Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Law

 

“With a law such as this, enforced only against the poor or honest man and violated with impunity by every rich scoundrel and every corrupt politician , the machine did indeed seem to have its yoke on the neck of the people.” — Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt made this statement during a speech while he was president of New York City’s police commission during the 1890s. He was speaking about a law forbidding the sale of alcoholic drinks on Sundays. Prior to his tenure, it had been largely ignored. But it was ignored at a price. Saloon keepers and bar owners paid off local officials. Not just with money, but with political support. The only time the law was enforced was against political opponents of those in office or those too honest to pay bribes.

Roosevelt had the law strictly enforced. He was not opposed to the sale of alcohol on Sunday. He was opposed to allowing its sale illegally. He viewed it as a law that had to be enforced, whether he approved or disapproved of the law. If the people wished to purchase alcohol on Sunday, let the legislature repeal the unpopular law. In his view, to ignore laws led to contempt for the law and opened the door to corruption — where laws could be used to punish the disfavored.

The wisdom of his position can be seen today, nearly a century and a quarter after Roosevelt made this speech. It is obvious the laws are being enforced unequally. The privileged can ignore them with impunity, while the disfavored feel its wrath. Corrupt politicians use unequal enforcement of the law as a tool to control the public, as if the American public were medieval serfs rather than citizens of a free society. We can see 2020 as an attempt by the elite to restore feudalism with them in the role of the nobility, and the patents of nobility being the credentials of the credentialed class — degrees from the appropriate “special” universities.

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  1. I Walton Member

    Well yes, but life in cities, business, interest are so complex and changing that most laws are at best silly. It’s why minimum law is best and always as close to people as possible and that any law passed in Washington for the whole nation is almost always inept and dangerous, even if necessary.

    • #1
    • July 18, 2020, at 6:18 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We have too many laws. We need a Cabinet level secretary devoted only to drafting proposals for repeals. At this point, Congress should be eliminating more than it is establishing. Of course, that’s pie-in-the-sky dreaming. 

    Seawriter: The privileged can ignore them with impunity, while the disfavored feels its wrath.

    This often manifests itself as allowances for illegal immigrants amid rigid enforcement of regulations against actual citizens. 

    Then there are laws which by nature harm the poor most of all even when enforced equally. Vehicle emissions standards most often force “repairs” to older vehicles which are all the poor can afford to own. Such laws make it more difficult for the poor to advance out of poverty.

    • #2
    • July 18, 2020, at 6:51 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    “The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.” — Abraham Lincoln


    This is the Quote of the Day. (No, not this ^. What Seawriter quoted from Roosevelt!) If you have a quotation that is ever green or applicable to the societal moment, why not share it with us? Our sign-up sheet awaits. Come pick an open date.

    • #3
    • July 18, 2020, at 7:44 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  4. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    We have too many laws. We need a Cabinet level secretary devoted only to drafting proposals for repeals. At this point, Congress should be eliminating more than it is establishing. 

    Amen, and amen again. The Department of Unlegislation.

    • #4
    • July 18, 2020, at 9:19 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter

    We need to pass a Constitutional amendment that states no law can take effect until it has be read aloud – in its entirely – by voting members of the legislature that enacts it on the steps of the Capitol Building, and that if the session expires before the reading is complete the law does not pass. And that no weather conditioning is permitted except a sun/rain shade.

    I don’t mind if legislators take turns reading it in parts, but all of it has to be spoken aloud before it takes effect.

    • #5
    • July 18, 2020, at 9:36 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  6. JosePluma Thatcher

    When I was a cop, I would arrest or cite everyone I found with marijuana, no matter how small the amount, for that very reason. Because of the amount of hassle it involved-extra paperwork, submitting evidence, court appearances-most officers just had people dump it when they encountered it. Unless that person pissed them off. I recognized the inherent corruption in that. Like TR, I was opposed to it being illegal in the first place. This is the first time I’ve heard about TR and Sunday sales-yay! I was just like Teddy Roosevelt!

    • #6
    • July 18, 2020, at 11:25 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  7. TBA Coolidge

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    We need to pass a Constitutional amendment that states no law can take effect until it has be read aloud – in its entirely – by voting members of the legislature that enacts it on the steps of the Capitol Building, and that if the session expires before the reading is complete the law does not pass. And that no weather conditioning is permitted except a sun/rain shade.

    I don’t mind if legislators take turns reading it in parts, but all of it has to be spoken aloud before it takes effect.

    I do believe that is how it works on the Isle of Man. 

    • #7
    • July 18, 2020, at 1:01 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter

    TBA (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    We need to pass a Constitutional amendment that states no law can take effect until it has be read aloud – in its entirely – by voting members of the legislature that enacts it on the steps of the Capitol Building, and that if the session expires before the reading is complete the law does not pass. And that no weather conditioning is permitted except a sun/rain shade.

