One of the biggest failings of current U.S. government (on all Federal, State, and local levels) is that the systems are designed for making laws, but severely broken in the aspect of removing laws. Oh, laws can be removed, however the process of removing them is more difficult (and much less obvious to all involved) than making new ones.
And the worst part is that most new laws are absolutely useless and would never be written if the older laws were simply upheld like they're supposed to be. Case in point:
Shortly, the US Supreme Court will be wasting their time listening to the arguments involving the US Govt. vs. Xavier Alvarez (if that is his real name. More on that later.) This issue concerns the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, a law written to handle a specific problem: People making false claims to being awarded various military medals and honors.
On the surface, the law seems to make sense: Folks (like Xavier) who intentionally falsely claim to have been awarded the Medal of Honor, for example, should be treated as criminals. They are lying and trying to gain favors, in some form or another, by claiming awards they didn't get. This degrades those that truly did receive such honors. (Remember during the 70s/80s when it seemed every 10th person you met was a decorated Vietnam war vet?) He was arrested. Jailed. The whole nine yards.
And now he's complaining that this laws infringes upon his first amendment right to free speech. Up through the appeals courts we go, and now the Supreme court gets their turn.
To make things worse, many folks in the "free speech" camp are foolishly siding with Xavier. They fear that this law, if upheld, will lead to folks being yanked out their cars by S.S. Troops just for lying to the girl they're making out with saying they're packing nine inches and invite her to see for herself. (Spoiler alert: Bad pun coming) These fears are sheer poppycock.
So with idiotic fears of the government stealing their free speech rights to push them, they support a known and admitted liar, forcing them into the corner of claiming that lying is protected by free speech, and we should reject all laws against this. 14-seconds of contemplative thought should be enough for most smart high school drop-outs to realize that allowing folks to legally (and morally) lie under all situations is a stupid act that would begin the fall of any rational civilization.
However, I am forced to conclude (based on personal experience) that there are actually some of those siding with Xavier that actually believe lying is ok and folks should be able to do it wherever, whenever, and however they wish. These people are immoral and/or stupid and should be ignored. It is the simply uneducated and/or hornswoggled that I wish to hopefully change their minds.
Oh, I'm sorry. Did you think I've gone off-topic from the title and supposed purpose of this post? Never fear. I'm about to tie things back together.
The stupidest part of those fools aligning themselves with the liar Xavier is that their fears of anti-liar laws leading to the rebirth of the Third Reich is proved false by the fact that we already have anti-liar laws, thus making this Stolen Valor Act nonsense redundant and useless.
The laws (which should really be a single well-written law) I refer to are those involved with: FRAUD. Fraud is defined as "the intentional use of deceit, a trick or some dishonest means to deprive another of his/her/its money, property or a legal right." In other words, someone who proven to gain via deceit is already considered a criminal.
HELLO!?!?!!?!! Claiming you received the medal of honor in order to receive benefits of a personal and/or monetary nature is F-R-A-U-D.
Since we're talking about anti-lying laws, let's also recall those laws that rightfully attack slander and libel.
Had the proper Fraud law(s) been used as it/they should have been, instead of making blundering narrow-focused laws that convey absolutely no extra benefit, none of this would have ever occurred.
The funniest part of this silly legal debating going on is this: Many of those who seem to argue for allowing "legal lying", are those same ones who seem to think it's proper for it to be a crime if I state such falsehoods on my cell phone while driving.