Cromwell, CT: A Great Place Not to do Business

CromwellOur own Mike Nelson caught this story the Hartford Courant reported on a thirteen year old Cromwell, CT boy being vexed by these idiots.

Local worm salesmen, beware. As 13-year-old Joe Cadieux learned recently, Cromwell can be a hostile environment for those looking to break into night crawler vending – particularly if they advertise with a yard sign.

Admittedly, teenaged worm salesmen are not as Rockwellesque as younger children helming their lemonade stand, hawking refreshments to passersby (passerbys, for those in the employ of the UAB PD). But the harassment of a young boy engaged in commerce involving a self-sustaining worm farm should be below even the most robotic bureaucrat.

A worm business that Joe has operated since he was 10 was shut down two weeks ago when Cromwell’s planning and zoning commission issued a cease-and-desist order because the teenager’s sign violated local zoning regulations.

Yep, the local power addicts flexed their muscles against the tiny business of a kid selling worms in his own yard with the help of (Gasp!) a sign, apparently in violation of some legalese code doubtless made to appear as vague as possible. In short, by engaging in commerce on his own property, this kid enraged his local government whose pride wouldn’t allow them to overlook the “incident.”

In fairness, at least one selectman, First Selectman Paul Beaulieu, thought the action ridiculous.

“There’s the letter of the law, but there’s also common sense,” he said. “This was over the top. Kids selling night crawlers and lemonade are part and parcel of life in small-town Connecticut.”

To appeal the decision, the child would have to pay the town $130.

“It’s ridiculous,” said the middle school student, who made $5 to $10 a month selling worms collected from his front yard, where they are plentiful after spring rainstorms.


“It’s not really like I’m doing anything wrong,” he said.

He certainly is not. But he can learn important lessons from this absurdity:

1. Unfortunately, “wrong” is defined by government thugs whose only real desire is to continually fill the hole in their black hearts with feelings of conquest over their subjects.

2. When life gives you lemons, squirt the acidic juice in the eye of your rulers.

The monetary requirement that one must pay the town money as part of a formal appeal process is a clear violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of a citizen’s right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

I can’t wait for this kid to sue the Planning and Zoning commission, force the removal of that extortion clause that leeches money from those already assaulted by government, and then appeal for free having thoroughly embarrassed them (or rather, pointed out the fact they have embarrassed themselves).

Here’s one you haven’t heard:

What’s the difference between a Cromwell, CT town official, and a night crawler?

One’s a spineless, hermaphroditic, quasi-brainless dirt-dweller.

The other is a worm.

Artus Register

A self-described "objectivist-leaning libertarian deist," Artus Register became a full fledged libertarian after the 2000 elections. An unapologetic freedom-lover, enemy of the state, trouble maker, and permanent subscriber to the "ain't a dime's worth of difference" ideology, Register enjoys few things more than illustrating the hypocrisy of the so-called "left" and "right." When not bellowing from his cyber soapbox, he enjoys Cuban tobacco, good whiskey, and better debate. He lives with his wife in the American southeast where he works as a privacy consultant. You can contact him, if you must, at minarchist[at]

  1. When life gives you lemons”¦squirt the acidic juice in the eye of your rulers.

    If only lemons squirted sulfuric acid…*sigh*

  2. The unfortunate thing is, the kid probably WON’T “sue the Planning and Zoning commission, force the removal of that extortion clause that leeches money from those already assaulted by government, and then appeal for free having thoroughly embarrassed them (or rather, pointed out the fact they have embarrassed themselves).”

    Attorney’s fees are a lot more than $130.

  3. Clearly so, but I’m sure there are a number of attorneys who would love the prestige of being the one who fought to change the existing law, who would take the case pro bono.

  4. In fairness? In fairness? The selectman that thought common sense should apply was proposing selective enforcement.

    This is how they get you. Divide and conquer. Only pull over black drivers, only raze “blighted” homes, only deprive the rights of unsympathetic or vulnerable people. Common sense says don’t pick on somebody who can rally support.

    Private property rights should allow EVERYONE to put up signs about any topic. You shouldn’t have to be 13.

    They had to cite him or their sign ordinance will be out the window the next time somebody takes them to court. We’re all in this together, folks.

  5. I had no idea about this kind of stuff. But I think I am definitely going to become a liberterian. I wouldn’t have even had a second thought about that being unconstitutional. But I know if I ever have something like this happen (govt being retarded) I now know where to go to.

    On a side note. I think I heard that the guy who made a fuss didn’t know it was 13 year old kid. He says he’s going to rescind his complaint at the next meeting of the council. Or soemthing like that. He’s still an idiot for noticing a sign about nite crawlers, and writing it down to bitch about it.

  6. Good News! Joe got his worm sign back up. Cromwell is a great town, we wouldn’t let Joe down. I live down the Street from that trusted sign and glad to see it back. The word got out loud and clear. Someone in local government office won’t be here next election. Thanks