A fugitive people within a nation is tyranny.

Posts tagged ‘punishment’

A Different Look on Law: Why Punish People for “Speeding”?

by Eric Peters

speed trapWhy should anyone be subject to punishment merely for driving “x” speed? Is it not of a piece with punishing someone for merely consuming alcohol?

The justification usually given is that “speeding” might cause harm.

Ok, sure. The same is true about drinking beer. Someone (generally) might drink beer and beat his wife. But we do not presume (for now) that everyone who drinks beer willbeat his wife – and thus, drinking beer must be forbidden. And violators of this policy punished.

What about punishing (hold onto that thought) people when – and only if – they actually do cause harm? Not before – and not because they might. Or because “someone” else has.

It’s a crazy idea, I realize.

Imagine: You’d only have to sweat cops or face a judge if you (and not some other person you never even met) could plausibly be charged with having caused harm to an actual victim or damaged the actual property of someone else. Mark that. A flesh and blood victim would have to be presented.

And it would be the obligation of the courts to prove that harm was done to establish guilt before requiring restitution (much preferable to punishing people, which smacks of house training a puppy).

There would be an end to this business of people being put through the system who’ve harmed no one. Who are punished for manufactured offenses against the state.

Can the state be a victim?

Is the Tooth Fairy real?

It’s absurd – and vicious.

Do you feel guilty of wrongdoing when pulled over by a cop for not wearing a seatbelt? Who have you harmed? What justification – other than “it’s the law” – is there for punishing you?

How about driving faster than an arbitrary number plastered on a sign? You get pulled out from a crowd of others doing the same thing; none of you harming anyone or even plausibly threatening it. It’s merely your unlucky day. Your time to pay.

As the cop slides in behind you, does your internal monologue run along the lines of, “well, yeah… I did a bad thing… I deserve this.”

Or do you feel disgust, anger – and resentment?

Of course.

legal speed limits by state

This has serious implications.

Laws without a moral basis are just arbitrary rules. They have no moral force – and that makes people subjected to them feel abused. Which they have been. Meanwhile, it also makes it more difficult to deal with the relatively small number of people in society who actually do cause harm to others. If you doubt this, take a drive into a “bad” neighborhood; where are all the cops?

They’re manning radar traps and safety checkpoints in the “nice” neighborhoods!

Remember the “Drive 55″ idiocy that lasted from about 1974 to 1995? Overnight – and for the next 20 years – it became illegal “speeding” to drive 70 when the day before it had been legal to do that and – presumably (being legal) “safe.” How does it become “unsafe” to drive 70 on the same road today that it was (apparently) “safe” to drive 70 on yesterday?

What was it Bob Dooole used to say? You know it, I know it, the American people know it.

Millions of people were simply ripped off – had their money stolen from them under color of law.

The contempt and corruption this bred is incalculable. It festers to this day. Because while “Drive 55″ is history, the same rigmarole exists on secondary roads. Every day, thousands of people are pulled over and literally robbed. Issued what amount to ransom notes – state-sanctioned extortion – for driving at reasonable and prudent velocities that happen to have been codified as illegal “speeding.” The fact that virtually every one “speeds” – this includes cops – is the clearest, most inarguable proof that the laws are absurd. And their enforcement a sort of low-rent sadism that also happens to be very profitable.

What’s the solution?

speed trap in TexasSpeed limits as such ought to be thrown in the woods. They are arbitrary, morally indefensible – and most of all, one-size-fits-all.

People are individuals and some people are better at certain things than others. This includes driving. Tony Stewart is a better driver than I am. But I am a much better driver than my mother-in-law. Why should Tony Stewart be dumbed-down to my level?

And why should I be dumbed-down to my mother-in-law’s?

Imposing arbitrary, one-size-fits-all limits on anyone for anything is by definition unfair.

Arbitrary man-made “speeding” laws based on a dumbed-down/least-common-denominator standard amount to ugly and stupid people punishing the good-looking and smart ones.

The people who support such laws support anticipatory and pre-emptive punishment. That is, laws that assume something bad will happen if “x” is not punished.

And which punish the “offender” as if something bad had actually happened.

Even if it never did.

Innocence of having caused harm is (currently) no defense. It’s not necessary for the government to produce a victim. All that’s necessary, legally speaking, is for the state to prove that “the law” was violated.

Comrade Stalin would approve.

Cue the keening wail that, absent speed limits, people will drive excessively fast and lose control.

Yet they do exactly that already – speed limits notwithstanding. Just as people still drive soused (and senile, too).

The difference between the harm-caused/actual victim approach – and the “it’s the law” approach – is that the former only holds those who actually do lose control – for whatever reason – accountable. Everyone else is free to go about their business. To live as adults – rather than be treated as presumptively unintelligent children.

What a concept!

speed trap victimSpeed advisories would be fine. For example a sign letting you know that there is a sharp curve ahead and maybe reducing speed would be good. Drivers unfamiliar with that road – and never having driven that curve before – may find this information helpful. But why should the local who is familiar with that road – and who drives that curve everyday – be subject to punishment for taking the curve at a higher speed?

Assuming, of course, that he does so competently, without causing harm to anyone in the process?

That was once the American Way. Not “do as you please” – the dishonest, demagogic bleat of Clovers. But rather, do as you please… so long as you don’t cause harm to others.

The false choice offered by Clovers is total control in exchange for total safety – the “risk free” world. But this is a quixotic quest that can never end, because risk cannot be removed from this life. We all get sick – and die eventually. Entropy happens.

