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New Scofflaws are part of the system of checks and balances
Scofflaws are to the Constitution what the oceans are to the military.

They provide a basic level of defense that requires no maintainance.

I'm not talking about Ghandi-style organized civil disobediance, which is a final last-ditch effort. Ghandi himself didn't try it until even war had failed, although that may be just because he didn't get the chance. I'm talking about people just plain not following rules because they don't want to. What Ghandi did was provide a method to elevate the everyday petty scofflaw to a kind of warrior. The everyday scofflaw is the guerrilla scurrying behind the tree. Ghandi marched them in rows standing tall.

Dahmer wasn't following his own laws, he was a deeply conflicted and pathetic person who knew he was doing wrong, like most criminals. McVeigh considered himself at war - war means you don't follow the regular laws. Neither of these guys was a scofflaw.

Most of the time, people casualy ignoring laws are balancing the govornment more profoundly and effectively than any vote.

Most people follow good laws most of the time, without enforcement. The first thing that happens to a bad law is that people ignore it. Next, there is the formal process. And if that fails, jury nullification. There are even cases of refusal to prosecute. All of these, and the whole Ghandi thing, are flavors of scofflawry.

Speeding laws are particularly susceptible to scofflaws. There was a recent situation in Wisconsin where the legislature had decided to raise the already exessive fines again, and it was stopped because the last time they raised speeding fines, there was a drop-off of revenue. Police officers were issuing more warnings, because they didn't think the fines were reasonable.

A certain level of personal fireworks use is permitted on the Fourth of July, thanks to scofflaws. You have to get pretty obnoxious with the explosives on that particular day in order to get prosecuted. If it weren't for the vast number of people ignoring that law on that day, you could get in a lot of trouble celebrating that way.

Most sodomy laws in the US have fallen to scofflaws. In most parts of the USA, things most people do with their consenting adult partners are technicaly major felonies. And if the vast majority of people respected the laws that regulate exactly where and how a husband and wife can touch each other, there would be cause for law enforcement to investigate every letter to Penthouse.

Scofflawry would be in the Constitution except that the self-referential effects would be too messy. It is in the penumbra, right next to privacy and about three paragraphs up from the part that says the President doesn't have First Night privleges.

OK, let's not be too confusing - the penumbra is the unwritten part of the Constitution. And in the UK, which matters because US law is based on Brittish Common Law - to the extent that if there isn't an appropriate rule in US law, a US court will accept BCL as binding - that means the whole entire thing. The UK is considered a Constitutional Monarchy and they have no written constitution at all. The Magna Charta isn't one.

White guys in suits know best
- Pat McCurdy
New Re: Scofflaws are part of the system of checks and balances
Nicely said.

I tend to agree with you, mostly.

The problem is that "scofflawry" also has a slippery slope - at some point, its too far.

And that point is hard to determine ahead of time.

Addison
New Speed enforcement
95% of all speed enforcement is for revenue raising purposes only. Not for reckless driving. Not for being dangerous to other motorists. There's one town in Ohio that has something like 500 feet of Interstate highway within its borders. They don't even have an on or off-ramp. They vigorously "enforce" the speed limit to such an extent that the Ohio legistlature passed a law that (I forget) either requires an interchange or a mile of interstate or something before a town/community can pull people over.

Theoretically, I agree with your statement of princciple.

Practically, when *everyone* breaks the law, the law is bad. And *everyone* breaks speed limit laws - in fact, if you don't break the law, you very likely are endangering yourself and other drivers by driving so much slower than the prevailing traffic.
French Zombies are zapping me with lasers!
New Re: Speed enforcement
95% of all speed enforcement is for revenue raising purposes only. Not for reckless driving.

After having almost been run off the road this weekend, I've got a slightly differnent thought on that.

That's 95% of the offenses noted, correct?

But, what do you do if you're not enforcing the speed laws? There's more variables there.

If you *never* stop people for speeding *unless* something happens or it seems to be dangerous, then there will be a lot *more* dangerous situations. Look at say, highway work zones. People have typically blasted through them... so many states now aggressively enforce the lower limit there, so people slow down and accidents in work zones (and fatalities to the workers) have dropped drastically in those states.

What if police never enforced school speed zones?

Its like a lot of things - you have to have the *possibility* there, to enforce behavior. And waiting until there's an accident to assign blame... especially when people presume/delude themselves that *they* won't have a problem, *they* are good enough.

And I damn sure wish there'd been a cop last night, when this jackass passed me in a no-passing zone, passed traffic at the next light in the turn lane (and then went into the intersection to cut in front of the van at the light), and was doing easily 120 on a rain-slick road, speed limit 55.

