back to article Another U.S. state set to repeal rubber duck ban

The governor of Wisconsin is set to sign into law a bill which will finally legalise the popular local activity of rubber duck racing, joining Minnesota and Michigan where plastic bathtoy contests are already legal. For years, the organisers of illicit duck races in the state had been forced to live in fear of police raids and …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. El Presidente

    I am pleased

    That having sorted out all of their other significant problems, various departments of the US administration have finally arrived at a sensible outcome in the war on plastic duck racing. That said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if, on race day, some power crazed deputy came out blastin' like Yosemite Sam.

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: I am pleased

      Isn't rubber duck racing tantamount to terrorism or some other heinous offence?

      I'm surprised they didn't use data from NSA mobile phone intercepts to carry out a drone strike on one of the venues and take out these terrorists threatening the 'American Way of Life'...............

      The USA really needs to stop much of its 'intervention' around the world and instead spend more time trying not to look silly......

    2. JohnG

      Re: I am pleased

      Well, it is good to know that the US justice system has successfully addressed all more serious forms of crime and that they now have ample resources with which to deal with rubber duck racers.

      As rubber duck racing has not yet been outlawed in the UK, perhaps we could hold proxy rubber duck races for our American cousins and stream live video for them? (This bit should help anyone worrying about the lack of IT angle).

      Does the ban only cover rubber ducks? Could other suitably labelled items be raced - perhaps a variant of Pooh sticks? http://www.pooh-sticks.com

      1. mark 63 Silver badge

        Re: I am pleased

        "hold proxy rubber duck races for our American cousins"

        what? and get charged with "interstate wire fraud" or some crap , extradited and thrown in Guantanamo!

        no thanks!

    3. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: I am pleased

      We in the U. S. have a nearly incomprehensible array of government entities. To begin with, there are the federal, state, county, and municipal governments, each somewhat independent of the others. But beyond that there are numerous "authorities" set up for special purposes, such as the recently (in)famous Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, or the less well known Ohio Turnpike Authority, established about 60 years ago to oversee construction and operation of the Ohio Turnpike until the 40 year construction bonds were paid up from the tolls charged (after which the tolls were to be eliminated. Still in business, it recently raised the toll rates substantially. If that were not enough, we also have aownship supervisors for unincorporated areas and a variety of semigovernmental committees to deal with issues like regional development promotion that are of interest to a number of government entities but not clearly the responsibility of any.

      For those of us with certain attitudes it is an endless source of entertainment.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am pleased

      THAT is already in Arizona. I hear he runs a jail there.

  2. Frank Zuiderduin

    Did I miss something?

    It's not the 1st of April yet, is it?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Did I miss something?

      No. You'll find this is just the increasing Morris-isation of news at work. Later there'll be a TV report from Barbara Wintergreen, which will explain the whole thing.

  3. James Boag

    Just Legal on a Tuesday, Well i suppose it's a start.

  4. Ol'Peculier
    Thumb Up

    “One is never alone with a rubber duck.”

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Another gin & tonic sir?

      1. Ol'Peculier
        Happy

        Only if I don't have to get out of the bath...

        (wondered if anybody would get the refereence)

    2. Hollerith 1

      Alone?

      Alone? With a rubber duck? Some people should never be.

  5. Rob

    Infinite loop...

    ... what happens when one of the non-land locked states has the parade of ducks that fell of the cargo ship many years ago and now travel the high seas terrorising ship lanes, is it straight to defcon 5?

    1. Steve Todd Silver badge

      Re: Infinite loop...

      Erm, DEFCON 5 is the normal peacetime alert level. Things get progressively more twitchy as the numbers decrease.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Infinite loop...

        So the answer to the original question is "yes" then.

  6. kryptonaut
    Coat

    Appeasement

    This law is clearly intended simply to appease the masses.

    It's a duck bill platitude.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Appeasement

      Poo sticks

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: Appeasement

        You may wish you hadn't said that. You're probably now on some secret list as a terry-wrist sleeper.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Appeasement

        "Poo sticks"

        Try soap and warm water

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Appeasement

          > Try soap and warm water

          Indeed. I believe bidets are increasingly popular just for this phenomenon.

          ---

          Q:What's brown and sticky?

          A: A stick

          1. Squander Two

            Overheard at work.

            "What's brown and looks like a stick?"

      3. GBE

        Re: Appeasement

        I've got nothing against Pooh Sticks, but I don't know what sort of weirdness you're talking about....

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Appeasement

        Just Duck Off Elmer. You're in the wrong cartoon.

        1. Fink-Nottle

          Re: Appeasement

          > It's a duck bill platitude.

