America is a nation of laws. In principle this is a good thing. However as with all things, there is often a disconnect between principle and application.
When do we say what we now have is too much?
When I was in high school (1973-1977), we had an area where kids could smoke. They had to have a note from their parents but between classes, the smokers would go down and have a smoke break.
On Friday, my daughter texted me from her high school. “Someone got caught with tobacco in school and now he is suspended and has a court date.”
What is wrong with this picture?
First, I am not advocating children smoke. Just the opposite. I am a militant non-smoker. I have asthma and cigarette smoke is one of the triggers for my asthma. My usual reaction to someone asking if they can smoke around me is a slightly less polite version of, do you mind if I pass gas?
In Tennessee, and most other states, it is now a juvenile criminal offense for someone under 18 to possess tobacco.
This kid who goes to school with my daughter is going to go to juvenile court, be prosecuted by the District Attorney and if there is sufficient evidence be convicted of a criminal offense.
The good news is for this kid; it is an offense that will not carry over to his adult life. Juvenile records are generally sealed and unavailable to anyone outside of law enforcement or the government.
The down side for this kid is that he will have probation, community service and the real possibility of going to jail.
If someone is on probation, if they violate probation, even in juvenile court they can and do go to jail. In juvenile court it is juvenile detention instead of an adult jail, but it is incarceration nonetheless.
What is wrong with this picture?
I do not approve of tobacco in any of its forms. I think smoking or using chewing tobacco is a really bad idea. It is disgusting and there are too many health consequences that go along with it.
If you are an adult, you do get to make those choices.
Put sending kids to jail and having them convicted of a criminal offense just because they had tobacco is insane.
This is the problem with America. We are no longer a nation of law; we are a nation of too many laws. Some laws are good. We must have some laws to avoid chaos. Some laws are necessary for a well-ordered liberty.
We have long since passed the point where we have enough laws.
This year Congress alone will create hundreds of new laws. Our state legislatures will create even more. Then the various agencies will be allowed to create regulations at the state and federal levels. Many of us routinely violate a myriad of laws and we do not even know we are doing it.
I can think of almost no problem currently facing America where the solution is a new law. I can think of a number of issues facing America where the best solution is the repeal of some really bad laws.
We need to tell our legislators at the local level, state level and at the federal level, to quit passing new bad laws and start repealing some of the old bad laws.
Today, the only good law is a law that repeals an old bad law.
Gail, as a upper level teen ager many moon ago, I asked a Lawyer teaching a class in Government and law how could we be held accountable for laws we have never seen or heard of.
His reply was simple; abide by the Ten Commandments and You will Have no Problem.
This is/was probably the only smart Lawyer I have ever met.
I totally agree with you Justin. We need to start electing people to our legislatures that will spned their time reviewing statutes and repealing those that interfer with the peoples right to pursue their own happiness, as long as those pursuits do not infringe on the rights of others. Self-governence should be the buzz word in our legislative law making, with an emphases on personal responsibility for injury/property damage should ones preffered activity cause either. It does no good to protect fools from themselves. It may be best to let them parish by their own hand. The gene pool would improve naturally.
True liberty must be based on self-governence with accountability. Any hinderence to that is a leaning towards totalitarianism.
Every new law limits individual freedom. I counted 90 new laws in Virginia + 49 states and the feds?? We have gone over the hill.
Repeal one old law for every new one; try two. How about a prohibition of new laws until old ones expire??
Why do we all get it and no one in Washington does?
There is something puzzling with this scenario. A minor can go to planned parenthood, abort a baby without parental consent, and at the same time get arrested and prosecuted for smoking cigarettes, really????
There are many perplexing dichotomies as this regarding laws that are supported by progressives. Yet when I question them of its validity, they always stutter and ultimately cannot answer. I believe it's because it makes no sense. I rest my case.
There needs to be an automatic "sundowner" clause on each and every law passed; i.e. it automatically expires after say three to five years. The last time I visited this subject, I seem to recall that there is a law on the books down in the Gulf States area that says if you operate a horseless carriage during the day you must have a runner on foot twenty yards ahead to warn people and horses and if at night that person must carry a lantern. I have no idea when this law was last invoked but it is (was?) still on the books which means that any local leo or country mounty can pull you over and write you up for it at their discretion. I think the punishment is twenty lashes in the public square.
Las Vegas, Nevada
In case you have not figured it out by now, O'Reilly is a LIBERAL!
O'Reilly thinks that those evil speculators are responsible for the high oil & gas prices!
Can anyone say, "WEAK DOLLAR"!
Thank Obama every time we print more money (Quantitative Easing) and weaken the dollar!
Good point, Bill. O'Reilly screams for government solutions to some of the biggest problems out there, even when the government has been responsible for making the problem worse. This is the case with oil -- we are restricted in drilling, and we cannot get approval for more refineries (and therefore some of the oil has to be shipped overseas just to be processed).
But O'Reilly routinely screams "blame the speculators!" And "pass some laws to force them to sell the oil here." Sounds like a typical liberal tactic -- blame, divide, and conquer, and use the problem as an excuse to gain more control.
I think you mean that faux-conservatives are leading the people down the same path, not the real conservatives (if there are any -- Bachmann might be). If the viewpoint you have been preaching is more in line with the Constitution, then it is probably not really extreme, just extreme in comparison to the moderate crowd. Personally, I try to correct the terms "extreme" and "right wing" every time I hear them in order to steer the discussion back to it's relevance to the Constitution. The other two terms are almost always used for a reason, and it is a tactic of the left to repeat them as often as possible in order to make people think that the "normal" is somewhere in the middle. In actuality, the "normal" lies where the Constitution rests, and I'll bet they would refer to that spot as "extreme right wing."
Okay, now that the semantics are out of the way ... the hardships and sacrifices are really just some people getting less benefits from the backs of others. It is only natural for the left to use the comparison argument again, to claim the right is "heartless" and "mean-spirited." This can only be answered with the truth, that handouts never help people in the long run, and even hurt them by making them even more dependent. It should be repeated over and over, because the line from the left is all they have, and it must not be allowed to be assumed true. We can all plan on hearing it over and over forever.
This and what this post explains Marxism to those who can understand!
Seems like a good subject matter and time to bug Vern and throw in some quotes from "The Law" of the mid-1800's:
|The Complete Perversion of the Law|
But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.
How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results?
The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy.
|Law and Charity Are Not the Same|
The mission of the law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even though the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its mission is to protect persons and property.
Furthermore, it must not be said that the law may be philanthropic if, in the process, it refrains from oppressing persons and plundering them of their property; this would be a contradiction. The law cannot avoid having an effect upon persons and property; and if the law acts in any manner except to protect them, its actions then necessarily violate the liberty of persons and their right to own property.
The law is justice — simple and clear, precise and bounded. Every eye can see it, and every mind can grasp it; for justice is measurable, immutable, and unchangeable. Justice is neither more than this nor less than this. If you exceed this proper limit— if you attempt to make the law religious, fraternal, equalizing, philanthropic, industrial, literary, or artistic —you will then be lost in an uncharted territory, in vagueness and uncertainty, in a forced utopia or, even worse, in a multitude of utopias, each striving to seize the law and impose it upon you. This is true because fraternity and philanthropy, unlike justice, do not have precise limits. Once started, where will you stop? And where will the law stop itself?