Thursday, July 31, 2008

Easy answers to stupid questions


Former Louisiana secretary of state -- and former insurance commissioner -- Jim Brown asks an odd rhetorical question on a blog post this morning. Odd because the answer is so obvious that it doesn't even beg a question, rhetorical or otherwise.

Brown, on the cleverly named Jim Brown Blog, wants to know:

ARE WE ALL FEDERAL CRIMINALS
LIVING IN LOUISIANA?

The short answer: Yes.

The long answer: Hell, yes.

The funny irony: Jim Brown is a convicted federal criminal living in Louisiana.

Brown is upset that state Sen. Derrick Shepherd (the noted droopy pants opponent) was hauled before a federal judge after being accused of slapping around his girlfriend:

Louisiana State Senator Derrick Shepherd gets in a tussle with his girlfriend over the weekend and he's hauled off to federal court. Is there any violation of the law that is not considered a federal offense? If anyone actually takes the time to read the U.S. Constitution, there are only three crimes specifically enumerated. Treason, piracy and counterfeiting. So why has Congress undertaken an overzealous expansion of criminal laws?

A report from the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies recently determined that there are some 4500 federal crimes listed in the US Code. It used to be that Congress would create one particular crime by passing a new law. But in recent years, multiple crimes are listed within the same statute. One new law enacted right after 9/11 contained 60 new crimes. Were they really necessary?

Our representatives in Washington now want to delve into any number of local crimes, flaunting the intention of our country's founders. Drugs, robbery, car theft, the list goes on and on. What happened to the 14th amendment and states rights?

NO, IF SHEPHERD slapped around his girlfriend, that would not, per se, be a federal crime.

But getting arrested is a violation of the terms on which Shepherd was released by the federal court as the senator awaits his federal trial on fraud and conspiracy charges. Of the federal variety.

Funny how that works, huh?

Having grown up in the 1960s and '70s, I remember that NORML used to be quite the deal. You know, NORML -- the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Basically, what you had was a bunch of heads who couldn't stay off weed, so they sought to repeal the laws that said you couldn't smoke the ganja, mon.

Apparently, what we have in Louisiana is a state full of pols -- and pols' crooked cronies -- who just can't stay off the graft, mon. And if everybody's doing it . . .
why do it gots to be a federal offense?

Mon.

Or, to put some lipstick on a porker of an argument, Brown concludes:
In 400 B.C., the Greek orator Isocrates stated: "Where there is a multitude of specific laws, it is a sign that the state is badly governed." Tasedus wrote in the 1st century A.D. of Rome: “Formerly we suffered from crimes. Now we suffer from laws."
UHHHHH . . . that would be Tacitus. Publius Cornelius Tacitus.

Add education to the list of things in Louisiana that ought to be a federal crime.

1 comment:

Editor B said...

That Sansabelt graphic is brilliant.