Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Too Many Laws.

The other day a stand up comic made a joke about unemployed guys sitting around in their underwear watching court TV shows. Guilty! Judges Judy, Milian, and Alex are my current favs. The other day Judge Alex posted a question on his facebook page.

"Have you ever said to yourself..."there outta be a law..."?
If you could make up your own law, what would it be?"

While an interesting topic for discussion, I think it points out a real problem in our society. The desire to meddle.
There are far too many conflicting, overlapping, and unenforced laws. I'd like to see a limit on the number of laws each level of government can have. If they want to pass a new one they have to remove an old unused or bad one. Perhaps each law should have a 10 year expiration period, and if no one has been charged with it, it just automatically deletes itself.

But I believe there are few things as corrosive to a society as unenforced and ignored laws. When laws are not enforced law breakers have more contempt for the rule of law generally. It leads to excuses like "everybody does it", or "it's no big deal". Breaking laws should be a big deal. For people to take them seriously, legislators need to exercise care in finding the things that are really important, and that the police are able and willing to enforce. Sure, it's only speeding, or littering, or smoking a joint. The more little laws you break and justify in ignoring, the more likely you are to break bigger ones and have less respect for yourself and those around you.

So while I enjoyed Judge Alex's conversation starter, I think a better question would be "What laws can we do without?"

How about this. It takes a 2/3 majority to approve a law, but only a 1/3 minority to take it off the books. If 1/3 of the people don't want a law, is it REALLY a good idea?


Friday, July 1, 2011

The Hypocrisy of Limousine Liberals

One of the Hairy Urchins just graduated from High School. The commencement speaker was none other than Bill Gates Sr. Father of Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. Bill Gates is a locally noted local progressive activist. Even though Washington State is one of the most heavily taxed states in the nation, he was the driving force behind an effort to ADD a state income tax.

His commencement speech was every bit as horrible as I expected it to be. It was little more than a long list of things that he thought had been bad about America. Yes, some progress had been made, but it was up to the graduating students to make things even better. This "Hate America First" philosophy seems to be the place from which rich, privileged liberals start their thinking. Yes, we had segregated schools and rest rooms. Yes, we had miscegenation laws. Yes we had Japanese internment camps. Yes, women were not always allowed to vote. But those injustices are not what makes America exceptional.

Just now I am watching a John Stossel special, "What's Great About America." Now that is a message for graduating students. We do more for the world, have done more for the world, have led the world to more freedom, have given the world more advancements than any other country in history. The students should have been encouraged to be proud of their past and to carry forward with our grand traditions. While America has done bad things, and while we must learn about them and acknowledge them, they are not the most important things about America. And to spend the vast majority of a commencement speech droning on about past injustices did an injustice to the class of 2011.