    I don’t mind if legislators take turns reading it in parts, but all of it has to be spoken aloud before it takes effect.

    I do believe that is how it works on the Isle of Man.

    I didn’t think it was original. It is too obviously good.

    • #8
    • July 18, 2020, at 1:59 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Seawriter: We can see 2020 as an attempt by the elite to restore feudalism with them in the role of the nobility, and the patents of nobility being the credentials of the credentialed class — degrees from the appropriate “special” universities.

    Sea,

    Exactly so. The special universities are now indoctrination mills, not educational institutions. The Green New Deal, Slavery Reparations, Eternal Lock Down, these are policies of supreme stupidity. If there was an ounce of objectivity left in the media, proposing and being associated with these policies would have already cost the Dems everything. It remains to be seen whether there will be a price at the polling place that they will pay. We know that they have so effectively muzzled conservative voices at university that we won’t hear anything but affirmations from them.

    No matter how many degrees you have, apparently adding 2 + 2 and getting 5 is OK if it fits the narrative.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #9
    • July 18, 2020, at 7:31 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Mark Camp Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    We have too many laws. We need a Cabinet level secretary devoted only to drafting proposals for repeals. At this point, Congress should be eliminating more than it is establishing.

    Interesting concrete proposal to address the problem, as opposed to whingeing and impotent snark, of which we’ve got more than we need on Ricochet. This Secretary would not get invited to a lot of parties by the others, some of whose jobs he would be dedicated to completely eliminating.

    We don’t need to slow the growth of the administrative state. We need to exterminate it. This would be a step in the right direction.

     

    • #10
    • July 18, 2020, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Seawriter: We can see 2020 as an attempt by the elite to restore feudalism with them in the role of the nobility, and the patents of nobility being the credentials of the credentialed class — degrees from the appropriate “special” universities.

    Sea,

    Exactly so. The special universities are now indoctrination mills, not educational institutions. The Green New Deal, Slavery Reparations, Eternal Lock Down, these are policies of supreme stupidity. If there was an ounce of objectivity left in the media, proposing and being associated with these policies would have already cost the Dems everything. It remains to be seen whether there will be a price at the polling place that they will pay. We know that they have so effectively muzzled conservative voices at university that we won’t hear anything but affirmations from them.

    No matter how many degrees you have, apparently adding 2 + 2 and getting 5 is OK if it fits the narrative.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Mathematics is a tool of the imperialists.

    • #11
    • July 18, 2020, at 8:11 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. TBA Coolidge

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Seawriter: We can see 2020 as an attempt by the elite to restore feudalism with them in the role of the nobility, and the patents of nobility being the credentials of the credentialed class — degrees from the appropriate “special” universities.

    Sea,

    Exactly so. The special universities are now indoctrination mills, not educational institutions. The Green New Deal, Slavery Reparations, Eternal Lock Down, these are policies of supreme stupidity. If there was an ounce of objectivity left in the media, proposing and being associated with these policies would have already cost the Dems everything. It remains to be seen whether there will be a price at the polling place that they will pay. We know that they have so effectively muzzled conservative voices at university that we won’t hear anything but affirmations from them.

    No matter how many degrees you have, apparently adding 2 + 2 and getting 5 is OK if it fits the narrative.

    Regards,

    Jim

    True. These ideas are ‘popular’ because they have been propagated for a long time by people who are purported to be teachers. 

     

    • #12
    • July 18, 2020, at 9:05 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Interesting concrete proposal to address the problem

    Well, that proposal doesn’t really help without a Congress dominated by Republicans interested in limited government and in possession of backbones and honor.

    If you want a real feasible proposal — at least from the perspective of a legal ignoramus like myself — then the President should employ his authority over the Executive branch to unilaterally eliminate every job and power not directly authorized by Congressional legislation. If it’s not mandated by legislation, I’d like to think he can end it with a simple order.

    All the people who would complain hated him to begin with. Media and politicians would cry armageddon, but that’s every day now regardless of real situations. There is no political downside, unless Republicans move to impeach him for threatening the almighty bureaucracy.

    And though I sympathize with anyone who loses a job doing something productive, those jobs never should have existed. 90% of federal activities are extra-Constitutional. Uproot whatever you can, in every department. Start with Education.

    • #13
    • July 18, 2020, at 10:17 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Exactly so. Which is why this is like the British general election last year, the people being given the clear choice of accepting the contemptuous rule of the uniparty elite (May and Corbyn together undermining BREXIT) or to decisively punch them in the face at the polls. We face the same choice this year.

    • #14
    • July 19, 2020, at 6:58 PM PDT
    • 5 likes