Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Arbitrary law and you!

My friends. I am an idiot... a total idiot, one of those creatures wondering entire at the world around him, incapable of doing aught save absorbing those things which I study and pondering upon them for the myriad hours my mind is idle. Whilst turning a wrench or writing a program, whilst doing dishes or traveling in the desert or mountains, my mind is busy pondering uselessly upon the many things which concern me.

I however, submit a question. Should we allow arbitrary law, law determined, not by court and jury, not by standards of fairness, but by positions written by bureaucrats, attorneys, and pandering politicians for their own gain?

Did we not fight a war to end arbitrary law, and prohibit ourselves from those same seizures by attainder of the properties of the Tories and British citizens? Did we not argue, eloquently, even at the Boston Massacre for the rights of the individuals who fired those rounds? Did we not consider the natures of government, past and present, ponder upon their fall, and judge those things to be put aright that we might have a lasting peace and prosperity?

Did we not fight another war, in 1861, to establish and preserve that nation, to try to end the arbitrary rule of slavery in the south, and the equally arbitrary and unconstitutional tariffs between the North and South? Was it not the purpose and the intent of the constitutional 'commerce' clause to preserve the free, and regular flow of commerce between the states, not by regulation to terminate certain commerce disapproved by persons in the federal government?

How may we lawfully do those things by the power of the state and federal government that we may not lawfully do as private individuals? Are not those powers engaged, created, and then passed to the hands of the states for those uses that are best preservative of the rights of those very individuals?

The states act in several manners... the legislative, the judicial, and the executive branch. They may also act by their federal representatives in the Senate, and by the representatives of their people in the House, but such are still actions by the state, under the state mandate. There have been myriad court cases over these last two centuries, attempting to establish both what the law is, was, and may be.

The ultimate foundation, and intent of law was to preserve to the people that which is their own. It is from this intent that criminal law arises, to punish those who worked against the rights of property, against the rights of persons to not be maliciously harmed. It was for these purposes the criminal and civil courts arose, to preserve the rights of the people, to punish and to restore, respectively.

We fought in the courts in Yick Wo, to attempt to remove that arbitrary law by selective enforcement, we fought in Cummings v. Missouri and Ex Parte garland to remove that power from the hands of the state governments, for the moment that they may target the law to the detriment of any, they may target the law to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

The battlefield has been wide and varied, covering centuries, some steps forward, other steps back. We gain hope when our rights become more important than the agenda of false and designing men, only to despair when prosecutors may not be punished for falsifying evidence, or withholding exonerating evidence. We hold our breath, waiting and wondering what abomination or hope might come from the court next... but yet, the rule of ethical law is very simple.

One should never establish a law under which the whole of the society will not be equally affected. If a thing is to be made a crime, it must be made a crime for all in the jurisdiction, from the judge to the governor to the president. Exempting anyone from the law is the fastest way into tyranny.

It takes an honest man to vote against a law which will not affect him. It takes an equally honest man to vote against a law that will benefit him, or to abstain from such a vote. It costs a tyrant nothing to vote for a law that is to his benefit, or to vote for a law that will affect others.

For the past two centuries, we have seen laws designed to divide upon race, upon religion, upon socioeconomic status, upon past acts, upon all the myriad excuses our government could find.

We find ourselves here today due to the deliberate creation and manipulation of schism, created by law designed to benefit some at the expense of others. We find ourselves here not because of malicious intent, in most cases, but because of strongly-held, intimate beliefs upon what is right and wrong, and upon the belief of those same individuals that they are strong enough to tame the lion that has slain so many good intentions.

We would not need limits in law, were we governed by angels. We are not so governed, however, so the law must lay limits as to the power of the grasping, the greedy, and the aspiring, to prevent them from laying down the law in such a manner as to deliberately interfere with the rights of the minority.

The only means by which this may be done, in instances with men of poor character or good, with persons both well-intentioned and malicious... is to ensure that not only must they live under the same law that they create, so must all their friends, their benefactors, and the whole of society, and to impress upon their minds that should they attempt to legislate beliefs, be they ever so noble, that go against the beliefs of others, that their own beliefs may be next to be legislated against.

It has ever been true that in the marketplace of ideas, only errors require force to ensure their continued and repeated purchase. That same force exists when law is used to enforce ideas against the rights of individuals, due to the beliefs of others of their unworthiness to use those rights... or an inaction is taken in enforcing the law preservative of those rights.

Should we not, rather than enforce that belief, enforce the existing laws wherein active trespasses against rights are punished, and otherwise, where there is no crime, those individuals are left alone?

Or should we continue, by creating artificial classes and schisms, the feudal insanity that led our nation to schism from its parent country in the eighteenth century?

I am an idiot... I will only and ever be an idiot, for I believe in things that may be impossible. Indeed, I make it a habit and a philosophy to engage in the mental debate of the impossible, for it is only in that way that, in truth, we may discover if it is truly impossible... or merely a cover for the desires of others.

I may be an idiot, but rights are what they are, a form and function of personal property, an essence and nature that cannot be seized without execution of the possessor. One may be a slave, one may be bound to the cart but that does not negate the right to be free... only acts as an eternal condemnation of those who would deny that right for their own benefit.

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