          I'm not down wid dat eider ...

  7. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Standard response:

    So they can have guns all over the place, but can't race toy ducks?

    "Land of the free" etc.

    1. Mad Mike
      Joke

      Re: Standard response:

      Yep. Perfectly legal (in some places at least) to shoot anyone you don't like on your land, but have a rubber duck race with the miscreant and they'll throw the book at you.

      Wonder how much of a problem it is. Will they need to build special, heavily fortified secure prison ponds for all the competitors.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Mad Mike

        "Perfectly legal (in some places at least) to shoot anyone you don't like on your land, "

        Where?

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: @ Mad Mike

          @Anonymous Coward.

          It's happened in Florida at least to my knowledge. There was a lot of trouble over it. The article I read also said it was legal in other states as well, although it didn't mention which ones to my knowledge. I believe you had to say you felt threatened and you believed the person was 'up to no good' and even feel your life might be at risk, but it didn't actually have to be true. There have been numerous cases in the press over this.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: @ Mad Mike

            Your reading comprehension is badly flawed. There is nowhere in the US that you can shoot someone because you feel like it. In Florida you are allowed to stand your ground as opposed to being required to flee when threatened. Which was pretty much the case everywhere back when we had a more polite society.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ Mad Mike

              > In Florida you are allowed to stand your ground

              Until they find a rubber duck on you.

          2. Turtle

            Re: @ Mad Mike

            You couldn't be more wrong.

            "It's happened in Florida at least to my knowledge. There was a lot of trouble over it. " Yeah, the police and public prosecutor investigated and the guy who did the shooting was put on trial for murder. So the correct inference isn't that "it's perfectly alright to shoot someone for no reason" but that "no matter what the law says about the circumstances in which it is acceptable for someone to resort to firearms and deadly force, if you shoot someone then it's easily possible if not actually likely for you to find yourself on trial for murder because it's really not "perfectly alright" to shoot people under any circumstances anywhere in the entire country and you had better be prepared for the police to investigate and the district attorney to convene a grand jury to see if the shooting was justified or if you are going to go on trial for murder, attempted murder, or some related charges".

            " I believe you had to say you felt threatened (No, you had to be threatened in a way that an impartial observer would feel was actually threatening and the threat has to be of immediate physical violence and you'd better be able to offer some convincing evidence about it too) and you believed the person was 'up to no good' (there is no jurisdiction in this country that would accept "they were up to no good" as a reason for shooting someone) and even feel your life might be at risk, but it didn't actually have to be true (every such case is investigated by the relevant law enforcement agencies who actually do not condone people using firearms without extremely good reasons and they don't just "take someone's word for it"). There have been numerous cases in the press over this. (But you can't name any.)"

            "It's happened in Florida at least to my knowledge." That's a good way to put it because you couldn't have less knowledge about it.

            1. willi0000000

              Re: @ Mad Mike

              just be sure you're white and the odds of being prosecuted go down rapidly. even more if the person you shoot is EWNW*.

              * - EWNW, existing while non-white, an obvious threat.

            2. Mad Mike

              Re: @ Mad Mike

              @Turtle.

              Right, so George Zimmerman was prosecuted. Yep. Was he found guilty? Not that I'm aware of. So............ You can prosecute as many people as you like, but unless you start finding them guilty........

              I was definitely a bit flip about saying 'anyone you like', but the law is considerably on the side of the person as you say, Standing Their Ground. The reality is that people have either not been charged, or charged and acquitted, for actions that in most other civilised countries around the world would have resulted in custodial sentences. Try doing anything even approaching what goes on in the US and you'll be charged and most likely found guilty.

              The Stand Your Ground laws are rather stupid anyway. Anyone who does martial arts knows that a fight avoided is a fight won. After all, is it more sensible to get yourself out of the situation (maybe by simply running away), or to start a firefight with someone? One means you live, the other........well maybe not.

        2. GBE

          Re: @ Mad Mike

          Florida and Texas for starters.

          All you have to convince the jury is that you were afraid. You probably also have to show that your fear was "reasonable" or some such thing, but "reasonable" in places like Texas and Florida doesn't really mean the same thing it does to civilized people. If you get a true jury of your peers (AKA like-minded nut-jobs), then you're clear.

          IOW, stay away from Florida and Texas.

        3. beep54

          Re: @ Mad Mike

          Just haven't been paying attention to American news, have we?

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Timmay

    *facepalm*

    Only in the USA

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: *facepalm*

      "Only in the USA"

      As satisfying as it is to say that; this is what happens when any country creates a law and an activity falls within scope of that law. If gambling is illegal, if betting on an outcome is gambling, then betting on a duck race outcome is gambling and therefore illegal. You can't really blame law enforcement for applying the law they are expected to apply.

