Monday, April 24, 2006

Ignorance of the Law Is an Excuse

How could it not be? I defy any attorney, legislator or judge, right up to Chief Justice John G Roberts, Jr, to accurately name the number of laws in existence. In other words, each and every one of these august ladies and gentlemen is ignorant of some, probably most laws.

If they, who propose, advocate, debate, affirm, argue and adjudicate these laws can't even maintain an awareness of them, how can those of us whose most complicated life endeavor is cooking a great steak on a Weber, keep track of more than three of four of them. Half the time, I don't even know the speed limit of the street 'pon which I'm driving (nor do I care).

Which brings me (finally) to my topic du jour.

Tens of thousands of these laws are merely attempted repairs to previous laws that didn't achieve the desired result. Tens of thousands of more laws are attempts to protect the government from its citizens. Tens of thousands of more laws are attempts to protect special interests from the citizenry at large. This includes laws that protect corporate entities from liability. Tens of thousands of more laws are attempts to protect the citizenry at large from the real or imagined excesses of protected corporate entities, as they go about the business of selling us stuff.

I don't suppose I've really scratched the surface yet, not being an attorney myself (thank the Ravens of Odin for steering me away from that kind of waste of a life) but the part of the law that actually benefits real individuals is fairly simple.

Real individuals need THREE (3) LAWS.

First, and most important, there has to be a law against murder and physical assault. Since one's ultimate property is one's very life, agencies of protection must defend the lives of individuals most effectively, and bring those responsible for murders and assaults to justice without fail.

Second, and related very closely, must be a law against violations of the property of individuals. Since the property of an individual is the product of the thought and action of that individual, it actually rises in importance to equivalency to the individual's very life. The main difference that comes into play is the fact that the wronged individual can be made whole by his attacker. Agencies of protection should bring the culprit to justice by requiring him to fully repay the damages.

And third, each individual depends upon the honesty of others in order to be able to facilitate the achievement of his values. In a complex society based on interpersonal relations and the trading of values, the terms of a contract must be upheld. Agencies of protection must analyze contracts, both verbal and recorded, and award judgements to wronged parties.

Obviously, further expansion of definition is necessary to make these three laws clear, but there need be no more laws than these. Until this has been established, individuals are living under tyranny.

None of us should be willing to accept that.


Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

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