Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

A practical definition of tyranny

Amounts to this:

A report issued by author and attorney Harvey A. Silverglate indicates that the United States now has so many restrictive laws and regulations that Americans commit an average of three felonies a day without knowing it.

The upshot of the book is that the U.S. government has now loaded up the books with so many laws, restrictions, regulations, and mandates, that not only is it impossible for citizens to know them all but it is impossible to live a full day of normal activities without committing at least one or more criminal acts, to the tune of an average of three felonies a day.

This means at least two things, one being that most of these laws are never enforced, and two being that should it decide to enforce them the government could legally place as many citizens as it wanted under arrest and taken to jail pending trial.

Perhaps this is the most ominous and frightening aspect of the growing power of the federal government. We are all felons. And, as we have been told time and again by various government and law enforcement entities, being ignorant of the law is no excuse for breaking it.

Kevin at the blog The Smallest Minority has done a complete and thorough examination of this issue and has come to a dire conclusion. In the eyes of the 21st century U.S. government, we have no rights. And this means our very government itself is well along the path to complete lawlessness.

The consequences of this state of affairs cannot be overstated. If the government is held in the grip of lawlessness, and if all of its citizens are viewed as pawns who not only have no rights but who are felons and criminals, the day is coming, and soon, when the proverbial “stuff” hits the fan in a major way. That is the day of mass incarcerations, bloodshed, and mayhem.

Kevin provides a plethora of examples of what’s coming to our land based upon what is already happening across America. Prosecuting attorneys make arbitrary decisions on who to bring up on charges and who to leave alone. Judges who sit on the bench are as corrupt as the people they throw in jail. Law enforcement officers are becoming as dangerous to average citizens as Mafia hit men.

But the key to understanding the growing lawlessness is the mortal danger posed by the legal system that has loaded up the books with so many laws, that any prosecutor anywhere could conceivably decide to go after any one of us and then conveniently scan the U.S. Code to decide which felony he/she wishes to pin on us.

That, of course, being the whole idea. It’s a feature, not a bug, to those who would assert total control over a once-free people. Kevin’s post mentioned above is well worth a look as well, if entirely depressing–depressing because we all know that, lengthy as it is, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. And these are just the depredations we know about. There are countless others that never see anything remotely resembling the light of day.

Now, of course we all know that all of us are only human, and any human system will have its errors, its incidents of malfeasance and corruption, and its outright fuckups. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY THE FOUNDING FATHERS, IN THEIR GREAT WISDOM, INSISTED ON LIMITING THE POWER OF THE GOVERNMENT OVER ITS CITIZENS, DAMMIT.

As we see more and more with every passing day, the farther we stray from that limited-government ideal, the deeper the hole we’re digging for ourselves gets, and the harder it’s going to be to climb out of. Assuming it can even be done by now, that is.

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10 thoughts on “A practical definition of tyranny

  1. So if you piss off the laird they can find something to charge you with.

    As the puppy blender noted recently, they charge you with 100 things hoping something sticks.

    What pisses me off the most is that while ignorance of the law is no excuse for me, it is an excuse for police.

    So when they tackle some OC guy and arrest him, nothing happens to the officer but if I buy a guitar with endangered darter mahogany wood I go to jail.

    Another thing that I didn’t know about, if you fight a charge and win, you are often still charged with court costs, so if you manage to get let off, you pay.
    So there’s no downside to them sticking to people they don’t like.

  2. Ayn Rand: “Dr. Ferris”, in Atlas Shrugged,

    Beginning on page 411 of the 35th Anniversary Edition of Atlas Shrugged:

    Dr. Ferris smiled. . . . . .”We’ve waited a long time to get something on you. You honest men are such a problem and such a headache. But we knew you’d slip sooner or later – and this is just what we wanted.”

    “You seem to be pleased about it.”

    “Don’t I have good reason to be?”

    “But, after all, I did break one of your laws.”

    “Well, what do you think they’re for?”

    Dr. Ferris did not notice the sudden look on Rearden’s face, the look of a man hit by the first vision of that which he had sought to see. Dr. Ferris was past the stage of seeing; he was intent upon delivering the last blows to an animal caught in a trap.

    “Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against – then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. 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. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

  3. Here’s a quote from about 200 years ago that seems pretty accurate. It’s from ‘Democracy in America’ by Alexis de Tocqueville. Pretty good read.

    “It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the Government is the shepherd.”

  4. Dave:

    Thanks for that quote. I’ve read it before, but I need to archive it. Yes, de Tocqueville is exactly right, and illustrated two centuries before the present precisely what is happening now. It is part and parcel, I believe, of the effort to turn Americans into Orwell’s “state-broken people,” inert and passive, waiting for the state to take care of us.

    And it appears to be working.

  5. —–

    “‘Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?’ said Dr. Ferris. ‘We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against – then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it.

    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. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.'”

    Ayn Rand (‘Atlas Shrugged’ 1957)

  6. Sorry, Missed it being posted already. Great Quotes bear repeating I guess (even if Unintentionally )

  7. Here’s the thing that our oh-so-much-smarter-betters haven’t figured out. When the endless parade of laws are not being enforced or are being SELECTIVELY enforced, even the dumbest proles will eventually begin to see that something is not quite right.
    And then contempt for the law(s) (and the lawgivers) starts to set in. Which eventually will lead someone and then many someones to the “come-after-me-and-mine-and-I-go-after-you-and-yours” – or whoever you send after me and mine… See Dorner for worst case et al.
    What happens to a bureaucracy or mega corp if large numbers of fleet vehicles start experienceing high numbers of breakdowns?? I know, I know, those affected would just replace them, but that takes time and funding…

  8. Jeez, guys, get over it. Look at the bright side. Committing felonies 3 times a day unintentionally is just the first step toward committing them on purpose. Let’s not be too impressed with the crap they put out as “law”. And the enforcement? Recall the cluster-fuck with Chris Dorner – talk about Keystone Kops! And recall what those two idiots Malvo and Muhammad accomplished with a whole army of cops after them.

    When the Revolution is finally triggered, I guarantee you those cops will be taking off their uniforms right away and trying to blend into the population. And the prosecutors, legislators and all the rest will be hiding in their basements and shaking in their boots.

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