      It's not "duck racing" which is the problem; it's "betting on the outcome of a duck race" which is, and, by most definitions, that is "gambling". The problem is allowing an activity which some many feel should be legal while preventing that being exploited by those who want to engage in otherwise illegal activities.

      Every country probably has laws which makes some acts illegal which many people would say should not be illegal. I recall there were similar problems in the UK where church, social club and other charity raffles fell foul of gambling legislation. I also remember some complaints that tightening up UK gun control adversely affected legitimate gun sports. Then there was that apparent need to be registered and police vetted just to look after next door's kids or drive them to school. I am sure there are many other examples.

      1. NumptyScrub

        Re: *facepalm*

        quote: "Every country probably has laws which makes some acts illegal which many people would say should not be illegal."

        And in a democracy, those existing laws which are no longer wanted by a majority of citizens should be repealed. I thought that was the point of government for the people.

        Rather than defending the enforcement of stupid laws because they are laws, we should be demanding the repealing of stupid laws because they are stupid.

        Or does that leave too much power in the hands of the population?

        1. Turtle

          @ NumptyScrub

          "quote: "Every country probably has laws which makes some acts illegal which many people would say should not be illegal." And in a democracy, those existing laws which are no longer wanted by a majority of citizens should be repealed. I thought that was the point of government for the people. Rather than defending the enforcement of stupid laws because they are laws, we should be demanding the repealing of stupid laws because they are stupid. Or does that leave too much power in the hands of the population?"

          If you read the story again you'll find that the law was repealed. Which makes it kind of hard to understand the point of your post. Unless it was to show us that you didn't understand the point of the story.

        2. Ted Treen
          Big Brother

          @NumptyScrub Re: *facepalm*

          "...government for the people..."

          Too few words:

          "...government for the people who form the government..."

          That's more honest & how it is...

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: *facepalm*

        If gambling is illegal... then betting on a duck race outcome is ... therefore illegal

        You're telling us that gambling is illegal in the USA? I could have sworn I saw a lot of illegal activity when I visited Las Vegas.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: *facepalm*

          Each state is free to set laws on what (if any) gambling is legal.

          The bottom line if the state's law says it is illegal then it is illegal (as far as I know there is no "unless most people say it is OK" clause in any law).

          While we would like to think common sense should be a factor but then you go down the slippery slope of the law being what someone says it is and applying it as they want.

          No biggie for the law to be rewritten to make well defined exceptions.

          Much better then like, having a king saying what is legal or not {}:>))

          1. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: *facepalm*

            King George the third didn't control what was or wasn't legal in the UK you silly boy, Parliament did.

            You've been drinking that libidinous reprobate Franklin's cool-aid. You do know he was manipulating the situation all along, don't you?

            Never mind. It's all history now. As with anything it is useful and instructive to read around, in the case of history, to read other countries accounts and then balance the views you get. For an eye-opener, try reading a Canadian history of the war of 1812. 8o)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: *facepalm*

          That's shows how much you know about the United STATES of America, which is to say little or nothing.

          EACH STATE (Many larger and more populous than one of you COUNTRIES) sets its own laws on gambling and many other things.

      3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: *facepalm*

        Its like money laundering. Yes, its the betting that is illegal. But given law enforcement's inability to curb some activity, they go after something related to it. Can't be bothered to look for some criminal activity? Then just crack down on the transfer of funds which results from it. Never mind the other legitimate activities sharing this same trait.

        Possession of multiple rubber ducks is a sure sign of illegal gambling and must be monitored by a designated authority. There will be an inevitable IRS tax form.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well duck me!

    Rubber Duckie, you're the one,

    You make bathtime lots of fun,

    Rubber Duckie, I'm awfully fond of you;

    (woh woh, bee doh!)

    Rubber Duckie, joy of joys,

    When I squeeze you, you make noise!

    Rubber Duckie, you're my very best friend, it's true!

    (doo doo doo doooo, doo doo)

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Well duck me!

      You gotta put down the duckie...

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Well duck me!

      That post needs a Kermit the Frog icon.

  10. Daz555

    Isn't duck racing just littering - ie chucking plastic into a river?

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Isn't duck racing just littering

      Can't speak for Wisconsin but in Grande Prairie Alberta they collect the ducks in a large net afterward so they can be used again next year.

      So no.

  11. Eradicate all BB entrants

    There is a chance of a major win ......

    ..... in regards to anti-gambling legislation. If it is as it appears then simply starting a trend of gambling of a particular pastime should eventually lead to it being banned.

