Thursday, May 23, 2024

"Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan taking action to curb sorcery and charlatanism"

We could use some of that on Wall Street.

From EurasiaNet, May 23:

Fortune-telling now a criminal act in Dushanbe. 

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are Central Asian states with teetering economies. The Economist Intelligence Unit, for instance, says “the risk of sovereign default” in Kyrgyzstan is high, while adding that “poverty, unemployment, austerity, power shortages and political oppression are possible sources of destabilization in 2024-25” in Tajikistan.

Despite the two countries’ myriad economic challenges, lawmakers and law-enforcers in both Central Asian states are making time to crack down on sorcery and fortune-telling. 

In Tajikistan, authorities literally went on a witch hunt, resulting in the arrest of more than 50 alleged practitioners of dark arts in the remote Ghafurov District alone, the Asia-Plus news agency reported May 21, citing an Interior Ministry statement. Earlier in May, the government approved amendments that criminalized sorcery, fortune-telling and similar services, characterizing their practitioners as grifters. Prior to the revision, such offenses were treated as administrative offenses.

“Each [of those arrested] provided services to residents of the district and neighboring territories, using various tricks and techniques to make money,” said the Tajik Interior Ministry statement about the security sweep. At least one of those detained is facing a criminal charge of fraud.

In Kyrgyzstan, MPs similarly cracked down on conjuring....


Instead the U.S. went the other way:
Market Prognosticators Rejoice! Federal Judge Strikes Down Anti-Fortunetelling Law

Forsaking the knowledge to be gleaned from countries with more experience of the dark arts:

 Tax Policy Debate, Romanian Style (witches, mandrake, cat poo, the usual)

Romania's witches vow to take revenge on tax-hungry politicians.
Self-declared witches in Romania are preparing to curse the country's rulers publicly for taxing their profession under an amended labour law.

Poisonous mandrake plants are due to be hurled into the River Danube and queen witch Bratara Buzea has devised a spell involving cat dung and a dead dog.

Income tax of 16% and health and pension payments have been imposed....
Attention Market Pontificators: Witches to be Fined, Jailed if Predictions Don't Pan Out
There's more bad news in the cards for Romania's beleaguered witches.

A month after Romanian authorities began taxing them for their trade, the country's soothsayers and fortune tellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don't come true....

Italy is also on a responsibility kick:
Attention Prognosticators: "Italian scientists charged with manslaughter for failing to predict earthquake"

Instead we get The Cramer Exemption in New York Penal Code, Section 165.35:

§165.35 reads -
A person is guilty of fortune telling when, for a fee or compensation which he directly or indirectly solicits or receives, he claims or pretends to tell fortunes, or holds himself out as being able, by claimed or pretended use of occult powers, to answer questions or give advice on personal matters or to exorcise, influence or affect evil spirits or curses; except that this section does not apply to a person who engages in the aforedescribed conduct as part of a show or exhibition solely for the purpose of entertainment or amusement. Fortune telling is a class B misdemeanor.