specials

As noted previously, ladies’ night bar specials are illegal in Minnesota. The state’s Department of Human Rights says they are unfair gender discrimination. But they’re still legal in New York.

That upsets attorney Roy Den Hollander. He thinks ladies’ nights are unconstitutional. So he sued several New York bars. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals wisely threw out his case. Even more wisely, they chose not to take him seriously:

The court, with evident amusement, said it must rule against Den Hollander even though “without action on our part, (he) paints a picture of a bleak future, where ‘none other than what’s left of the Wall Street moguls’ will be able to afford to attend nightclubs.”

It’s not often that New Yorkers show more common sense than Midwesterners. Minnesota’s solons should take heed.

Regulation of the Day 142: Ladies’ Night

Ladies’ night bar specials are illegal in Minnesota. They are unfair gender discrimination, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

Of course, few of the people actually affected by this blatant discrimination have a problem with it. Women save money on drinks. Men who buy women drinks save money. And by increasing the female-to-male ratio, ladies’ nights make men happy for other reasons.

If anything, enforcing the ladies’ night ban is a waste of state resources at a time when Minnesota is facing a severe budget crunch.

So why are regulators bothering? Blame lawyers. A separate case in New York has brought publicity to this divisive issue:

New York attorney Roy Den Hollander has for years made his living filing gender discrimination complaints for men, including himself.

Who cares? He does.

“[Men] have to pay more for the services [clubs] offer just because an accident of nature made them one sex or another?” he said. “That’s the basis of discrimination, and it shouldn’t be allowed.”

Or Mr. Hollander could simply choose to patronize bars that don’t do ladies’ nights. Other people seem to enjoy that particular form of gender discrimination. Let them.

Friday Regulation Roundup

Some of the stranger governmental goings-on I dug up over the week:

EnergyStar has been certifying bogus products, such as a gas-powered alarm clock and a space heater with a feather duster stuck in it. Out of 20 fake items that the GAO submitted, 15 were approved, 2 were rejected, and 3 received no response.

-NASA spent $500,000,000 on a launching pad for a rocket that will probably never be built.

-In Norfolk, VA, it is illegal for hens to lay eggs between 4:00pm and 8:00am.

-In Minnesota, it is illegal for women to play Santa Claus.

-In California, it is against the law to enter a restaurant on horseback.

-From Jeff Flake’s office: The federal government is spending $935,000 on pasteurizing shell eggs in Michigan.

-The federal government is spending $73,000,000 this year on the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program.