    Why not start gambling on what TV adverts will be coming up next?

    I put a fiver on it being a skincare for men advert.

    1. Vulch

      Re: There is a chance of a major win ......

      Ah, finally a reason why they took Play School off the air. Betting on which window it would be today...

      Mind you, it got harder to get BBC Presentation to take the bets when they realised VT were putting cryptic notes on the paperwork during the tech review...

    2. Irongut

      Re: There is a chance of a major win ......

      You're on. My money is on an advert for women who want to feel fresher... down there.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: There is a chance of a major win ......

        Ok, I'm in. Put me down for a fiver on a chocolate covered health cereal for sugar starved kids advert

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: There is a chance of a major win ......

      It was "Cat Food (Sheba)". House wins.

      We can laugh but when people wanting their fix have it taken away the most inane things will be bet upon. I've known people to start working their way along the spice rack when short of tobacco!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There is a chance of a major win ......

        > We can laugh but when people wanting their fix have it taken away the most inane things will be bet upon. I've known people to start working their way along the spice rack when short of tobacco!

        Ah, raises an interesting image of someone smoking a cinnamon stick :D

    4. Tom 13

      Re: There is a chance of a major win ......

      I've got a fiver on one for the roach motel.

      And just to make sure were all on the same page, I'm assuming that means I'm actually in for about $10 US as you all are talking pounds.

      1. Eradicate all BB entrants

        Re: There is a chance of a major win ......

        Sorry Tom 13, website exchange rates may show that, but winnings will be transferred through a bank so will end up at around 73 Cents.

        TSB, the bank that likes to say 'It's my %&*@ing money now'

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another

    journalistic triumph from the maestro...

  13. IglooDude

    To be fair, most people could hardly give a duck about this news.

  14. Sporkinum

    Duck race

    Just in case some of you don't know what this is. These are usually done as a fund raiser for a charity. They take thousands of ducks that have a unique number on them and dump them in the river. Some where downstream there is a net to catch them. The first duck to the net is the winner.

    People pay a fee to "sponsor" a duck. If your duck is the winner you win a substantial prize, like a new car. To increase your chances you "sponsor" more ducks.

    Example.

    Duck Packages

    • Lone Duck (1 Duck) $5

    • Quack Pack (6 Ducks) $25

    • Quacker Dozen (13 Ducks) $50

    • V.I.D Very Important Duck

    (28 Ducks) $100

    2010 Winner's List

    Sorry - No Million Dollar Winner

    $10,000 Cash Prize -

    One-year Carwash Pass ($980 value) from Guppy’s On The Go -

    12 x 24 Poster Panel ($850 value) from LAMAR Advertising -

    One-year Adult membership ($630 value) from Downtown YMCA -

    One-year unlimited Carwash Pass ($595 value) from Sparkling Image Car Wash

    Etc.

    1. Turtle

      @ Sporkinum

      "Just in case some of you don't know what this is."

      Thanks, I had no idea. I bet no one else here had any idea either. Especially the kneejerk anti-American loudmouth ignoramuses.

      I guess you mean ducks like this one: http://www.digitalspy.com/fun/news/a482482/hong-kong-giant-rubber-duck-deflates-picture.html

      That'd be quite a race if there were "thousands" of them though.

  15. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Dear sweet Azathoth on a bike I wish the (largerly British) US bashers would get a grip on the whole Federal/State law thing. It's not like it's a secret or anything. The country went to war over the issue for duck's sake, and it is a rallying cry in every bloody election.

    I know this gets mentioned on the BBC because I see the same news that shows domestically. Does no-one actually watch the news anymore in good old England? Have things gone totally to the dogs since I left the place?

    As an ex-pat it is hard to maintain the illusion of British Superiority in all things in the face of this know-nuffink f-tardism.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah!

      > As an ex-pat it is hard to maintain the illusion of British Superiority in all things in the face of this know-nuffink f-tardism.

      Perhaps you've lost your sense of perspective over there.

      Problem is, the US does seem to make a target of itself in many respects.

      Back here in the UK, we're the ones supposed to have the ancient stupid laws not the 'Merkins.

      Some things are eternal though. Politicians are politicians the world over for example: they all have their snouts in the public trough.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bah! Politicians are like....

        Diapers. Both are full of shit and need to be changed frequently

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        "Back here in the UK, we're the ones supposed to have the ancient stupid laws not the 'Merkins."

        Well you certainly have the ancient stupid joke.

        It's not about the laws, nor the age of them, but about who gets to make them and which ones take precedence when Federal Law intersects State Law.