Without enforcement - that's what would be much more common.

Addison
New Jumping off the slippery slope
Scofflawry is people jumping off a slippery slope.

But it doesn't matter. It isn't something that anyone can control. It isn't to be encouraged, exactly. It simply is the way people are.

I don't tell my kids it's OK to ignore laws. I'm probably a bit more scrupulous than most people in following laws, but I don't claim to be entirely clean either. I've been known to drive five over the limit from time to time, and I'm not about to apologize. I see laws as part of how we manage to live together as a society, and as such to be respected, but not as same mystical higher good. Which means those lovely statues of blindfolded women holding scales are wast..., um, no, actualy no well constructed statue of a woman wearing an outfit that only covers one breast is truly wasted on me. Still, I don't think that's what the architect had in mind.

And while scofflawry isn't pretty (unlike those statues) if it weren't for scofflaws, beverage-grade alcohol would be illegal in the USA right now.
White guys in suits know best
- Pat McCurdy
New After some reflection, I'm going to have to disagree with
a lot of that.

Not that you're wrong.. .not totally, (i've got a couple issues) but the issue is totally subjective.

The parallels with Dalhmer and McVeigh I still think apply - they knew the law, and they broke it anyway. (With the possible exception that McVeigh was trying to change something, (somehow)).

And Bill O's and Brandioch's defense would - under circumstances - defend McVeigh (who saw the federal government, said that it was dangerous to his/our rights, and took action).

And the issue is that it is *very* subjective. Sure, we all break the law sometimes. And the system can deal with that - to a point - sometimes.

And that's where the slippery slope comes in.

If we all park illegally, say, for 10 minutes here and there, then the system can likely deal with it. If we do, all day, then no, the system can't, and something's got to be done.If 10 people park in front of the Emergency Room and an ambulance can't get to it....

Some things, say, rape, murder, there's to most people's mentality, no room at all there for that elasticity.

Speeding laws are particularly susceptible to scofflaws.... Police officers were issuing more warnings, because they didn't think the fines were reasonable.

Yes, they are, but that's not really an example, is it? The police officers weren't NOT pulling people over, they were still doing that, but they were using their discretion to not ticket them, due to the price.

They were catching lawbreakers, and warning them, not ignoring the law.

A certain level of personal fireworks use is permitted on the Fourth of July, thanks to scofflaws.

Aren't you in NC? They're legal. :)

(as long as you don't endanger anybody)

What you're talking about a lot is the failure of prosecution. I think, more so than scofflawing. Yes, some people ignore sodomy laws - but in cases where its come up, charges have been filed and people prosecuted, with those laws on the books.

But the problem is that in my opinion, you can't just "ignore" bad law (and hope that nobody enforces it). You should get it off the books.

And destroying public property to keep from getting a speeding ticket doesn't strike me as being heroic or particularly patriotic or really defending rights.

Addison
New Not a defence.
"And Bill O's and Brandioch's defense would - under circumstances - defend McVeigh (who saw the federal government, said that it was dangerous to his/our rights, and took action)."

If you knowingly break the law, you go to jail.

What I'm saying is not a defence of any kind. Until the laws are changed, you are breaking them. Knowingly and with forethought.

Think about China, again. Is the fact that some people want democracy a "defense" of their actions?

Not in that country.

Nor in our's.

When the laws are changed, then the people who took the risks are recognized for their works. Until then, they are just breaking the law.

No one is saying that people should not be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
New defend mcveigh?
defend his right to take the action he took? Yup
Defend MY right and societies right to fry his sorry ass for the action he took? Yup
think about it,
thanx,
bill
Our bureaucracy and our laws have turned the world into a clean, safe work camp. We are raising a nation of slaves.
Chuck Palahniuk
New Um.
defend his right to take the action he took? Yup
Defend MY right and societies right to fry his sorry ass for the action he took? Yup
think about it,


If he had a "right" to kill people, why did we kill him?

