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A rare acknowledgement of reality
Jul 14th, 2018 by Ken Hagler

Enforcing the Law Is Inherently Violent. Every law is violent. We try not to think about this, but we should. On the first day of law school, I tell my Contracts students never to argue for invoking the power of law except in a cause for which they are willing to kill. They are suitably astonished, and often annoyed. But I point out that even a breach of contract requires a judicial remedy; and if the breacher will not pay damages, the sheriff will sequester his house and goods; and if he resists the forced sale of his property, the sheriff might have to shoot him. [The Atlantic]

The law professor being quoted was talking specifically about lawyers, but this is something that everyone should keep in mind when advocating for new laws, but unfortunately the sort of people who do advocate for new laws never do.

Good article on the rule of law
Feb 6th, 2011 by Ken Hagler

The Myth of the Rule of Law. The fact is that there is no such thing as a government of law and not people. The law is an amalgam of contradictory rules and counter-rules expressed in inherently vague language that can yield a legitimate legal argument for any desired conclusion. For this reason, as long as the law remains a state monopoly, it will always reflect the political ideology of those invested with decisionmaking power. Like it or not, we are faced with only two choices. We can continue the ideological power struggle for control of the law in which the group that gains dominance is empowered to impose its will on the rest of society, or we can end the monopoly. [Voluntary Boundaries]

Life imitating art
Jul 22nd, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Jailing the Innocent.

Apg_jail_090722_wmain Today’s Washington Times reminds us that big government takes more than just our money.  It sometimes takes away innocent people’s freedom.

“George Norris spent 17 months in federal prison because he used the wrong paperwork for imported orchids that are perfectly legal to grow and own. David McNab suffered eight years in the federal pen for packing imported lobster tails in plastic rather than the required cardboard cartons. Krister Evertson spent more than a year in federal prison for illegally ‘disposing’ of materials intended for an environmentally friendly fuel cell even though the materials were packaged carefully and stored completely out of harm’s way.”

“Mr. Evertson and Mr. Norris’ wife, Kathy, will be among the witnesses today at a hearing on overcriminalization and overfederalization being held by a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. They serve as stark reminders that the risks of big government are not merely a theoretical concern.”  

“Often, niggling regulations are enforced by bureaucrats literally bearing arms against citizens who have no idea they have violated criminal statutes and then prosecuted by an unconstrained Justice Department overeager for pelts on the wall.”

“(F)ederal criminal law is ‘an incomprehensible, random and incoherent, duplicative, ambiguous, incomplete and organizationally nonsensical.'”

“Mrs. Norris writes, ‘Now I know that every single person is at risk because almost anything can be charged as a crime.’ Her 66-year-old orchid-growing husband was ‘put in handcuffs and leg shackles and (thrown) in a holding cell with one person suspected of murder.’”

The Washington Times also says a 12-year-old:

“….was handcuffed, searched and thrown in a paddy wagon for eating a single french fry in a Metrorail station, and Kay Leibrand, a 61-year-old cancer patient sent to jail because her hedges were too high. The list goes on. It is a list of victims of government run amok.“

[John Stossel’s Take]

This is something that Ayn Rand predicted in Atlas Shrugged:

There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of law-breakers — and then you cash in on guilt.

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