Thursday, May 19, 2005

Chelm is a Town in Colombia

Reuters reports that the Colombian town of Icononzo has banned gossip by law.

Justifying his decree, the mayor said at least eight people were in the local prison accused "purely by gossip" of being members of the outlawed, Marxist-inspired Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The punishment for rumor-mongering? Fines or up to four years behind bars.

This reminds me of the French response to unemployment:
The job market is too small?
Don't try to make hiring people more attractive to employers-- instead, make everyone work fewer hours so there will be more jobs!

Too many people in prison because of rumor-mongering?
Don't stop putting people in jail because of rumors-- instead, put people who tell rumors in prison!

As my late grandmother used to say, "Only in America!"

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