Addison
     UK's surveillance camera vigilantes! - (Ashton) - (138)
         That's a slippery slope, too. - (addison) - (137)
             "Time and distance" was never allowed in US traffic - (Ashton) - (6)
                 Then it shouldn't be a problem. - (addison)
                 Actually, not to nitpick... - (Simon_Jester) - (4)
                     There is a difference... - (hnick)
                     Also New Mexico... - (Fearless Freep)
                     1992 study of Photo Radar proposal for DC Capital Beltway - (Another Scott) - (1)
                         60%? Right. - (Brandioch)
             what the heck is wrong with scofflaws? - (boxley) - (129)
                 The root word of "justice" is "just". - (addison) - (119)
                     tim mcveigh did obey his own law - (boxley) - (116)
                         And we as a society had a problem with that. - (addison) - (115)
                             in response - (boxley) - (114)
                                 Everybody who's name starts with "B", you're under arrest. - (addison) - (110)
                                     It is a judgement call usually - (orion)
                                     Here's a simple syllogism, if not quite rational enough for - (Ashton) - (2)
                                         mama said to save it until I was married - (boxley)
                                         Yep, that's simple. - (addison)
                                     My slightly radical opinion. - (Brandioch) - (21)
                                         Re: My slightly radical opinion. - (addison) - (20)
                                             Work all angles. - (Brandioch) - (19)
                                                 Re: Work all angles. - (addison) - (18)
                                                     To work the system. - (Brandioch) - (17)
                                                         Work it, bayybeeeee. - (addison) - (16)
                                                             so when you get a letter to show up for yer gps ass chip - (boxley) - (15)
                                                                 You're changing the subject even more. - (addison) - (14)
                                                                     Perhaps you are simply realizing it, less and less? - (Ashton) - (9)
                                                                         Re: Perhaps you are simply realizing it, less and less? - (addison) - (8)
                                                                             It's simple, really - but it won't be, for you. - (Ashton) - (7)
                                                                                 Its only simple if you're stupid. - (addison) - (6)
                                                                                     The issue (for me) is thresholds. - (Another Scott) - (4)
                                                                                         Are we civilised or are we not? - (pwhysall) - (2)
                                                                                             I think you're overstating the case... - (Simon_Jester) - (1)
                                                                                                 Minor correction - (wharris2)
                                                                                         Fishing... - (imric)
                                                                                     Flailing? - (Brandioch)
                                                                     not changing the subject at all - (boxley) - (3)
                                                                         Ya, Bill, you are. - (addison) - (2)
                                                                             ok then lets continue - (boxley) - (1)
                                                                                 Re: ok then lets continue - (addison)
                                     another point of view - (boxley) - (83)
                                         Re: another point of view - (addison) - (82)
                                             sorry - (boxley) - (81)
                                                 I'm going to have to ask you, as painful as it is, to come - (addison) - (80)
                                                     I can handle that one. - (Brandioch) - (78)
                                                         I don't think you did. - (addison) - (77)
                                                             Legallity vs. right. - (Brandioch) - (76)
                                                                 I think the point is going over your head. - (addison) - (75)
                                                                     the point vs pointy head - (boxley) - (70)
                                                                         Re: the point vs pointy head - (addison) - (69)
                                                                             Addison, your laundry called. Your brown shirts are ready. -NT - (DonRichards) - (68)
                                                                                 Um... - (addison) - (67)
                                                                                     Zoom. It goes over his head. - (DonRichards) - (66)
                                                                                         Not really. - (addison) - (65)
                                                                                             Whatever - (DonRichards) - (64)
                                                                                                 Whatever - (addison) - (59)
                                                                                                     You poor dear. Why *of course* your Logic is superior - (Ashton) - (38)
                                                                                                         Re: You poor dear. Why *of course* your Logic is superior - (addison)
                                                                                                         "Reasoning" with your emotions in stead of logic??? - (CRConrad) - (36)
                                                                                                             Now then CRC. We may eventually get this done, - (Ashton) - (35)
                                                                                                                 Not likely. - (addison) - (32)
                                                                                                                     I think that your position is - (boxley) - (31)
                                                                                                                         You really haven't read me in my posts. - (addison) - (26)
                                                                                                                             dont bother with the facts - (boxley) - (25)
                                                                                                                                 You're still missing Addison's point Bill. - (Another Scott) - (24)
                                                                                                                                     I understand the point just disagreeing with it - (boxley) - (16)
                                                                                                                                         No, you don't. - (addison) - (15)
                                                                                                                                             heres another reason (thanx, freep!) - (boxley) - (1)
                                                                                                                                                 Re: heres another reason (thanx, freep!) - (addison)
                                                                                                                                             *sigh* - (imric) - (12)
                                                                                                                                                 That's not what I said. - (addison) - (11)
                                                                                                                                                     What he said: - (imric) - (10)
                                                                                                                                                         Yep. - (addison) - (9)
                                                                                                                                                             Hasn't been done so far? - (imric) - (8)
                                                                                                                                                                 No. - (addison) - (7)
                                                                                                                                                                     Question about recording - (drewk) - (2)
