Paradox
©
Fisana

Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

You Are Probably Breaking the Law Right Now


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 riseabovethought

riseabovethought

    innerspace explorer

  • App Administrator
  • 4,068 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 24 July 2015 - 09:48 AM

Reynolds: You are probably breaking the law right now

Glenn Harlan Reynolds4:58 p.m. EDT March 29, 2015
When lawmakers don't even know how many laws exist, how can citizens be expected to follow them?
635632408550095102-AP-PENNSYLVANIA-DAILY

(Photo: Gene J. Puskar, AP)

Ignorance of the law, we are often told, is no excuse. "Every man is presumed to know the law," says a long-established legal aphorism. And if you are charged with a crime, you would be well advised to rely on some other defense than "I had no idea that was illegal."

But not everybody favors this state of affairs. While a century or two ago nearly all crime was traditional common-law crime — rape, murder, theft and other things that pretty much everyone should know are bad — nowadays we face all sorts of "regulatory crimes" in which intuitions of right and wrong play no role, but for which the penalties are high.

If you walk down the sidewalk, pick up a pretty feather, and take it home, you could be a felon — if it happens to be a bald eagle feather. Bald eagles are plentiful now, and were taken off the endangered species list years ago, but the federal law making possession of them a crime for most people is still on the books, and federal agents are even infiltrating some Native-American powwows in order to find and arrest people. (And feathers from lesser-known birds, like the red-tailed hawk are also covered). Other examples abound, from getting lost in a storm and snowmobiling on the wrong bit of federal land, to diverting storm sewer water around a building.

 

"Regulatory crimes" of this sort are incredibly numerous and a category that is growing quickly. They are the ones likely to trap unwary individuals into being felons without knowing it. That is why Michael Cottone, in a just-published Tennessee Law Reviewarticle, suggests that maybe the old presumption that individuals know the law is outdated, unfair and maybe even unconstitutional. "Tellingly," he writes, "no exact count of the number of federal statutes that impose criminal sanctions has ever been given, but estimates from the last 15 years range from 3,600 to approximately 4,500." Meanwhile, according to recent congressional testimony, the number of federal regulations (enacted by administrative agencies under loose authority from Congress) carrying criminal penalties may be as many as 300,000.

And it gets worse. While the old-fashioned common law crimes typically required aculpable mental state — you had to realize you were doing something wrong — the regulatory crimes generally don't require any knowledge that you're breaking the law. This seems quite unfair. As Cottone asks, "How can people be expected to know all the laws governing their conduct when no one even knows exactly how many criminal laws exist?"

Of course, we may hope that prosecutorial discretion will save us: Just explain to the nice prosecutor that we meant no harm, and violated the law by accident, and he or she will drop the charges and tell us to be more careful next time. And sometimes things work that way. But other times, the prosecutors are out to get you for your politics, your ethnicity, or just in order to fulfill a quota, in which case you will hear that the law is the law, and that ignorance is no excuse. (Amusingly, government officials who break the law do get to plead ignorance and good intentions, under the doctrine of good faith "qualified immunity." Just not us proles.)

Under the vagueness doctrine, a law is void if a person of reasonable intelligence would have to guess at its meaning, because it would be unfair to punish someone for violating a law that cannot be understood. It seems just as unfair to punish people for violating a law that they couldn't reasonably be expected to know about.

Law that can't be known is no law at all. If we wish to remain a nation of laws, Congress and the courts need to address this problem, before it's too late.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, is the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself.

http://www.usatoday....olumn/70630978/


Edited by riseabovethought, 24 July 2015 - 09:49 AM.

  • Sidestreet, Soliver, TurkeyRanch and 1 other like this

#2 pharmer

pharmer

    Mycotopiate

  • OG VIP
  • 3,985 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 24 July 2015 - 09:59 AM

Ayn Rand got it right 60 years ago....

 

"Make everything illegal and cash in on the guilt"


  • Soliver and SteampunkScientist like this

#3 riseabovethought

riseabovethought

    innerspace explorer

  • App Administrator
  • 4,068 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 24 July 2015 - 10:16 AM

Guilt is an interesting demon.

I guess I thought they were public servants.

Not sure where it all went wrong, but it sure did.

How to take it back will be a tricky one.  


Edited by riseabovethought, 24 July 2015 - 10:22 AM.

