A Man For All Seasons

If we are to have a nation of laws to guide ourselves, how do we draw these vague, fuzzy lines where the law ceases to apply, where it’s a free for all, where there is no longer a fixed right and wrong and everything becomes a matter of feelings, assumptions and personal perspective? Yankah may be write that race and law cannot be cleanly separated in our collective consciousness, but then we cease to be a nation of laws when we ignore one for the other.

What Would Atticus Have Done?

Reminded me of this scene from A Man For All Seasons – Giving the Devil the Benefit of Law:

We are already headed in that direction with big government, secret courts, and the selective enforcement of laws encouraged by statists, leading to a fascist thugocracy. Forward!

While the country processes the racial politics-inspired prosecution of George Zimmerman, which came to a conclusion last week, and as the calls to try him in federal court for the same events for which he was acquitted in a state court become louder each day, a case in upstate New York is making its way through the system that profoundly reveals the antipathy to the Constitution displayed by some prosecutors in the U.S. Department of Justice and may give Zimmerman a foretaste of things to come.
. . .
Bruno’s lawyers saw right through this old trick — a trick that the kings of England played on their political opponents, including many Colonists. A trick so abominable that the Framers expressly prohibited it in the Constitution. The trick is played when the government calls the old crime — the one for which the charges have ended favorably for the defendant — by a new name, and presto … it can try the defendant again, even though it lost the first round. Regrettably, a federal judge in Albany bought this argument. His decision to let the feds prosecute Bruno a second time for the same events as were subsumed in the first trial is now under appeal.
. . .
Before he became president, Abraham Lincoln was a very successful trial lawyer. Demonstrating the propensity of an adversary to mislead, he once asked a jury, “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?” Then he answered: “Four, because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Calling an old crime by a different name does not change its essence.

Double Jeopardy

I agree with Mark that the United States is turning into a police state. It’s a police state that is not benevolent, but is mostly benign for most of those who dwell within it. Its power is backed by the truncheon, the machine-gun-armed EPA team, the local suburban police department with the Lenco BearCat off-road SWAT vehicle with .50BMG protection and dog-killing SWAT ninjas, but it does not deploy the truncheon and the rest the vast majority of the time. No, the vast majority of the time, the United States is a slightly frustrating uncle who provides nice birthday checks and stops you from buying a soda that’s too big to be healthy (even as he subsidizes tobacco farmers).

So, I agree with Mark that the United States is turning into a police state.

. . . but I disagree with him that it’s doing so “for a reason”.


If Zimmerman wanted Obama to leave him alone, he should have just killed a US ambassador.




Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading. Oh, and pay “public servants” what they are worth.

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