                                                                                                                                                                         Not sure about other places. - (DonRichards) - (1)
                                                                                                                                                                             Heh.. Kinda like the Windoze EULA, no ? - (Ashton)
                                                                                                                                                                     Interesting point. - (imric) - (3)
                                                                                                                                                                         Re: Interesting point. - (addison)
                                                                                                                                                                         Cruiser cams - (wharris2) - (1)
                                                                                                                                                                             And as such, I have no problem with them - (mhuber)
                                                                                                                                     But aren't you eliding the "powers reserved to the people" - (Ashton) - (6)
                                                                                                                                         I don't think so. - (addison) - (5)
                                                                                                                                             Forget.. mobs dressed in black, smashing cameras. - (Ashton) - (4)
                                                                                                                                                 Not the only thing forgotten. - (addison) - (3)
                                                                                                                                                     Once again you speak of The Law, monolithically - (Ashton) - (2)
                                                                                                                                                         What can I say? - (addison) - (1)
                                                                                                                                                             I regret you are taking a characterization of a mindset - (Ashton)
                                                                                                                         I think you might be slightly mistaken... - (bepatient) - (3)
                                                                                                                             Actually, I believe it is illegal to listen in on - (Simon_Jester) - (2)
                                                                                                                                 Isn't recording the problem, cell phone or live? - (drewk) - (1)
                                                                                                                                     And that's my problem with the cameras - (mhuber)
                                                                                                                 Je crois que vous avez misaperc,u cet expression: - (CRConrad) - (1)
                                                                                                                     Re: apres mois le deluge.. - (Ashton)
                                                                                                     I observe, I see a pattern. - (DonRichards) - (19)
                                                                                                         But you didn't, that's the problem. - (addison) - (5)
                                                                                                             I apologize - (DonRichards) - (4)
                                                                                                                 Thanks. - (addison)
                                                                                                                 Wimp! - (deSitter) - (2)
                                                                                                                     Oh, POAD, fuckwit! - (CRConrad)
                                                                                                                     Had? - (DonRichards)
                                                                                                         No, I think it's *you* who are "los[ing] the point entirely" - (CRConrad) - (12)
                                                                                                             All true, as far as it goes. Just too simplistic. - (Ashton) - (11)
                                                                                                                 "Too simplistic"??? That's fucking rich, coming from *you*! - (CRConrad) - (8)
                                                                                                                     So.. you want clarity and simplicity - with 'romantics'? - (Ashton) - (7)
                                                                                                                         Here's why "direct action" is a bad idea... - (pwhysall) - (2)
                                                                                                                             Point taken. and.. Ugh! - (Ashton)
                                                                                                                             Re: Here's why "direct action" is a bad idea... - (addison)
                                                                                                                         No - I want clarity and simplicity *from YOU*, here. - (CRConrad) - (3)
                                                                                                                             inneresting my kids go to a pediatrician -NT - (boxley) - (1)
                                                                                                                                 Yeah - follow the link in Peter's post... -NT - (CRConrad)
                                                                                                                             You've defined a 'clarity/simplicity' which doesn't exist: - (Ashton)
                                                                                                                 Re: Spray painting. - (a6l6e6x) - (1)
                                                                                                                     Small prediction - (Ashton)
                                                                                                 Re: Whatever - (dpeterson) - (3)
                                                                                                     Lighten up. - (DonRichards) - (2)
                                                                                                         Hey.. a little Evul is Good for the Soul! - (Ashton) - (1)
                                                                                                             if there was no evil all the cops would be on welfare :) -NT - (boxley)
                                                                     Not over my head. - (Brandioch) - (3)
                                                                         Zoom. - (addison) - (2)
                                                                             You're going to have to do better than that. - (Brandioch) - (1)
                                                                                 Why? - (addison)
                                                     a police cruiser usually - (boxley)
                                 Genoa is a current case. - (addison) - (1)
                                     not my hero's it is an organised - (boxley)
                                 There was a time in the US,... - (a6l6e6x)
                     Puke - (deSitter) - (1)
                         now now - (boxley)
                 Scofflaws are part of the system of checks and balances - (mhuber) - (8)
                     Re: Scofflaws are part of the system of checks and balances - (addison) - (3)
                         Speed enforcement - (wharris2) - (1)
                             Re: Speed enforcement - (addison)
                         Jumping off the slippery slope - (mhuber)
                     After some reflection, I'm going to have to disagree with - (addison) - (3)
                         Not a defence. - (Brandioch)
                         defend mcveigh? - (boxley) - (1)
                             Um. - (addison)

Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter was so absurdly British that you can't even read his name without being compelled to brew a cup of tea.
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