22 January 2013

A shark jumping ham sandwich?

Glenn Reynolds has now published his promised (see previous post) article on due process in a time of over-regulation. He has called it Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything is a Crime. You should read the whole thing. It's short. He encourages readers to offer their own suggestions for improvement. Do.

It has already generated some traction. At the Atlantic Conor Friedersdorf has a put out a piece entitled 8 Ways to Stop Overzealous Prosecutors from Destroying Lives and at The Volokh Conspiracy Randy Barnett has a long blog post on it.

I was entertained also by Glenn drawing attention the other day at Instapundit to this passage in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged:

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.”
Glenn comments that the US hasn't reached this state. Yet.

With Australian Federal Attorney General Nicola Roxon current proposed changes to Federal Anti- Discrimination Laws now potentially exposing all Australians to prosecution simply for someone taking offence at what they might say, we Australians may be fast approaching the state Dr Ferris describes in the above passage.

Nicola Roxon is a Fink.

I just wanted to get that statement in while I still think I can. That is without being prosecuted for "misogyny" (under in the new watered down, expanded and revised definition now adopted by the Macquarie Dictionary after the Prime Minister's manifestly incorrect use of the word under parliamentary privilege, but with such effective and acclaimed political venom against her male enemy) or "publicly supporting opposition to the rule of law", or some other new trumped up offence. One gets the distinct feeling with the current ruling mob that it's only a matter of time before such behaviours will be criminalised.

I take offence that there are so many offences. So who do I sue? The guvmint?

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