  • Soliver and TurkeyRanch like this

#4 Soliver

Soliver

    Deviant

  • OG VIP
  • 3,272 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 24 July 2015 - 10:19 AM

All we do is elect "Law Makers." 

 

No one is getting rid of any laws - so it's impossible to color in the lines.

 

I went camping in a state park once, paid my fee, and camped next to an established fire-ring.

 

In the morning, my car was surrounded by seven park cars (wanna be cop cars).  I walked away with:

 

1) Felony Tresspass - State Property

2) Felony Starting Fires on State Property

3) Felony Firearm Possession

 

Apparently we'd camped in the wrong spot.  We were supposed to set up our tent on the paved slip with the electric and sewer hookup, where we could hear our neighbor watching satellite TV all night...

 

My buddy had a Red Ryder spring-loaded bb gun in the trunk of his SUV from a previous camping trip.  By state law, that's a firearm.  The 'starting fires' gambit was a result of me saying "yes" when they asked me if we'd had a camp fire in the ring (it was still smoking). 

 

The lawyer cost $2,000, the fees were around $700, and I had to do 40 hours of community service at the park for the charges to be dropped - and I got lucky.

 

My argument that we'd clearly paid the camping fee, that there were no park officials around, that homeless people do this all the time with no repurcussions had no effect on the judge or the PROBATION OFFICER (that's right - I got six months probation for camping.  Felony camping).

 

But the state made over $1400 in fines between the two of us, and they confiscated all of our camping gear - just in case we were inclined to slide into recidivist camping ... and if you're a serious camper / backpacker, you know how expensive that can get ... and the lawyer made out for what amounted to one hour of work (if you include driving time).

 

And the courts are chock-full of stories just like this.  Tack on the fact that PD's get to split everything they take on a bust with the Feds ... well ... there ya go.

 

Land of the free, home of the brave ...

 

But it's still better than any place else - and that's the really scary part.

 

'Merica.

 

:)

 

soliver


Edited by Soliver, 24 July 2015 - 10:20 AM.

  • SteampunkScientist likes this

#5 Alder Logs

Alder Logs

    ૐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ૐ

  • Moderator
  • 13,878 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 24 July 2015 - 10:29 AM

The only safe place is in the heart cave.


  • SubEk35 likes this

#6 Soliver

Soliver

    Deviant

  • OG VIP
  • 3,272 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 24 July 2015 - 10:34 AM

The only safe place is in the heart cave.

 

Damn, Alder - you know good and well I don't have one of those.



#7 Alder Logs

Alder Logs

    ૐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ૐ

  • Moderator
  • 13,878 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 24 July 2015 - 10:44 AM

 

The only safe place is in the heart cave.

 

Damn, Alder - you know good and well I don't have one of those.

 

You a lying sack of shit!



#8 doublethink

doublethink

    Mycophiliac

  • Expired Member
  • 15 posts

Posted 06 August 2015 - 05:20 PM

 

But it's still better than any place else - and that's the really scary part.

 

'Merica.

That isn't scary, it's just not true.



#9 Myc

Myc

    El Jardinero

  • App Administrator
  • 6,894 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 07 August 2015 - 07:59 AM

I have only two laws and answer to only one authority. Strangely, the court claims to answer to that same 'one authority' based upon their "swearing-in" techniques (i.e. placing one's hand upon a certain ancient book).

 

Seems like that contradiction alone could lead to some interesting arguments. 

I live like I live. I step on cracks with impunity.

 

At one time, I really spent some hours thinking about all this non-sense - worrying about various scenarios - considering all of the obsolete legislation - contemplating my defense should I ever find myself in one of these situation.............

Then, I just started living.

Grow some. Sit down and smoke some. Enjoy the sunrise and marvel and the sunset. Start a food garden. Shake a stranger's hand. Smoke one with a stranger..............lather, rinse, repeat.

Before attempting to change the way things are............

Go down to the seashore and turn back the tide with a Dixie-cup. That should help put things into proper perspective.

Smoke one while you're there too - you're gonna need it.


  • Sidestreet and Alder Logs like this

#10 Heirloom

Heirloom

    Quantum Particle

  • OG VIP
  • 4,631 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 07 August 2015 - 09:57 AM

even a heart cave is not safe anymore.

see stanley vs. us gov.  1989 supreme court decision

the court found that the us army / cia has had the ability
to control peoples private thoughts as far back as the 1950's.

they also said anything was ok in the name of national security.

you probably already know this.

violating the sacred human mind

about as dirty as humanity can be.