What can be excised, however, is the risk to our liberties, our peace of mind, our enjoyment of life – presented by random and arbitrary interference and punishments based not on what we’ve done, but on what “someone” might do.

original article
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Fair Child Support: The Audacity of Hope

Not a few of us have come to personally wonder, even mourn the loss of our true national identity. The personal identity of Americans is even more challenged. We have come to a place of oppression and circumstances over which we have no control, but we are going to have it all rubbed in our faces by oppressive law and unfettered government application. Mistakes aren’t permitted unless you have influence and a hefty bank account. Justice is bought and sold like a revel at Bourbon Street. It’s cheapened the nation and weakened the fabric of society instead of strengthening it. We are a nation that encourages vile and predatory behaviors which reject the core of what builds and strengthens the strong nations of the past for the rhetoric of despots that seek to wield unlimited power.

But …social conservatives…want a return to a bygone era, in which sexuality outside of marriage was subject to both punishment and shame, obtaining a divorce was far more difficult, and marriage offered not merely personal fulfillment but also well-defined social roles for men and for women. In their view, any government policy that appears to reward or even express neutrality toward what they consider to be immoral behavior whether providing birth control to young people, abortion services to women, welfare support for unwed mothers, or legal recognition of same-sex unions-inherently devalues the marital bond. Such policies take us one step closer, the argument goes, to a brave new world in which gender differences have been erased, sex is purely recreational, marriage is disposable, motherhood is an inconvenience, and civilization itself rests on shifting sands.

In this missive posted in his book Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama pretends to be reasonable by acknowledging the feelings of the opposition. He spends a chapter acknowledging the beauty of the Constitution, while dismissing it for something better, likely because of his status as a attorney that specializes in constitutional law. Instead, he talks around it as if to say, the Constitution is nice to study and a great document to thump on when you want to make a point, but it is a quaint tool of the past. Too bad the nation didn’t read his books before they voted him into office, not that it really matters anyway. John McCain, with ties to banking fraud, wasn’t a better choice, just a different one. Presidents have become cheerleaders of what sounds good while allowing Congress to pass predatory legislation without so much as a wimper. They have become complicit with the criminals that pretend to protect the nation.

Many politicians say that they see life as an issue of sexual behavior instead of the ability to maintain relationships, which government is loathe to do. It reinforces the negative instead of the good. It lies and distorts for the powerful and well-to-do. It favors mothers over fathers based on the timeworn models that it seeks to reject through the politics of empowerment. It has transferred this evil to divorced or rejected non-custodial parents. They are simply work horses that will sustain the children of the state as the elite look after their own interests.

“But all in all, I have little sympathy for those who would enlist the government in the task of enforcing sexual morality. Like most Americans, I consider decisions about sex, marriage, divorce, and childbearing to be highly personal-at the very core of our system of individual liberty. Where such personal decisions raise the prospect of significant harm to others-as is true with child abuse, incest, bigamy, domestic violence, or failure to pay child support-society has a right and duty to step in. (Those who believe in the personhood of the fetus would put abortion in this category.) Beyond that, I have no interest in seeing the president, Congress, or a government bureaucracy regulating what goes on in America’s bedrooms.

Moreover, I don’t believe we strengthen the family by bullying or coercing people into the relationships we think are best for them-or by punishing those who fail to meet our standards of sexual propriety. I want to encourage young people to show more reverence toward sex and intimacy, and I applaud parents, congregations, and community programs that transmit that message. But I’m not willing to consign a teenage girl to a lifetime of struggle because of lack of access to birth control. I want couples to understand the value of commitment and the sacrifices marriage entails. But I’m not willing to use the force of law to keep couples together regardless of their personal circumstances.” – (Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama, page 335)

No Mr. Obama, instead we bully them after the fact with law that only the most wealthy can manage. In the article “Deviance and Society in Child Support Law,” I detail how behavior has been stigmatized and grouped into types of addicted behavior. Politics ignores the truth about its’ role in the process as it seeks the “common good,” pretending to be above all matters of humanity. It treats single mothers and their children as wards of the state and celebrates its’ role in the matter. It treats fathers as workhorses, slaves which must forever pay for the mistakes of the relationship without due process and the standards that built the nation. Remember that these standards only apply to criminal law. The possibility of innocence only applies to criminals, but not to the non-custodial parent of children that the  government owns.

Family law has carefully been maintained as civil law, the law of lying ex-spouses and courthouse escapades, even though the non-custodial behavior has been criminalized in a world without the assurance of justice on any level. Judges can’t stand the irreverent carping of the ‘human trash’ they serve. Government has sanctioned the same predatory behavior in families and relationships that it holds as precious in its worldview of control. Manipulation has become the reality of all relationships, while soft words such a diversity and peace are espoused. They sell the virtues of sacrifice without possessing that virtue. Diversity and peace are the watchwords of society, as that society is gripped by social engineers that claim “common good.” We don’t need society. Government is the holder of punishment and shame.

You know the solution. Be a good slave, stay employed at all costs in the name of fear and don’t make waves- or face the consequences. Economics don’t matter, nor does unemployment. Good men and women know what they have to do. Playing into the system isn’t necessarily the best answer. Otherwise, there isn’t even the audacity of hope, the kind of hope that President Obama claims to live by.

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Fair Child Support: The Audacity of Hope by E.J. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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Revisiting Clinton and Federal Felony

AP Online – A day to remember in federal child support

06-24-1998
WASHINGTON (AP) – Attacking what he called a “quiet crisis” in American families, President Clinton signed legislation today that makes it a federal felony to cross state lines to duck child-support payments.

“One way or the other, people who don’t support their children will pay what they must,” Clinton said in an Oval Office signing ceremony.

“The quiet crisis of unpaid child support is something that our country and our families shouldn’t tolerate. Our first responsibility – all of us – is to our children,” he said.

Under the bill, felony punishment would apply if the amount owed by deadbeat parents was $5,000 or more.

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