        That is the biggest factor in why the US Civil War broke out. That is at the heart of the *legal* debate over "Women's right to abortion vs Right To Life" that undermines so many otherwise popular candidates at election time. That is what is being used as the stick for stirring the wasp nest in the Health Care debate right now.

        And it is why you can gamble and pay for sex legally in some places in the US and will go to jail if you do it in others.

        If the fact that it is America is blinding everyone you could just sub in "provincial law" for "state law" and use Canada as your text. I'll bet Australia has a similar system, but I can't say for sure.

        The issue comes out of the lack of high speed coms and omnipresent law enforcement when laws were needed locally in a very large place. By the time centralization is a factor, no-one wants to give up what they've spent yonks getting working.

        Why this is such a difficult principle to grasp is beyond me. I understood how it worked from watching American shows on telly long before I upped stakes and fled Thatcher's second term.

        1. John Savard Silver badge

          Re: Bah!

          It's true Canada has a Federal system and not unitary government. However, unlike the United States, the criminal law is in Federal hands, so the laws against murder and theft, for example, are not local ordinances which vary from one jurisdiction to another.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      "Dear sweet Azathoth on a bike I wish the (largerly British) US bashers would get a grip on the whole Federal/State law thing. It's not like it's a secret or anything. The country went to war over the issue for duck's sake, and it is a rallying cry in every bloody election.

      I know this gets mentioned on the BBC because I see the same news that shows domestically. Does no-one actually watch the news anymore in good old England? Have things gone totally to the dogs since I left the place?"

      Largerly? most likely! ;-)

      Still, ironic how you refer to the whole federal/state thing, and then switch from Britain to England without skipping a beat! and an ex-pat too!

      Incidentally, I think you'll find a higher percentage of Americans don't realise Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland have their own law-making powers, than Brits who don't know similar about States.

      In fact, a large proportion of them think that Scoterland and Whales are in England.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        "Still, ironic how you refer to the whole federal/state thing, and then switch from Britain to England without skipping a beat! and an ex-pat too!"

        An ex-pat of England. I can't speak for the news viewing habits in the other places.

        Keep up!

    3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Even in the UK we have three seperate legal juristictions, England'n'Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

  16. Breen Whitman

    Just off the press: apparently there has been a raid on an illegal plastic duck race. A swat team raided, but some duck racers responded with gun fire.

    Some duck racers are holed up in a playground gingerbread house. There have been some earlier casualties though - an ice cream seller, 2 moms, 4 dads, and a clown who pointed a Candy Cane at the swat team.

  17. Martin Budden Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    It's a sure thing.

    My money is on this one.

  18. mark 63 Silver badge

    Land of the free eh?

    automatic weapons but no betting on the duckies!

    1. NumptyScrub

      Semi-automatics, even as an Englishman I'm aware the the US banned fully automatic firearms and large magazines a while back, after a well-publicised shooting that involved at least one AR-15 with extended mags. Much like the knee-jerk reaction here after Dunblane which banned all "small firearms" (aka pistols).

      You would probably be surprised at just how straightforward it is to become certified to own and operate actual firearms in the UK, despite us not having "first amendment" style rights enshrined in law. You can even get semi-automatic AR-15s, as long as they are chambered for .22 LR (anything larger has to have a mechanical loading action such as bolt or Martini) ;)

      Of course if you have ever been convicted of a violent crime, you are shit out of luck at getting a firearms certificate, so I hope you've never punched someone in a pub :)

  19. veeguy

    Don't knock it until you try it...

    A couple of years ago I *won* $1000.- at the "Ducktona 500" race. The duck was $5.- upfront, and after being unleashed into the Sheboygan River, mine floated in first. I'm sorry to say this to some of you "crazy American's and their guns" type Brits, but I used some of the money to buy a Mk4 SMLE Enfield and a Arisaka Type 38 (with intact Emporer's mum!) at a local gun shop. -And no, I haven't shot *anyone* with either yet. All I ever shoot is paper targets. Honest.

  20. John Savard Silver badge

    Reminds Me

    That a reference to a "poisson rouge" in Alizée Jacotey's hit "J'en ai marre" which puzzled me turned out to be to a goldfish, and in fact not a real goldfish, but a plastic one; the French apparently prefer red-colored goldfish to yellow ones in their aquaria, and plastic goldfish to plastic ducks in their bathtubs.

    The song did get an English lyric, but the translation was not so literal for there to be a need for "rubber duckie" to be inserted in place of "poisson rouge" anywhere. So she just used plain black hotpants for her TotP performance (of the English version, titled "I'm Fed Up") rather than replacing the red goldfish patch used for the French version with one of a yellow rubber duckie.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021