I was in mk ultra, asked to volunteer for something classified , not given full disclosure.

I could give names of doctors & army intel guys involved.
the 2 army spooks were last in the atf .
they raided me in '89 & in '90 bothered for attempted political assassination of the drug czar
had to turn me loose as I had no weapons.

sure put a fear of me in my neighbors minds.

I am probably breaking the law by revealing this.





 


Edited by Heirloom Spores, 07 August 2015 - 10:13 AM.


#11 Alder Logs

Alder Logs

    ૐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ૐ

  • Moderator
  • 13,878 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 07 August 2015 - 10:03 AM

But you are not your thoughts.   Thoughts are just thoughts.  Some thoughts we claim because of interest, but we could have as easily let them pass, as we let most thoughts pass through the days and nights.  We are what perceives the thoughts and perceives even the perception.  It is quiet in the heart cave.  We only look out at the noise.


Edited by Alder Logs, 07 August 2015 - 10:06 AM.

  • Myc, Heirloom and SubEk35 like this

#12 riseabovethought

riseabovethought

    innerspace explorer

  • App Administrator
  • 4,068 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 07 August 2015 - 10:38 AM

Stuck in my mind it gets so thinky, never ending stream of thoughts distract me from just being... and oh yeah, there it is.  Never mind.  Found it.


  • Myc, TurkeyRanch and Alder Logs like this

#13 TurkeyRanch

TurkeyRanch

    Dancin' Deviant

  • Honorary Former Staff
  • 5,930 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 07 August 2015 - 11:06 AM

Land of the free, home of the brave ...
 
But it's still better than any place else - and that's the really scary part.
 


I am not so sure that it really is better than any other place, although it certainly is better than some. We are way behind lots of countries on education and public health, many other countries have a higher standard of living, more effective smaller governments, larger middle classes. . .

"America is the greatest country on the planet," is one of those propaganda/brainwashing phrases that are inserted into the common lexicon to confuse us.

The people that live here still have a lot of advantages over other people, but the article rise posted tells me the US has a ways to go before we can say "America is the best/most free country," without being totally full of shit.
  • riseabovethought, Juthro and Heirloom like this

#14 Alder Logs

Alder Logs

    ૐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ૐ

  • Moderator
  • 13,878 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 07 August 2015 - 11:13 AM

So many ways, we divide the oneness. 

 

 

There is one planet Earth, but there are seven and a half billion worlds. 

~Mooji

 

All the divisions are no more than thoughts.  All the pieces are imaginary.


  • Myc, Heirloom and SubEk35 like this

#15 Heirloom

Heirloom

    Quantum Particle

  • OG VIP
  • 4,631 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 07 August 2015 - 12:42 PM

Thank You Alder!

 I have struggled with that, I am not my thoughts.

I worried that the thoughts implanted in my mind
would destroy my spirit. I survived on hope, & some how
still I Am.

I am not my thoughts, I Am.

some good stuff here


  • Myc and Alder Logs like this

#16 Alder Logs

Alder Logs

    ૐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ૐ

  • Moderator
  • 13,878 posts

Donator


Awards Bar:

Posted 07 August 2015 - 03:21 PM

We all experience thoughts that bring the reaction; "where did that come from?"  If this alone isn't proof that we are not the thoughts we perceive, what will it take?  It's when we take the leap to, "my thought," that it's time to inquire as to whom this "my" refers.  Is it possible this "my" entity is itself but a collection of thoughts and ideas, which as a mere construct, finds interest in certain lines of thought and claims them for the constructed person? 

 

The idea of separate separates everything in order to "know" it.  It's all well and good to know things on this level, but to identify with some collection of concepts it be locked in the conceptual.  In just being the being, we see that the concepts come and go.  The thoughts can go all the way to the top and pretend divinity and authority.  Even then, they will never stand the light of true inquiry, which always comes back to nothing nameable, the untold Tao.

 

All can do this inquiry.   There stands freedom.  No laws to break. Right now!


Edited by Alder Logs, 07 August 2015 - 03:35 PM.

  • Myc and SubEk35 like this




Like Mycotopia? Become a member today!