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Citizen Voices

Silly Little Laws

Much has been written during this election season about a return to the "rule of law." The context differs, but the reference usually refers to the prisoners held at Guantanamo or the warrantless wiretapping programs that have become public during the current president's administration. 

But what about all the silly little laws that still float around on the books? I'm assuming for purposes here they're silly and little, because our leaders routinely break them without recrimination.

New York's Governor Spitzer was widely reported Monday to have been taped obtaining the services of a prostitute while in office. He follows Senator Vitter , R-La., in that particular public (but uncharged) transgression.


Senator Obama and Governor Schwarzenegger have both publicly admitted to marijuana use in their past.

March 12, 2008 at 08:14 PM
Woah there, Chuck! You're -almost- sounding like a Libertarian here! I like it! Seriously, I agree 100% with your thoughts here. Why can political and famous people get away with things, and not the common man? enforce it all over equally, or get rid of the laws the nanny statye has put into place 'for our own good'. I'd prefer the latter, myself.

March 12, 2008 at 09:38 PM
I wish the rule of law didn't mean someone has to always be watching in order to have it enforced. What ever happened to "natural" laws, those things that made sense from a human decency perspective instead of being ruled on by judges? Steven, I'd almost go out on a crazy limb and say, maybe the country would have lots more libertarians if personal responsibility were the normal rule of law, and not those things that if you break you get punished for. If we were good at taking responsibility, not demanding it from all and not doing it out of paternalism, neighbors might get along better and governments might have to be run differently.

Chuck from Escondido, CA
March 13, 2008 at 12:35 AM
I consider myself fairly libertarian, and voted for Badnarik in the 2004 election. I just have problems with registering with the Libertarian Party, especially given California's closed primary system.


Davesnot from Oceanside
March 13, 2008 at 06:27 PM
I've lived many places.. and I've never found a place that had more laws than California... which is odd.. because it is so free spirited.. Seems to me that the more laws you put on the books.. the less likely any of those laws will be enforced. What can happen is that a member of the police gang can stop anyone, anywhere, anytime.. and find something to give them a ticket for. Did you throw away the dead battery from you flashlight?? Drink on the beach? Change lanes without using your signal? Go too slow on the freeway? And those aren't the silly ones that are on the books.. California is great!! So many laws that nothing is enforced!! That's the beauty of it... I say, "More laws, Please!! Anarchy!!"

Chuck from Escondido, CA
March 13, 2008 at 10:01 PM
Too many people, bureaucrats and activists alike, wanting to impose their will on others without looking at the big picture. I think most people want to obey the law in the abstract, but when the laws get so petty and out of touch with the real world, it just invites contempt. I have to say confusion is probably also an element, not necessarily on the laws cited above, but for the trend toward contempt of the law in general. A post I wrote couple years back on the specific problem of beach use in Pacific Beach is the perfect example. Lots of little laws probably made sense when enacted, but after layer upon layer of unreconciled muck piled up, San Diego was left with a beach use policy that deserves nothing but contempt.

aaryn b. from a parallel universe
March 14, 2008 at 06:00 AM
Chuck, you don't watch "The Wire" do you? Netflix it. Then come back and write about rule of law some more.